hug in a box

September Inspiration

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

Welcome to the month of “BACK TO SCHOOL” and all that jazz.  If you are a mum like me, facing the school run and all that entails then maybe you need a bit of inspiration in your life right now. Here are some of my fave things for September:

  • Standing in the gap, standing at the gates – I have to admit I’m a little scared about being a mum at the school gates.  So reading this article was really interesting about how one couple used this opportunity to connect with new people and share the gospel.
  • Playtime: Action Songs for Toddlers – Being launched at the playtime conference, this is a CD of fun action songs for your Christian toddler group.  Only £5.99 so well worth the investment!
  • HUG IN A BOX – I think these are amazing – who wouldn’t want to receive a hug in a box???!  From Bitty Button, there a various different ones that anyone would love. hug in a box
  • Free Parenting Ebook – The Good Book Company are offering free ebooks every month, and September’s is called “Gospel Centred Family”.
  • Meal time grace placemat – If you want a visual reminder for your under 5’s as to what to say during grace, then this is a fantastic free printable you can use.
  • ASK ME – UCB Radio have created a new resource for everyone to use to help us in our personal evangelism.
  • Moana: Finding God in Movies – A really interesting video exploring the biblical themes in Moana.


cuppa with martha moger

A Cuppa with Gidsy and Jo

gidsy and jo

IT’S BACK!!!  Yes, your favourite tea time interview series is returning, and this time with a creative theme.  I have been speaking to lots of creative Christians to find out what inspires and motivates them.  So snuggle up on the sofa with your favourite mug as we chat with our first cuppa with our first suspect…..

1. Introduce yourself to us in one sentence ….

I’m Martha – I design embroidery and sewing projects for mums to do with and for their kids, then write all about it on my blog ‘Gidsy and Jo’.

2. What is it that you make?handmade dolls

Although I started out making soft toys for my sons and their friends, I realised that so many mums I knew wanted to make and craft for themselves, it might be better to turn the toys into beautiful, high quality kits that mums could afford. Making bespoke soft toys can be a pretty expensive product! At the moment I sell on Etsy and Not on the High Street, but my big passion is writing about creativity and creating projects for the web. I do this on my blog and guest post on some others too. Basically, if I can enable you to make something you’ll be proud of, then that’s what I want to do!

3. Tell us the story of how it all started.

embroidery mermaidI’ve got a degree in textiles and embroidery and worked sourcing shoes for the high street after I finished uni. At that time I was travelling quite a bit and learnt a lot about how products are sourced and developed overseas, then brought back to the UK high street to sell. After I had my first son the place I was working at told me I could go back full time or not at all. Faced with that choice I chose the latter. My boys are quite close in age (18 months apart) and by the time the little one was about eight months old and I was up to my eyes in nappies and sleepless nights, I found I was desperate for a creative outlet. I couldn’t get my head round making anything – I was just too tired! Somehow I stumbled on a blog from a link out of Etsy and thought I’d like to have a go at it. My husband set up my first blog. I had no idea how to use WordPress, take good photos, or what to write about, but over the space of about three years I just kept posting, really for myself, and had also started an Etsy shop. When my youngest son went to school last September, I decided to really concentrate on growing my products and my blog and write for other people, to solve their problems, rather than for myself. Although there are quite a lot of ups and downs, I feel incredibly fortunate to have that opportunity.

4. How do you include your faith into your work and what you make?

I think we’re made to glorify God and enjoy Him and be satisfied and reliant on Him, and I don’t think that having a faith means you have to make creative work specifically about what you believe to do that. God’s nature is as the most wonderful creator there ever was, so making things is in His likeness. When we do that to serve and help other people, and do it as beautifully and excellently as we can in the world, I think that’s an expression of being like Jesus. I talk to Him every day and ask for the wisdom to take my business forward and to hold it lightly and not let it become more important than He is.

5. Do you have anything to encourage us?!

My encouragement would be that nothing, not even doing what you love (because it’s always fraught with uncertainty, doubt, highs and lows!) can give you satisfaction or security like knowing Jesus will. Also, something I’m learning is to trust Him more, so that when my plans don’t come out the way I thought, I know He’s still in charge and it’s still all good.

6. Please share a photo of your favourite mug! 

This is a mug my sister bought for me and I love it. You can’t beat a bit of pattern and colour in my book!Martha Mogers favourite mug

Thank you so much for taking the time to have a cuppa with us Martha!  If you would like to find out more about Martha’s awesome materials, and her free online course to get your making more, then you can find her:

Blog: Gidsy and Jo
Free Course: A short, free email course to help mums make more of what they love.
Facebook: Gidsy and Jo

August Inspiration

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

So August will probably be a pretty quiet month from me here, but I still wanted to share some great links and likes that I have found in the middle of summer holiday fun!  Enjoy and do share anything great you have found on the internet…

  • Googly eye bombing – now isn’t this just the most fun thing ever?!!!  I must make a note to invest in some giant googly eyes so I can go out and spread some cheer in my neighbourhood!
  • Bible out and about photo competition – The Bible Society is always thinking of new and imaginative ways to get us reading our bibles, and this competition is no different.  I guess it is designed to make us take our bibles on holiday rather than leaving them at home, so get snapping and sharing…
  • Faith at home in the summer holidays – a great blog post from Victoria at Godventure (one of my favourites) about how to keep faith in out activities over the summer holidays.  Lots of ideas and links in here for you all.
cheerfully given

Mum on a Mission’s Cheerfully Given New Website Round Up


cheerfully given

 Yesterday I received my Cheerfully Given crowdfunder’s mug in the post!  So I thought I would share with you all some of my fave things on their new website (which is so pretty!).  I got a chance to have a look round during their launch party treasure hunt which was lots of fun, and I really recommend having a bit of a browse, especially in the “meet the makers” section.  I am planning to do most of my Christmas shopping on there….

Bible Journaling section
Stationery Section
Accessories Section
Prints and Art Section
Homeware Section


All photos taken from the Cheerfully Given website – new products being added so please visit for up-to-date prices and products!

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

May Monthly Inspiration

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

I am super excited about May as it is the month I get to go on holiday with my little family, but before I get stuck into planning for that, here are a few links to inspire you…..

birthday on a budget

Birthday on a budget – Mr Man themed ideas

birthday on a budget

If you missed part 1 of my “Birthday on a budget” series then read it here.  It contains all the principles that you need to plan a cheap but amazing party.  In this post I am going to be talking about the ideas I have put together for my eldest sons Mr Man themed party.

party bags

So every kids loves a party bag, and I love to give unique things to people too.  So instead of traditional party bags with rubbishy plastic toys in them that noone plays with, I have ordered every child a Mr Man book.  Now this sounds expensive doesn’t it?!  But by going via ebay I managed to get a job lot of 10 Mr Man books for only £4.  I am going to use some Mr Man party bags which cost about £2 for 8 via ebay.  Add a few maoam and a slice of cake and its sorted!


As we already have most of the Mr Man library collection, I thought I might use them to decorate the room rather than having to buy new costly decoration that will just get thrown out.  I am going to hang string from the corners and then put the Mr Man books over the string (much like people do with christmas cards in December).

birthday cake

I love to make my own, but sometimes buying everything to decorate it can cost just as much as buying one!  I am going simple again and make a Mr Bump cake.  It can be round (I already have round cake tins so thats easy!) and I only need two icing colours – blue and white.  Then I can use a black icing pen for the details.

party games

I am going to stick with some of the classics and just add a Mr Man theme to them.  For pass the parcel I bought some Mr Man stickers in the sale after christmas so those will be the prizes in the middle (not sure I will put sweets in all the layers because I’m stingy!!).  I am going to make my own “pin the nose on Mr Nosey” game with some old wall paper I have stashed away.  Who can resist the very cheap games of musical statues and musical chairs?  All you need for those is a bag of lollies or sweets for the winner to pick from.  Finally, I spotted this great Mr Man themed take on the bean game where you call out Mr Man characters and the kids have to walk round in a circle doing the related action.

Party food

I have already stocked up on pizzas (£1 each) and chips.  I am staying simple!  Kids love pizza and its easy to cook.  Pudding will most likely be birthday cake, although I may splash out and make something else the night before.


monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

April Monthly Inspiration

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

I have had such a busy start to the month of April and I am absolutely buzzing!!  I have spotted lots of fantastic links, articles, freebies and articles to inspire you so please enjoy……

  • Beauty and the Beast write up – there has been lots of stuff going round about the new Beauty and the Beast film, but this blog post was really powerful in summing it up to me.  Take a read.
  • Generosity when our kids are awake? – I love this article on the Stewardship website.  It really struck home to me that kids will copy our actions, so why should we do the important things like being generous when they are asleep?
  • Neighbourhood Prayer Network – ok so I am still struggling to register my street as it is a new estate, but I love the idea of every street in the UK being prayed for.  Have you registered yours?
  • Sewing with boys – Martha from Gidsy and Jo shares how she has been encouraging her boys to try sewing using pirates.  A great read and a free printable that you can use at home!
  • Creative Bea – If you are in to bible journaling then you will definitely want to check out this webshop.  It has some amazing stamps and stickers to use in your bible creatively.  There is even a free printable that you can cut out and use.
  • What would Disney princesses look as mothers? – have you ever pondered that question?!!  Well someone on the internet has and created this.  Just a bit of fun but I loved the picture of Belle breastfeeding!!
  • Message Bible Lock Screens – I love pretty phone lock screens (if you do too then check out the free ones in our Mummy Meditations Facebook group!) and I also love the Message version of the bible with its poetic phrases.  The Message have now released some free phone screen downloads inspired by their Canvas Bible.
  • UCB free journal – At the moment, if you sign up to the UCB free daily devotional you will also get a free prayer journal, which is pretty cool.
birthday on a budget

Birthday on a Budget

birthday on a budget

We all know that birthday parties can cost an arm and leg, especially for little ones.  Well, I for one am loathed to spend over the odds on 2 hours of fun for too many screaming kids that won’t even remember it!  I am a mum on a mission to organise the best party possible for my almost four year old son, but not break the bank doing it.  If that’s you too, then here are my basic principles that I am adopting as I start this process (you’ll have to come back to see how well I do!)

principle 1 – pick a cheap venue

I would advise against the play centre or “popular” party location, as these tend to be very expensive.  Instead, pick a smaller and cheaper venue for your party.  I am going to host Sam’s party in our own home, which is free!  But if you would rather not have lots of kids on your own turf, then why not look into hiring a church hall or small community venue close to you.  They are often quite affordable to hire out for a couple of hours.  I am hoping that the weather will smile on us and the party can go into the garden.

Principle 2 – limit the number of guests

Yes you may want to invite every child your kid has ever had contact with, but then the costs start to mount up.  Why not limit the total number of kids at the party to 8.  Why 8?  Well this is the standard number that party related things come in packs of (party bags, cups, plates etc) so will mean you can save money further on down the line.  Ask you child who they definitely want to be there, and then work from that.  Don’t succumb to the guilt of “they invited me to their party so I have to invite them to mine” – no you don’t.  It is totally your decision who is invited to your child’s party (or if you even have one for them!).

Principle 3 – text out the invites

It is lovely to have a posted/printed invitation, but its just as easy to text all the mums involved or print a quick black and white invite on your own printer to those kids whose parents you don’t know.  Alternatively, look in shops during the sales for reduced invitations and party decorations.

Principle 4 – choose a simple theme

If you go over the top on a theme then decorations and invites are going to cost a lot.  Instead, choose one simple thing that your child likes at the moment and go with it.  I am choosing Mr Men for Sam, as he loves the story books.  But I am not going to go out and buy ridiculous amounts of Mr Men decorations.  He won’t remember that!  Spend money on the things that matter – the birthday cake, the food and few party games in the theme.

Principle 5 – choose a simple menu

Small children will never eat loads at a party, and if they don’t eat much its not the end of the world.  I personally hate cold party buffets, so I am going for the simple menu of pizza and chips.  Unhealthy – yes!  But as a one off party meal that’s OK.  This menu will be simple to cook, tasty and more filling that a cold buffet.  I will do some Mr Men themed biscuits for pudding perhaps, and then the birthday cake (which can go into party bags at the end).   Simple and cheap!

Principle 6 – make your own entertainment

Why pay someone else to entertain your kids, when most of the time they can entertain themselves?!  I am going to do a couple of pass the parcels, a couple of  prizes for musical statues and chairs and maybe I will even stretch to do flap the fish or balloon volleyball. I might even do a Mr Man themed pin the tail on the donkey style activity! Add a bit of kids music and they are happy for a good hour.  You don’t need to spend money on outside entertainment for a good kids party.  If you kids are creative then you could plan a craft, or if they are sporty plan a game of football.  Whatever your kids are into, plan some themed entertainment around that.

principle 7 – make you own party bags

I am willing to accept that you will probably need to buy the party bags themselves, but why not do a bit of bargain hunting to find some quality themed items to go inside them.  You can then set the budget, and you can avoid the really cheap rubbish that just gets thrown into the bin the second it is taken out of the party bag.  Or instead choose a nicer item that goes with the theme for everyone to take home.  I am contemplating whether to give everyone a Mr Man book in their party bag for Sam’s party.

running a birthday party on a budget

mum on a mission reviews the treasure box people

Mum on a Mission Reviews The Treasure Box People

mum on a mission reviews the treasure box peopleLast month I was sent an amazing gift for me and Sam to review – a TREASURE BOX!!!!  Please start off by watching my video about it, and I am going to share some more thoughts about the time me and Sam spent doing the activities below…..

Well what a month we have had.  In the midst of other things, we have kept coming back to our Treasure Box and Sam has definitely learnt lots about the story of the wise and foolish builder.  I love the way that with so many activities provided in this subscription box that I could stretch out that learning over a few nights.  On the first night we read the story book together (with duplo bricks next to us).  Then my mum taught Sam the song about wise man built his house upon the rock (a classic!) which got him even more excited.

book of wise and foolish builder

Story book included in the Treasure Box

The four related activities included in the box we reviewed:
  • Sand Cross
  • Rain stick
  • Family House keyring
  • Slate drawing
activity instruction booklets

Activity instruction booklets included in the treasure box

How did Sam get on?

I have to say that all of them were well thought out, and the homemade rain stick was genious!!  We did the rain stick first as Sam is obsessed with rice.  He loved the sound that it made, so then we read through the story book again together with him making the sound of the rain every time it was mentioned.  I had to help him a bit with the gluing but otherwise it was great activity for him.

Another night we made the sand cross.  This was a slightly harder for Sam as the peeling off sections was tricky.  An older child would have loved doing this themselves.  Sam loved choosing the colours and hanging his finished cross on our balcony door handle.  He made the connection really easily between the sand cross and the man who built on the sand, and we chatted through the story the entire time we were making it.

The last two activities were slightly harder for Sam as his drawing isn’t great, but he still had a go at making his keyring (my personal favourite as its so cute!) and slate. Here are Sam’s creations:

Sam's creations

My overall opinion

Out of all the things I get sent free to review, this has to be one of my favourites.  I could genuinely see the excitement on Sam’s face to do the activities, and the delight when he learnt a part of the story better.  It meant we had many more bible related conversations, and helped us as parents to teach him the principle of why we should build our lives upon Jesus, the solid rock.  I honestly don’t think that as a tired, sleep deprived, cranky parent I could come up with anything half as good as this.  Yes maybe I might have one day where I am super pumped and inspired, but probably not every month.  It is great value for money, and if you want to invest in your family’s bible knowledge together then I would highly recommend this.  It is delivered straight to your door with everything you could possibly need.

the details

So here is what you all want to know – what are the details on how much and how to get hold of them.  There are various option:treasure box people logo

  • 1 month will cost you £10 (thats nothing!  give it a try….) and you can set up a rolling subscription that you can cancel at any time.
  • 1 bumper box (if you have extra kids!) will cost £15
  • 6 months will cost you only £55 up front (£80 for bumper sized)
  • 12 months will cost £100 up front (£150 for bumper sized)

You can read more about the lovely people who started the Treasure Box idea and subscribe now (you know you want to!) by visiting the Treasure Box People’s website.  Why not buy one and see how you go?  Or buy one as a birthday present for someone instead of a toy? Or….

Try one for free???!

I am hosting a giveaway on my facebook page up until 7th April 2017, so make sure you hop over and enter for your chance to try a Treasure Box absolutely free!

one month treasure box

Halfway Through our 40acts Adventure!

mum on a mission takes on 40 acts

We have now passed the halfway mark in Lent and our 40acts adventure!  And I have to say that I am both loving it and being really challenged along the way.  The last two days have been particularly poignant with the dark events in London, and have brought an even greater focus on why we should be generous and a light in the darkness.

My eldest son, Sam, is also challenging me with his boldness in being generous.  We went out with the last of my box of freddo’s (which I had done miserably at getting rid of on the train to Edinburgh last week) and he wanted to make sure everyone got one.  Even the random passers by got chased after and chocolate thrust into their hands! We went from childrens centre, to library, to post office, to park, to bus shelter.  Everywhere we could think and to everyone we normally interact with during the week to make sure they got a special treat.  We even made sure to save some for our neighbours who Sam had mentioned on the previous day’s facebook live video.

Here are my highlights since my last update:

  • Trying to give away a full box of freddo’s on chocolate tuesday and mostly failing!!
  • Giving away two bunches of flowers to two lovely ladies who have been bowled over by Sam’ thoughtfulness
  • Writing chalk messages on the car park of our estate for everyone to enjoy
  • People giving Sam lots of pennies for his generosity box whenever they visit
  • Doing my first prayer walk with Sam on the way home from nursery
  • Giving Sam’s swimming teacher (who he torments in his lessons!) a chocolate and leaving even more chocolates in the lockers
  • Sending my boss a thank you card for all she does for me and her letting me know how much that meant
  • Leaving trolley coins in a trolley
  • Sam handing out “compliments” from the take a compliments poster to all the mums in our stay and play session
Closing thought

With still a long way to go before we reach Easter, it might be easy to start getting tired of being generous.  But I know that the impact it makes is worth it.  In my Mummy Meditations group, we have been looking at the following verse, and for me I like to think that everyone I come into contact with might just be an angel and I don’t know it…..

Be ready with a meal or a bed when its needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!” Hebrews 13:2