another beautiful weekend in kangaroo valley

You might remember we visited Kangaroo Valley last year and thanks to the kind owner we were back there again. The week leading up to the weekend was something out of ‘Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day’ ….we had a nasty gastro bug go through most of us and I missed out on a big choir performance for my big girl, tonsilitis and antibiotics for one, last minute dog dramas on the morning we were supposed to leave (and someone’s birthday), I smashed my phone twice in the one day, dropped an iPad out the car door, behaviour went out the window, moods were tense, someone arrived with no shoes, someone else tipped a whole box of jatz and a bag of chips all over the back seat, I broke 2 glasses…it was just like what could go wrong went wrong. I lay awake on Friday thinking why is everything just going out the window this week?

But by Sunday night I was happy and relaxed and we had enjoyed a beautiful weekend. I won’t say relaxing because there is nothing relaxing about taking children away. I always find it amusing to look at other families away from home and see that we are all dealing with the same things. Fighting siblings, someone who didn’t want to leave the house, someone who is hungry/thirsty/needs a toilet/bored/wants the iPad charged and so on.

This time around we decided to explore Berrima ….well after we’d been to Target for a quick trip to pick up a pair of shoes for the boy who came away with none (he had to wear his sister’s trainers into the shop). We did a walk of the area, the Berrima District Museum was fascinating and I enjoyed getting a book which finally put some answers to where our family started life in Australia and where they actually lived. The kids loved the exhibits and it’s only $5 entry for adults and free entry for children. The kids get a fun sheet to fill in which makes them really look at the exhibits and read about them. The war exhibition has iPads and you can search through and find records if you have an ancestor who was in the area and went to war. We were able to find one of ours and his photo and original war records. And afterwards we even managed to drive past the house where most of the family who lived in the area were born and lived. That was so great for me. I go through stages where I fill in more of my family tree on ancestry and am grateful to the certain members of my family who have researched and worked so hard to complete the family trees before me. Even just in the last year or so I’ve discovered trove and have added some newspaper clippings and interesting facts.

We enjoyed a delicious pub lunch at the Surveyor Inn. My big girl ended up sitting just under a picture of Ben Hall the bushranger she had just submitted an assignment on the day before. The food was great and it was so warm and cosy when it was cold and raining outside. No time for the Berrima Patchwork store with 6 little ones in tow but I did manage to find time for the Brown Shutter store which is a treasure trove. I came home with a few little goodies and must visit again. My time was limited with a few ‘helpers’ in the store and waiting outside. So many things in the shop, so little time (and money!).

Saturday night we headed to Bistro 146 for a family night out. Everyone had their best behaviour, the kids meals were a hit, I realised I’m such a stickler for tradition and ordered the barramundi for my main and creme brulee for dessert. It’s what I always seem to order if we eat out at a restaurant. The service was so warm and friendly and the open fire and food was a big hit. It was fully booked the night we went so make sure you book.

Sunday morning we cleaned, well I cleaned and the kids sat in the one spot trying not to make a mess, move a cushion or rug.

We had to visit the fudge shop for some gifts and a lolly for the ride home. Last minute lunch stop (McDonalds at Mittagong with plenty of other travellers) and an easy drive home.

I just love the peace and quiet of kangaroo valley. The air just smells so fresh, the history is wonderful and the people so friendly. Sure it gets busy with people on the weekend but when you are staying you can really just slow down and enjoy the slower pace. I read some books, did some crochet, kept little people clean and fed and got back home with a refreshed attitude (very important) and we were the first ones at school Monday morning (a great improvement from being late at my 2nd drop off lately).

If you haven’t been make sure you get down there. Hampden House is a very special house and every little bit of it is full of history. I love all the little knick knacks and finishing touches. Karen made the most beautiful Victoria sponge and we enjoyed it with a beautiful bottle of champagne (who doesn’t love champagne and cake). And she leaves you with a box of chocolates. There is also a great DVD and VCR collection. Oh yes my kids loved watching Mary Poppins and the ‘old’ ads before the movie on the VCR. Kids these days.

The garden kept them busy (under watchful eyes) and the flowers including the magnolias are so beautiful you just want to whip your camera out

All in all a beautiful weekend despite the dramas beforehand and a very big thank you to Karen the owner for having us back. Lots of happy memories made.



Losing myself in the 1800’s

I don’t watch a lot of TV, not even the news or current affairs anymore and it’s been a long while since I’ve fallen in love with a series. I think Big Love is the last one. Anyway, I was reading this book and Sally recommends watching Lark Rise to Candleford. One episode in and I was hooked. It just draws you in with the wonderful characters and story lines. Even the bigger kids of the house were hooked and looking forward to the next episodes. I ended up buying the DVD pack and managed to get my grandma through all of season 1 in one weekend.

Then I was on instagram and someone mentioned North & South on Netflix. In the space of 2 nights I watched all 4 episodes and was crying and oh so happy at the ending. Another beautiful mini series that just draws you in. North & South is also a history lesson as it takes you to the fictional town of Milton and the cotton mills. I found myself worrying about the starving children and whether the two main characters were finally going to fall in love.

What’s your favourite period drama right now? It can be a bit hard to find them on the Apple tv and I found Lark Rise on iTunes TV shows (until I realised it would be more economical to buy the complete DVD set) and North & South on Netflix and youtube here. I think next on my list is Cranford which also looks good……………

image source and video content property of BBC

entrechat shrug

You might remember I did a review of this book as soon as it arrived. I had been wanting to make this pattern before I had the book and it’s been in my favourites on ravelry for a while. I needed to make something quick and cute for a baby and decided this was the perfect project. I made the size 1 since it will be best worn in warmer weather. The pattern is knit in 1 piece, always a winner with me. And the decorative stitches are super easy to do.

You could probably whip this up in a couple of days but it took me about 3 weeks with a few rows here and there.

I love that you finish the shrug, weave in your ends, add the button and you are done. You should block this but this is how it looks unblocked and it’s come up beautifully. I used Bendigo Luxury in 10 ply in baby blossom and the button was from the button stash (purchased at Spotlight).

The mum is a new sewer so I think a stack of some pretty fabrics to make for a little girl will finish this present off perfectly. Ravelry details are here. You can find the pattern in the book and also on ravelry here to purchase. I loved it so much I’m thinking a 3 month size will be next on the needles. Well once I’ve finished crocheting grandma’s scarf and a baby blanket that I also am doing. So many projects, so little time……….you know how it goes.

magnolias and nearly 2 weeks of homeschool done

How beautiful are the magnolias at the moment. We had a big old tree at the front of our old house that I loved so much and then was thrilled to find not one but two trees here at the new house. Mind you they aren’t as big and the one in the front yard has much smaller flowers but I still love it.

We’ve made it through nearly 2 weeks of homeschooling. Everyone has been asking or messaging to check out how we’ve been going and I’m always happy to report it’s going well. Mornings are more relaxed, we are getting through our work, someone is trying to cover a wall in her artworks and doing a wonderful job of recreating Van Gogh masterpieces. You are able to see where their strengths really lie, the twin bond is even closer and we are having fun. Sometimes I get them to make quizzes for the other person and they have a bit of fun with that trying to make the hardest questions. We use car time for reading, ipads and Q&A on countries and capital cities.  

This week we’ve been reading Mr Popper’s Penguins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (my copy from primary school which is looking a little old and yellow but I loved that book so much). In Maths we are doing lots of sums and learning to carry over the 1 into the next column, art has been focused on Van Gogh and we are researching a country each for a little geography assignment. No surprise that our rugby  mad boy picked England. No homework is a real bonus for everyone and the little kids love having kids to play with them. I definitely have one super conscientious one and one who needs a bit more encouragement to put the footy down for a while.  Our aim is to hit the year 3 work by term 4  and they are pretty excited about that. It is a learning curve trying to pick the best materials when you start out because you’re not quite sure what will work. We are actually rotating between 4 maths books and my favourite is now the american one which at first I didn’t like and had regretted buying. Go figure! 

But you definitely feel more confident once you’ve started if that reassures anyone out there who is too nervous to start homeschooling. The nerves and worry kind of go away once you get stuck in.

quilted potholder

I loved putting this little project together because I had some mini charm squares. If you haven’t used mini charm squares yet then they really are cute. What I love about this project is that you make it with right sides together and then turn out. It saves you needing binding and is still fun to quilt on your machine.

Find all the instructions and step by step photos here

and we’re registered for homeschooling

I remember a friend told me she received her registration for homeschooling last year. I was thinking to myself wow she really does things by the book. I’d just homeschool without registering. Wrong. There was quite the paperwork at my end to get my homeschooling plan written up and approved. In fact I think NSW has the most requirements when it comes to homeschooling your children. And oh the fun I had reading through the curriculum. I hadn’t picked one up since I studied towards a grad dip ed many years ago. And I can’t tell you how much fun it is to read outcome after outcome in language I wouldn’t usually use. But I did it, I might have had a block of chocolate to get me through the last bit of it on Sunday night. But we are all approved and registered to homeschool.

There are so many reasons why families homeschool and that’s certainly the case for us especially with so many personalities in our family. And it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. That’s the short answer. I just needed to convince someone in the house.  We start homeschooling our twins next week and they are excited. I’m excited and a little nervous but mostly looking forward to it.

So here we are. I’ve got lots of great resources. You could go crazy spending money here there and everywhere but I’ve managed to keep books to a fairly reasonable budget with a few other resources thrown in to get us to the end of the year. I have read some amazing books and useful websites. We have a 12 month plan of what we are hoping to get through and that is what is required in NSW to register for homeschool. Although it was time consuming it gave me a great idea of what I wanted to do and the resources I would need. We created a learning space with a dining table that we weren’t using and with a bit of furniture rearranging.

I’m quite lucky that there are quite a few homeschooling groups near me and we have quite a number of homeschool families in our school community. They are the loveliest mums and some have been such a great help to me when I needed to suss out what was going to be right for me. I decided against an all in one curriculum and decided to pick and choose a bit from here and there so that I could include australian books for history, geography, maths and english but some US books for religion and reading.

Here are some great resources that really helped me and might help you too:

Beverley Paine

Her website and books were great for confirming what we needed to do and I think this is the best resource for Australian families.


The information on registering in NSW was super helpful and gave me lots of ideas to fill out my plan. Join them and they will send out a pack

Mulberry Magazine

Great inspiring online magazine with stories from australian families. Very inspiring and informative.

Suzie’s Home Education Ideas

Suzie very clearly spells out what you are required to do for NSW and how she did it. It was very helpful seeing her examples and photos. Thank you Suzie.

Ken Robinson’s TED talks even just for the entertainment value and if you need to convince someone else

Real Learning Education in the Heart of the Home

Elizabeth Foss’ amazing book that was so hard to track down for a reasonable price but worth every cent. If you can find her living book list here then it is a wonderful resource for planning the books you will read. I did find that the year 2 level was not what my children were reading so I picked a few books from the year 2 list and focused on the year 3 list as I have big readers who love their novels.

Five Senses Education (or a good educational bookstore) 

So many great books and I could just type in year 2 english or geography and lots of books came up

Modern Teaching Aids

Hide your credit card for this one. I did buy some cuisineaire rods for one little lady who really needs some help with understanding numbers and some magna tiles for all of the kids to play with. The magna tiles are a bit of a budget buster but I researched and decided they would be very helpful and also great for the preschoolers too.

Homeschooling Downunder

Lots of great advice and PDF booklets and books to buy.


Yes good old spotlight. We went a bit crazy on art supplies, desk accessories (we have some pretty neat desk caddies all filled up) and a few other supplies. Big W for lots of exercise books too.


This a huge list of aussie homeschooling blogs and you probably have your favourites from overseas. I know I have a few.

Special needs distance education NSW

I’m just putting this is in here for those of you who have someone with special needs in NSW. No one mentioned this to me. Now the twins aren’t special needs but this is something that I’m interested in for my littlest miss. I thought it might help someone out there to know about the program, your child needs an intellectual disability to be eligible and live in NSW.

And school starts next monday so let the fun begin………………….

pick any 2 charm square packs!

Thank you to everyone who has made purchases through my little shop. I had some Moda crossweave in black and it sold out in 2 days. Thank you. I’ll see how much is left and relist it. I do have white charm square packs which are wonderful to use if you love quick pinwheels or to make charm square quilts. And this week you can choose any 2 charm square packs for $36 so it’s a nice time to pick one you like and team it with another one you’d like to try or with a white charm square.

This is the youtube tutorial you want to make pinwheels. Super easy. Love Missouri Star Quilt Company’s tutorials and have you seen their new store. I need to go!

a little wallaby all finished

This is such a sweet pattern. Wallaby by tiKKi is available to knit in 4, 8 or 10 ply which gives you lots of options. I love knitting in 10 ply for the speed and also because it makes a nice warm little cardigan for a little baby.

I knit this little cardigan in Bendigo luxury 10 ply, the colour baby blossom is the most beautiful pink. Nice and soft and sweet.

You can find the patterns to buy here. It’s a top down pattern and the sleeves are knit on circulars or dpn’s once you’ve finished the body.

Buttons are from spotlight and the perfect addition.

Ravelry details are here 

how to make a cute t-shirt dress

Here is another project I made for Brother that my little girl just loves to wear. It’s so easy to pick up t-shirts like these one with a cute design or plain and then add a cute skirt and voila you have a cute t-shirt dress. You can find the full instructions here.

This little t-shirt was $5 at target, the fabric was in the stash and it was a perfect combo.

Happy sewing!

how to make a charm square quilt

Quite a few years ago I started writing a project on how to make a charm square quilt and I never finished it! Well now I have. I’ve probably had 2 babies in between.

You can find the step by step instructions and lots of photos over here on the Brother Australia website.

You might find it easier to buy your own premade binding. I have included instructions to make your own binding and even tried a new stitch to attach the binding.

It looked like this on my machine and worked a treat and a bit more forgiving than my usual blanket stitch.

Happy quilting! If you have a question just ask. I also still have some charm square packs left here in my etsy store if you are interested. Most are on sale! The binding and backing fabrics that I used can be found here.


making meals for others

I didn’t intend to be off the blog for that long but the rush of the end of term, a house full of sick people, my twins finishing school up to homeschool and some very sad news from our school have kept me away. We lost one of the mums in our class and it has just been such a sad time of shock, prayer and heartbreak. Heartbreak for a family because you just can’t imagine leaving your own family behind or losing your loving partner. Please keep them in your prayers.

One of the things I’ve been doing is pulling out my cookbooks and going through the blog, planning meals that take a bit longer but are loved by my family to share with the family in our class.

I thought I’d share a few of my favourites from the blog and I’ve offered some tips at the end for when I’m taking meals to others. If you’ve got a tip be sure to let me know as we always learn something new.

3 hour meatballs

Set aside your afternoon for this one but it’s top of my list this week. Drop off bread, salad and even a bag of pasta. I would put the meatballs in a container or two and freeze straight away. You could reheat in the oven or because it’s a very ‘saucy’ meal you could place in a saucepan and gently reheat that way.

3 hour meatballs

Chicken & Vegetable lasagne

I make this by doubling the ingredients, use fresh lasagne sheets and place into alfoil containers. If I’m making for another family then I don’t cook the lasagne. After assembling, I then wrap tightly in alfoil, place in a few grocery bags and freeze. It can be defrosted or go straight in the oven. I cook them in a 180C oven for at least 1 hour and a bit more if frozen. You have to adjust the cooking time depending on the size of the container you’ve used but when it’s golden and bubbling and cooked in the centre. You can also use beef mince in this recipe.

To make a vegetarian version you just replace the chicken mince with finely chopped vegetables. Just add more of the same that you have used like carrots, zucchini, celery. It’s delicious and I’ve made a few times.

Big meaty lasagne

Somehow I went from buying 500g mince to 1kgs and now I just buy 2kgs mince and cook all at once. Sign of a large family. This is a delicious recipe. I now double the quantities and do 2 at once. Always popular.

Super easy chicken pie

One of the most popular recipes on the blog. So easy and so delicious.

so good

family roast

This is a delicious chicken roast baked in cider. Super delicious and easy. I would make this and then place all in a big foil roasting tray and take to the family. One of the dishes that I would let them know you’ve got dinner covered that night.

date night risotto

You can play around with the fillings for this one but it’s delicious. Also the chicken and lemon risotto is also delicious. I would make the risotto. Place dabs of butter and some grated cheese on top, wrap it all up tightly in foil then freeze or take to the family. Nice with a salad and garlic bread


roast chicken and smoky sweet potatoes

chicken and chorizo with quinoa

red chicken

Why yes, I do love chicken!



broccoli and cherry tomato quiche

great for the vegetarians, health nuts or for lunches. Quiche is so great with a salad and garlic bread or crusty bread.

quiche maraichere


golden cheese on top

And now for some sweet treats


Cinnamon Rolls

Don’t be alarmed by the huge quantities. Make them to keep and give away. For our family I do them in our own dishes and then half the rolls go into foil trays. Wrap tightly in foil, freeze and then don’t take long to heat up in the oven from frozen. You will become everyone’s best friend with this recipe…well except for your jeans.

it doesn't take long to eat them

Apricot Cake

all time favourite from one of my all time favourite cookbooks, monday morning cooking club. If you don’t have the book and love to cook for other people then get it! I’ve put the thermomix instructions for you in the recipe.

apricots are on

lemon blueberry cake

my best ever chocolate brownies

I don’t even make another brownie recipe, only this one. Been making it since before I got married and never switching to another one. I’ve included instructions for big quantities too.

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

an oldie but a goodie and everyone loves it!

best ever banana bread


A few last tips I’ve learnt from taking meals to another family

make it as easy as possible, no dishes to wash or return

a sweet treat never goes astray

write the ingredients and cooking time. Put in options for defrosting and cooking frozen.

think of side dishes. Garlic bread and a salad bag are easy to pop in a freezer bag with your dish

check there are no allergies/dietary requirements for the family

supermarkets have a pretty good range of alfoil containers including ones with lids and also party stores have a great supply as well

think of the family size when cooking the meal

pinterest is FULL of ideas for meals to make ahead and freeze

double the ingredients and cook one for your family and one to give away

I don’t cook my lasagnes anymore. I prepare the lasagne, wrap it all up tightly and freeze and let the family cook it. It seems to taste better that way.


I added some more bonnie & camille

I just added some more bonnie & camille to the store and the handmade bundle is the ultimate for the fabric lover! I would like to keep it for myself but might get in trouble if I do. You can find it here.

il_570xN.992731482_olf9 (1)

And I also have some fabrics on bolts (7 all up) which I’m in the process of listing, starting here. If you want a custom order just let me know. Only too happy to help:)

just like clifford the big red dog

Here is my 4 1/2 month old puppy! HUGE! Clifford the big red dog comes to mind when I think about our puppy. Still one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received and definitely the funniest. He’s a very good boy, still toilet training, makes us laugh, the kids love him to bits and all need to say hi to him first thing in the morning, last thing at night and as soon as they come in the door. He needs his first trip to the groomers for some trimming around his face but he’s such a fun big/little dog and look he even smiles for the camera!

Now I also have to tell you that I will be a little quieter than usual online. I made the decision about a month or so ago to stop ‘working’ on the blog and leaving sponsored posts behind. Life is so busy and newsflash….it doesn’t get quieter or easier once they start school. And wait until I tell you that I start homeschooling 2 of them next term. That’s a whole new post (or series of posts on that topic). It is the hugest relief not to have lots of emails to answer and deadlines and to just take a step back. I’m selling fabric and still doing the social media for the hospital and I love both of those jobs as they are small and manageable and don’t take over my life the way running a blog does these days. It had actually been my goal since little lawson came along but took a while to get there.

I still love my blog and will of course be keeping it here but it is just the best feeling in the world and the biggest load off my shoulders to go back to the very first years of blogging and just blog when I feel like it and stop the business end of things. So I’m still here, I’m so grateful for everyone who still follows along and look forward to having a bit more time for craft and doing the things I haven’t found the time for. I think someone else in the house is hoping I become super organised with the laundry but I think that would mean giving up the craft. And that’s not happening anytime soon!

pre-release fabrics now in stock

It was a happy mail day but when pre-release fabrics from Quilt Market arrived on my doorstep. Mind you I was in the middle of birthday party preparations so had to get up early on saturday and list a few things. And I still have a couple of things to list but am almost done. The latest range from Bonnie & Camille is ‘Handmade’ and just gorgeous and the others are full of beautiful florals and amazing colours. I was only going to do an order for Bonnie & Camille but fell in love with a few too many ranges.

You can see what I have on offer here. And I even got a bit of quilting done recently. I thought it would be a good idea to do a how to make a charm square quilt because I did start with the instructions a few years ago and never finished it. In fact I think I’ve had 2 babies in between. Well I started and then realised there is so much to share so it took me 2 weeks and I’ve just sent it off to Brother and can’t wait for them to share it. I used a Little Ruby charm square pack and loved all the colours. It’s now on the couch looking beautiful.

I also asked my little miss to model it. She thought she was pretty funny doing this. I can’t tell you how many words she is saying or how chatty she is at the moment but it just gets better and better. She loves going to school and is learning the alphabet and numbers and doing so well.

my top tips for getting out the door in the morning!

brought to you by Nissan

This year my school run involves 3 schools every morning and if I’m not out the door and in the car by a certain time then it’s all over. Well, no not really, it just means that someone is going to be late for school. So I’m running on a tight schedule and getting 7 people (including myself) out the door every single morning, dressed, fed and on time can be a challenge.

Here is how I do it!

1.Clothes out the night before including my own

Yes, every night I lay out everyone’s clothes including my own. That doesn’t mean that I spend hours planning my outfit for the day or what we will all wear, I just do a quick grab of what everyone needs. The big kids are responsible for gathering most of their uniforms together, I just place an ironed shirt on top. The baby of the family will have a nappy and packet of wipes next to his clothes. It’s a time saver so that if you are running late or short of time at least you have your clothes sorted. I started doing it when the twins came along and haven’t stopped. 

2. Get up with the birds

As much as I’d love an extra 10 minutes in bed, I need to be up and at ’em at 6am. Or everything goes downhill. So I’ve learned to love seeing the sun come up and embrace the early morning, even if it means early to bed the night before. I use the first half hour of the day to make coffee, pack lunches into bags and enjoy my breakfast in some peace and quiet before the craziness begins.

3. The big clock in the kitchen is 5 minutes fast

Everyone in our house looks at the wall clock in the kitchen to see how they are going for time. So by having it 5 minutes faster we always have enough time to get to the car with a few minutes to spare. Because no matter how organised you are there will always be someone who forgot their library bag/hat/sports bag/lunchbox and needs to go back inside.

4. Warm showers when necessary

Now this might sound like it is making work for you but just as us mums like a nice warm shower to start our day so do some of the little ones. If I have someone who is not so happy about going to school, a quick shower seems to do the trick especially in winter. They seem to get moving a bit faster and be in a better mood. I don’t do this every day or every week (only when needed) and it’s a good little trick to have up your sleeve.

5. Keep a shoe basket by the front door

I only started the shoe basket last year when I got sick of the shoes piled by the front door. Each week I give the basket a quick clear-out and put extra shoes back in bedrooms. The golden rule is that each child needs at least 1 pair of shoes in the shoe basket. That way if we have to duck out to do something there are no excuses or time wasted trying to find someone’s shoe or a pair of shoes so we can leave the house. I can’t tell you how many times we’d be ready to leave the house and someone would announce that they couldn’t find a pair of shoes or their other shoe. Problem solved!

6. Lunches in the fridge and always have bread in your freezer

I do most of the lunchboxes the night before and when I’m feeling super organised might do sandwiches the night before too. I always have at least 1 or 2 loaves of bread in my freezer so I always have something for lunchboxes, and also because it’s nearly impossible for me just to run up to the shops for a loaf of bread with my entourage. So that extra loaf in the freezer saves me, and everyone gets vegemite sandwiches in their lunchbox on those days.

7. Breakfast on the go

When I do the sandwiches I make a few extra and put them on the kitchen counter with bananas and a muesli bar or two. My not so early birds can grab breakfast to eat in the car. And if you’re one of my 3 big kids then you can make toast for the little ones while you are making your own. It’s something that is such a big help to me and even the little ones can get a plate to help out. Would you look at that sweet little face?

8. Always top up your nappy bag and check your hand bag when you get in the door

When I was pregnant with my twins I read every book there was on expecting twins and read some of them more than once. I thought that way I’d be fully prepared and able to handle everything. Ha ha! The best piece of advice that I took from those books was having the nappy bag always packed and ready by the door. And to do that you top it up when you get in rather than leave it to when you are getting ready to go. Make sure you’ve got the spare clothes, nappies, wipes and other baby stuff. That means whenever you need to run out the door or make a last minute trip you just grab the bag and you know everything is in there. Same goes with the handbag; always check it has everything in it when you get into the house, rather than just before you want to leave the house.

9. You are responsible for getting your school bag to the car

This starts early and even the pre-schoolers of the house know to take their bag to the car and put it in. If the kids see my handbag outside the front door then they know to bring it out to the car too so I don’t forget it. Because sometimes in all the rush of getting 6 little people out the door my bag makes it outside the house but not always to the car. Now, as you can see there is plenty of room in the Nissan Pathfinder for all the school bags. The automatic boot opener makes the school car line a dream as you don’t need to get out, because I can just press a button and the boot opens all the way up for them. This means kids don’t slam the boot down as you just press a button and down it goes. I never need to worry about little fingers getting caught because it has a sensor function that prevents this! Very civilised and not a feature on my big van.

10. No one is allowed outside while a car is moving in the driveway

We don’t start the engine until everyone is in the car. And in our family, you need to either be in the car or inside the house. It’s a rule we set up when we had only little ones because I was terrified that with 3 little ones something could happen and someone could end behind a car, with tragic consequences. It’s a good idea to start these things when children are young even if you think it’s a bit OTT. But with 6 children under the age of 10 it’s something I’m glad we started. Whilst our van has sensors, it doesn’t have a reversing camera and certainly nothing like the camera that the Pathfinder has. It gives you great visibility (360 degrees around the vehicle!) and an extra level of protection and comfort when reversing.  


My time with the Nissan Pathfinder has come to an end and I’m definitely sad to give it back. We’ve enjoyed it for our everyday driving as well as special trips out. And that entertainment system. Oh boy, it’s back to just the radio and CD’s again in our van. That’s going to be a tough adjustment as we’ve been loving the DVD’s playing in the back of the Pathfinder.


Now I know that you’ll be wondering how we got everyone in, and as mums you’ll love to know how many car seats can you fit in a car and how many anchor points does it come with? Well we have 3 in baby car seats/booster seats and 3 who don’t require a car seat. We set up the Pathfinder with our car seats so we had 2 in the middle row and a 3rd car seat in the back row. The middle row of the Pathfinder has a great feature whereby the left and right seats both fold down and slide forward easily to access the back. Sometimes if we didn’t have one of the children with us then my twins would climb into the boot and sit in the back row.

You could also fit 3 slimline car seats into the middle row of the Pathfinder or you could do what we did, which is have 1 car seat in the back row and 2 in the middle row.  Either way, there is plenty of legroom for everyone.  And as you can see when we took a trip to Grandma’s on a school day with just 2 in the back it was practically palatial.

If all my tips for getting you out the door in the morning with kids fail, you could always try what this mum did.