Happy list

At times its felt like Spring has been getting through as we’ve managed to catch some great weather during the last few weeks. Yet at other times it’s been feeling so cold and wet like autumn all over again. Oh how I long for a long spell of sun and warmth! I can’t really complain though, as we’ve managed the beach and the moors this month, we love being outdoors!

1. Paddling in the sea! Who would have thought given some of the awful weather we’ve been having, that the kids would be paddling in the sea! We had a wonderful afternoon at Milbay one of the beaches near us with my sister in law and kiddies. The kids all stripped down to their undies and ran around on the sand and ran in and out of the sea. I got some fab photos, one of my favourites below. Can’t wait for more days on the beach like this as the weather slowly improves (hopefully!).

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2. Sport relief mile. I was so proud the whole family joined in with sport relief to raise some money for a wonderful cause. My hubby, son (5) and daughter (23 months) all ran 1 mile and I ran 6 miles. It was so cold, a million miles away from our day on the beach (above). I knew it would be my last run before my operation, so I was so proud to have made the 6 miles. All together we raised £55 for Sport relief. It was lovely to see my son enjoy running, hopefully it will be something he continues and my daughter made a good effort in too, even if she did get carried some of the way!

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3. My operation. I wouldn’t say this was a highlight, but it has been an eye opener! I had an umbilical hernia repair, quite minor surgery, in March. The recovery has been so much harder than I ever could have imagined and I had a bit of a bumpy ride. It’s been so hard not being able to look after the children like I normally do. Strictly no lifting for 6 weeks will be a challenge with my toddler! You can read more about my hernia experience in this post Why I’m putting my feet up

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4. Easter! Easter coincided with my op this year so I was more reliant on hubby to play the Easter bunny role! I’m normally out in the garden at night all weathers hiding the eggs, but it was hubby’s turn this year. I did manage to arrange the egg baskets and hide some eggs around the house though. The kids loved coming downstairs on Easter Sunday to find the Easter bunny had visited and left them their Easter baskets. So cute. My little boy ate far too much chocolate though and woke up being sick in the night! Poor hubby had to deal with it (shame that) and my son is now put off chocolate! I’m sure he’ll regain his love for it soon enough!

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5. Family Easter dinners. It was great to catch up with all the family over Easter weekend, although I probably could have done with a quieter one! The kids as usual loved being together and playing. The adults enjoyed some great food, thanks to my mother in law, aunts and mum. We even managed an Easter egg hunt or two I between the march showers, which the kids loved (below). They got more chocolate than anyone could ever need or want. In fact I’m still getting through it now (!) and even thrown some of it away. The kids haven’t even noticed! Wish I could get it to the children refugees in France somehow.

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6. Ladies that lunch! My lovely mum came and took me and the little lady out for lunch a few days after my op and Easter, whilst my hubby took my son for some boy time at Woodlands. It was nice and relaxing and I even managed a little walk in the meadow which my daughter really enjoyed. The weather wasn’t too bad either! My mums helped me so much whilst I’ve been recovering and taken the kids and I out so we’re not stuck in (I haven’t been able to drive) bless her. My mum is amazing.

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7. Proud work moment. I attended a work award ceremony this month with my colleague who had been nominated for an award. She was nominated for the nom-clinical individual award, for her contribution to supporting the health service. I was so proud to accompany her and then watch her get awarded in her category! So proud of her, it was well over due and so well deserved! We enjoyed a lovely meal and a couple of drinks too!

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8. Dartmoor walk & picnic. We met our lovely friends for day out on Dartmoor for a walk and picnic. We were so lucky with the weather, it was dry and the sun came out! We walked a goof few miles across the moor alongside a river (this was pre op of course!) and found a lovely spot to enjoy our picnic. It was great to see my son running around, picking up sticks and clambering across the rocks. My little lady did manage to fall in to some cow poo with beloved teddy, so teddy (actually a rabbit) had its first wash in 2 years that evening! That was interesting!

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9. Mummy & daughter time. At the beginning of the month my daughter and I had a morning out just the two of us. It was such a lovely morning and we had nothing planned, so I thought, right that’s it we’re going to the beach! So I packed us some snacks and warm clothes and off we went. We are lucky there are beaches just 10 mins drive away so we can pop there any time. Although the sun was out, it was quite chilly and we sat on the beach cuddled in eating our snack! Afterwards we went for a walk in some woods that are just behind the beach and looked at the wonderful views across the beach.

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10. Family and Daddy time. It’s always lovely when we all get to spend some time together as a family! We went to a garden centre for a bite to eat and then went for a walk along the river and around the meadow. Again , the weather was on our side and we managed a lovely walk. I really did try to cram in as much walking as possible before my op! The kids love it when daddy and I are both with them. It’s so important to spend quality time together.

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Better late than never as they say! It’s absolutely amazing that I find myself in March 2016 already! But yet here I am and retrospectively reflecting back on the weeks and months that have been and gone. It’s been a manic year so far personally and at work. I feel like we have crammed so much in and the year ahead doesn’t seem to be letting up any time either! But that’s how I like it, life’s more interesting when it’s busy!

January highlights

1. Discovering a new baking recipe! For New Year’s Eve I baked a gorgeous chocolate and banana cake with two different chocolate icings, for my friends New Year’s Eve party. I love baking and trying new things. With this cake I hadn’t a clue what I was doing really, just made it up as I went along and I was quite impressed. I might share the recipe one day!

2. My friends New Year’s Eve party. We all went up to my friends to stay for New Year’s Eve this year. We normally always spend new year with our friends, it’s become a kind of tradition now. This year they held a party for all the kids and adults, with lots of fun party games (including the brilliant ‘pie face’) and a lovely spread of party food. I took my chocolate and banana cake to contribute! Needless to say a few drinks were enjoyed and we danced the night away!

3. My January fitness challenge. I was lucky enough to work with Sportsshoes who set me a running challenging which I undertook during January. This was just what I needed to kick start the new year, it really motivated me to get out there and run. For each week in January I had to complete one treadmill run in the gym and one outdoor trail run and write a diary about how the different activities made me feel. You can read all about it here My January Fitness Challenge

4. Going out to a fancy dress party! Well, I can’t actually remember the last time I danced all night…hang on a minute, yes New Year’s Eve of course! So it sounds like I’ve done a lot if partying in January doesnt it?! Well at least it cured any January blues! The hubby and I had a great laugh getting dressed up as Fredfie Mercury and Brittney Spears for some friends birthday party!

5. Making a fool of myself! I had a classic ‘you’ve been framed moment’ in the park with my sister, brother and all the kids. So for a laugh I decided to get in the baby swing and when I got stuck the laugh was at my expense! My lovely siblings instead of helping me, they filmed the whole thing! I might share the video one day!

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February highlights

6. Celebrating our anniversary. It was our 7th wedding anniversary this February (although we’ve been together 20 years!). So we planned a date night at our local tapas bar. We nearly chickened out and stayed in and had a takeaway instead, as we’re so exhausted. It’s an effort making an effort sometimes isn’t it?? But we did go out and we had such a lovely evening, full of wonderful food and cocktails. I am so glad we went out and didn’t cop out!

7. Visiting my very special friend. We so rarely catch up considering we only live an hour away from each other, but when we do catch up its like we e never been apart! I went to stay with one of my oldest and dearest friends in February, a well over due catch up. It was lovely to see her and her gorgeous family once more. We had a lovely evening with wine and a takeout and just chilled out perfect! Hopefully it won’t be so long next time.

8. Celebrating one of my best friends birthday. We were invited for another night out to a party for one of my best friends birthday celebrations – have just realised how much we’ve been out recently, considering we’re parents! My friend held a lovely house party with lots of food and prosecco and fun. My friend always puts on a great party and always makes so much effort for everyone. It was great catching up with everyone and having a drink or two!

9. Reminiscing with photos. Time shops great isn’t it? I love how it reminds you of the good times from before. I loved seeing this through back picture of my son and I, 3 years ago! We were at Paignton zoo on the train and my little boy was only 3! How cute does he look?!

10. Messing around taking selfies. My son and I have always had so much fun taking selfies, pictures and video. In fact, this has kept him amused for ages, when it’s been rubbish weather and we’ve been stuck in! Well we had one of those days! So we had such giggly and silly fun taking lots and lots of silly face selfies, with his sister trying to join in too! So funny! Here’s some pics!

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It’s been a busy old month again, hang on, when isn’t it??!!  I’ve had a fabulous December, lots of extra quality family time, Christmas and some blogging successes! Here’s my summary and highlights of the last month and a fabulous Christmas!

1.  Christmas decorating. I am always super keen to get the decs up as soon as I can! This year we put them up the first Saturday in December and as always it was a joy pulling everything out from the dusty boxes! We have a fake tree these days, which is completely hassle free and never drops (apart from when you put it up and take it down!) which is great with a toddler who has found themselves! My daughter was more aware this year (she was still a bub last year) so really felt the excitement. And my son enjoyed helping to decorate, for 5 minutes before he found a decoration to drag along the floor for the cat to chase!!

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2. The Santa Train. We’ve done the Santa train for the last 4 years, so it has become a regular Christmas outing for us. Every year bar one we’ve done the Buckfastleigh to Totnes route, which I think is the best. You get on the train at Buckfastleigh and there’s always such a buzz! About 40 minutes later your at Totnes, where’s there’s normally some stalls at the station to potter around. On the way you get to visit Santa in his grotto and the children get a gift each. There’s also time to enjoy a mince pie and glass of mulled wine! It’s a great day out for the whole family!

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3. Christmas Day of course! This Christmas we went to my mums for lunch and the afternoon with my sister and her children, which was fun. But before this, we had our traditional ham breakfast at home and unwrapping of the Christmas presents of course. My son had woken at 5.40am and walked in our room to tell us Father Christmas had been! It was like torture waiting for his sister to wake up to unwrap presents and in the end we have in and let him wake her up! The kids got so many presents again, completely spoilt! I remember sitting there on Christmas Eve looking at all the unwrapped presents just wondering why we had brought so much and why we had left all the wrapping until now!

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4. Beach walks and fresh air. We’ve been out and about as much as possible over the Christmas holidays, including several trips to the beach. One of my favourite trips was to South Milton sands on Boxing Day with my hubby’s sisters family. The kids loved running around and playing together, you can’t beat a brisk walk on Boxing Day! It was so windy but the sun did come out for a little bit. Afterwards we went to the pub for half a cider and chips (well the kids had juice and chips!).

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5. Christmas crafts and baking. If you’ve been reading my blog and following me on social media, you’ll know I’ve done some Christmas crafts and baking with the kids. This has included making our own Christmas decorations for the Christmas tree at home with our Hobbycraft Christmas craft set. We also enjoyed painting two Gruffalo ceramic money boxes the kids got for Christmas. These were also from Hobbycraft and they both did an amazing job! We also had fun making our own mince pies and chocolate cake!  It’s so nice to have the time and energy to do some crafts and baking!

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6. Saltram House. The magical Saltram! It really is beautiful there at Christmas time when they decorate the house. Saltram house is a National Trust property in Plympton near Plymouth, somewhere we’ve started to visit regularly with our membership. It’s perfect for families as it has vast grounds and gardens for children to explore and the house has a really interesting history. I’ve written about it more in my ‘Saltram at Christmas’ post which you can find here Saltram post

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7. Visiting Father Christmas at the zoo. This year was our first trip to see Father Christmas at Paignton zoo and it was great! We are annual members but had to pay a small extra fee (about £8 per child I think) to see Father Christmas in his grotto. I have to say Father Christmas was amazing, the most realistic Father Christmas I have seen for a long time! The zoo was great as always and we visited all the standard attractions. My boy knows this place like the back of his hand, so he normally takes the lead!

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8. Not working & no school! its been so fabulous having time off with the family. In all, I was lucky enough to have just over two weeks off from work, heaven!! We’ve managed to have some jam packed days plus some quieter days lazing around at home, it’s just been the perfect combination. I was so sad to be going back to work today and my son back at school. I’m counting down the days to my next time off now! But there’s something about Christmas that makes it extra special.

9. Late nights & lazy mornings. As well as all the extra time together as a family, I’ve enjoyed not having to rush in the mornings to get everyone ready for school and work. I really dislike the mad  rush and routine you have to abide by most of the year and it was a joy to take advantage of not being constrained by this. Most days we didn’t get downstairs until 9am and stayed in our PJ’s quite often until midday!!

10. Going Self Hosted! At last I decided to take the plunge and go self hosted. I can’t thank enough Stevie at ‘A Cornish mum’ and Debbie at ‘Rambling Musings’ who I have questioned endlessly! Thank you ladies for helping me and putting up with all my stupid questions! And thank you to my hubby for paying for it as part of my Christmas present and putting up with me working on it until late!  It took a few determined days over Christmas to migrate and I’m nearly there! The sites back up and live, hooray! But there’s still some work to do!

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I’m rounding up my Weekly happy list again due to life being super busy again!  So I’ve chosen 5 happy moments from November to share – weeks 39 to 42 in my Weekly happy list series.

1. My son getting ‘Child of the week’. So proud of my son at school this last month. Not only has he been awarded ‘Child of the week’ twice, he has also been awarded ‘Star if the day’ twice too! He’s been through a tough time recently, it came to light he was being picked on a bit, falling behind with his school work and he was losing his confidence (he’s only 5). But he’s back on track and enjoying school again so I’m so happy for him. We’ve also established a new routine due to my hours at work changing. This means that I can be around more, so I’m at home every morning apart from Wednesday’s and can to do the school run and my son loves me taking him to school.

2. My hubby getting a new job (or two!). My hubby has been self employed for nearly 4 years and even though it’s been amazing, giving my hubby lots of opportunities and flexibility, it’s put added financial pressure on us as the money has been so inconsistent. So we made the decision a couple of months ago for him to go back to employment for the time being. He saw several jobs he was interested in so applied for them and soon after was invited to two interviews.  Lucky hubby ended up being offered both jobs! I was so chuffed for him.  So hopefully after Christmas he’ll be starting his new job and a new chapter in our lives! Very exciting!

3. Rugby on the beach & feeding horses. During the weekend after our Cornwall holiday we had our nephews over for the day and we took them out with us to the beach for the afternoon. For November it was glorious, the sun was shining and it was warm. It was so beautiful down on the beach. We all played rugby (well, catch with a rugby ball!) and collected shells. On our way back to the car, the horses in one of the fields were right up close to the fence, so we went over to feed them some grass, which my son really enjoyed.

4. Visiting Saltram House. We were long over due a catch up with our best friends so we decided to meet up at Saltram House near Plymouth. Saltram is about half way between us and is a National Trust property so we get to make good use of our membership. It was a bit of a damp day, but we managed a walk around the estate. We walked quite a bit with the kids and they loved exploring the grounds. We also popped in to the house, but unfortunately only a few rooms were open to the public (may be they saw the kids coming!). The kids wizzed around at the rate of knots, so we didn’t get to take everything in. The best bit of the day was seeing the kids running around happily exploring together, they didn’t care it was raining!

5. Completing my 3rd 10K this year. I have had a bit of a break from running recently, due to some ill health and generally being busy (!). It’s also more difficult to fit running in now the evenings are darker, as I used to always go in the evenings and I don’t get home until late on work days. However, I really wanted to complete another 10K and Saltram (yep the place we visited above) organise a 10K run every 4th Sunday of the month. So my brother and I arranged to do it together in November. I only managed to fit in one run of 6K in beforehand, so was so happy to complete all 10K and ran the whole way! It was so lovely doing it with my brother too, although he ran it a lot faster than me (he came 14th, I came 83rd!) It was nice having him at the start and waiting for me at the end!

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I have no idea where the times gone this last month, October has been absolutely crazy! So I decided to write 3 weeks worth of ‘Happy List’ in this one post to catch up. There’s been so much going on, it’s been busy at work and at home. We’ve done some lovely things as a family over the last few weeks, including going away to Cornwall for half term (which I’ll write about in another post). So there’s much to be happy about! So here it is, these are my top 5 happy bits from weeks 35-37.

1. Enjoying our local National Trust beach & collecting shells. We’ve been spending lots of time on the beach enjoying the sunny autumn weather. We have been lucky with the weather recently haven’t we? Now we’re members of the National Trust we get free parking at our local National Trust beach not far from us, which really comes in handy. No searching for loose change and we can just pop over any time for the day or just half an hour.  Below are some pictures of one of our trips when we had fun collecting shells. My daughter really enjoyed putting all the shells in her bucket and we took them home for her to keep. She hasn’t really stopped playing with them since!

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2. Extra non pupil day & zoo trip. As you will know if you read my blog, the zoo is my sons absolute fav place to visit. He was lucky enough to have an extra non pupil day on the 9th October so we made an impromptu visit to the zoo! We more than make up the cost of our annual pass!! It was so quiet there as it was a week day and out of school holidays. It turned out to be a very relaxing and chilled out day. Here’s some photos of our day.

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3. Homework progress, yay!  I never thought homework would be such hard work! In fact, it’s safe to say it’s been one of the hardest stages of parenting so far! With my son moving up to class one this September, the homework started and it’s been a real struggle for him (and me!). We’ve had screaming tantrums over just having to do 5 minutes! I’ve battled with hard love and softly softly approaches to no avail. However, we’ve had some progress these last couple of weeks! At last I think he’s accepted homework is part of his life (sad I know) and he’s been a lot happier completing his homework. Well, no tantrams anyway. A bit of bribery has helped (yes I know bad parent) but whatever it might be, we’ve definately turned a corner! I’ll write about this in a separate post too.

4. Visiting the Gruffalo trail. We’ve been meaning to visit the Gruffalo trail at Haldon Forrest for a long time now. They’ve actually stopped doing the quiz around the trail now, but some of the activities are still there and the Gruffalo statue is still at the end (which is the main thing!). Anyhow, we made it a couple of Sunday’s ago and we really enjoyed it! It was super super busy, apparently it’s always like it there as it’s very popular with cyclists and families. There’s several trails and walks you can do, varying in difficulty and length. But we walked the Gruffalo trail (which is reasonably short) and had so much fun looking for the Grufalo at the end! The trail was mostly flat so my daughter was able to toddle along too! And we had a picnic about half way round. Of course the best bit was my sons face when we reached the end and saw the Gruffalo.

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5. Ladies that lunch (or morning coffee!). As you know I adore my Friday’s off work when I get to do the school run for my son and spend the day with my daughter. A couple of Friday’s ago I decided we were going in to town for morning coffee and a tea cake. Well obviously I had the coffee and my daughter ate most the tea cake!! Days like these remind me of when I was on maternity leave, such wonderful times (mostly). God, I miss those days. Anyhow, we went to one of our fav cafes which has the all important toy corner (such a bonus!). My grown up girl sat proudly in the grown up chair and happily ate her tea cake. So cute. Such a happy morning.

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So I’m catching up on my happy lists this week,  as I’m a week behind and I decided to dedicate Week 34 to my birthday! I turned the grand ‘young’ age of 37 on the 2nd October and guess what, I don’t feel a day older than 36! Like all birthdays when you get older, my birthday started like any other day, getting the kids up, breakfast, school run, etc. but I had a wonderful day after the mad morning dash!

So here are some of the things that made my day extra special:

1. My hubby making the house feel like a kids birthday party. Bless my hubby, he dressed the kitchen table with balloons, streamers, cards, presents, flowers, cake and chocolates. There were banners and streamers hanging in the kitchen and balloons everywhere! It was such a lovely surprise when I came home!

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2. Going out for lunch with my mum.  My daughter and I met my mum for lunch at one of the local garden centres. It’s in a lovely spot, surrounded by countryside and we enjoyed a lovely walk around one of the meadows.  It was such a gorgeous sunny day and we enjoyed picking some blackberries. My little girl loved picking the blackberries and putting them in the basket, so sweet.

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3. Going out for a special family meal.  We decided to all go out for an evening meal for my birthday. So we went to a lovely seaside pub near us, which is great for families with young kids. The kids were so well behaved and enjoyed playing with the pubs toys and books and eating ice cream!

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4. Having an evening stroll on the beach. After our meal we all went for a walk on the beach. The sun was almost down and you could see the lighthouse light in the distance. It was a bit blowy and the waves were crashing loudly. It really was so lovely to blow the cobwebs away! The pictures are a bit blurry due to the light (below).

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Thank you to my family for making my birthday extra special!!

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1.My son & hubby starting karate. So, so proud of my son starting karate! And to top it off, he’s starting with his daddy, so I’m double proud! I know it’s taken a lot of confidence for both of them to start. I think it’s lovely that they’re starting a new hobby together and hopefully will learn a new skill and build their confidence together. Well done boys!

2. Visiting Saltram House. We had a lovely afternoon at Saltram House in Plympton in Devon with our very good friends. We are trying to make use of our new National Trust passes, since we joined up a couple of months ago. We’d never visited Saltram before, even though it’s not far from us. The kids absolutely loved running around the vast grounds. Great fun for all!

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3. The beginning of autumn. It’s a cliche I know, but I just love all the joys autumn brings (minus the rain, nasty bugs and colds!). I love autumn especially when it’s cold and crisp but sunny, just perfect. There’s also beautifully coloured fallen leaves, blackberry picking, digging out jeans and boots, lovely walks and you can get away with lighting the log burner!

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4. Discovering pulled pork. I’ve always failed when it comes to cooking pork perfectly. It’s always too dry or stiff and just yuck. My least favourite meat for sure. Until now! Now, I’ve discovered how to cook pork in the slow cooker! It’s wonderfully succulent and juicy! So yummy cooked in BBQ sauce with stock! Yum!

5. Strictly starting! Yes I’m an avid Strictly Cime Dancing fan. I just love it. It sparks the count down to winter and Christmas and many Saturday’s full of dancing joy! My hubby just about to,erases it too!!

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Been a busy bee this last couple of weeks, so am a bit behind with my happy list from last week. But here it is, better late than never as they say!

1. Celebrating my hubby’s birthday. On the afternoon of my hubby’s birthday we enjoyed celebrating just the four of us at home.  I’d baked my very special Victoria sponge as requested for the occasion! And my son enjoyed opening all his daddy’s pressies!

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2. Date night. The hubby and I enjoyed a rare date night for his birthday. We do get out just the two of us occasionally! And the hubby’s birthday seemed like the ideal opportunity. We booked a table at our favourite Chinese restaurant and had a couple of drinks in the pub. It was perfect.

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3. Big night out on the beach.  Every year the National Trust arrange a ‘big night out on the beach’ at one of the local beaches near us. They had organised activities on the beach for the kids, including kite making, hoopla hooping, beach coming, lantern making, etc. My son and his cousins enjoyed playing in the sea and having a picnic. We all watched the sun go down and made lanterns for the lantern parade. It really was a perfect evening. For a moment, it felt like summer again!

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4. Catching up with the nephews. On Sunday we had our nephews over for a home cooked roast and to reminisce over some old photos. We used to look after them a lot when they were younger, but don’t see them that often these days, so it was nice to spend some time with them.

5. Rediscovering the joy of toddler groups! I have Friday mornings free again, so I can take my daughter to the toddler group in our village. It’s really convenient as its up at the school, so I drop my son off and head straight there. It’s so lovely getting to go to a toddler group again, drink coffee and catch up with everyone whilst my daughter plays. Makes my day off even better!

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1. Enjoying a Saturday brunch. The hubby took Saturday off last week, which was a lovely treat as he usually works Saturday’s. After my sons swimming lesson we went for a delicious brunch in town. We so rarely have a cooked breakfast and my son really enjoyed it.

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2. The boys starting karate. We were really pleased to find out a karate club was starting right here in the village. My hubby thought it would be lovely if he took our son and learned together and we thought it would be great for my sons confidence. They really enjoyed their first session and came home buzzing with energy.

3. My sons first spelling test. I couldn’t believe it when my son came home with his first spellings to learn! I think I was more scared than him! We’ve been trying to get in to a homework routine and incorporated spellings and reading in to a 10 minute a day session.  When it came to the day of the spelling test he did really well and achieved 4/6!

4. A walk, beach and blackberry picking. We had a lovely weekend with lots of time outdoors with family.  We met my hubby’s sister and children on the beach and all the kids messed around and played for an hour or so. On the Sunday afternoon we went for a woodland walk and picked lots of blackberries!

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  1. 5. My son getting his first ‘star of the day‘. I was so proud of my son getting his first ‘star of the day’ in Class 1. He got awarded his star of the day for good reading and writing. So proud!

 

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1. My blog 1 year anniversary! I can’t believe where the last year has gone! I started my blog just after my second child, my daughter, was born, whilst on maternity leave. I’m so happy I started it and am still writing and blogging, it makes me so happy. To celebrate I’ve set myself some new blogging goals which you can find here.

2. Back to school. Although bitter sweet, I was so proud of my son starting class 1 last week. He’s turned in to such a wonderful grown up boy. You’ll know if you read my blog that I’ve had mixed feelings about him going back to school. We had a bit of an emotional start (from both of us!) but he’s come out the other end and is doing us proud, as always.

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3. Zoo fun. We’ve made good use of our zoo passes during the last couple of weeks, we’ve been 4 times! So we’ve already made a saving! I’m writing a post about our favourite day out at Paignton Zoo, we just love it! And the annual membership is so worth it!

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4. My first attempt at a carrot cake. My boy requested I bake a carrot cake as it was his absolute ‘favourite’! So I slaved over this cake on and off all day – a true labour of love! When it came to the taste test from my boy, he said ‘mummy the nuts are too big!’ And wouldn’t eat it. Balloon burst right then…! So my hubby and I enjoyed it instead, and I have to say, it was really yummy! Not bad for a first go!

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5. Booking our half term holiday. After our rained off camping trip this August, we were keen to make up for it and book an October half term break. So we took the plunge and booked a week in a ‘budget’ caravan at ‘St Ives Bay Holiday Park’ in Cornwall. It’s lovely to have something to look forward to.

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