Thursday, 23 July 2015
We were recently sent The Amazing Wubble Bubble Ball (RRP £19.99) to review and also one to giveaway to our readers. Well, the kids love playing ball and also love bubbles so we all thought the Wubble Bubble was a great idea.
We're now in the Summer Holidays.
I'm pleased to say that they're going very well. I'm really enjoying the break and loving this special time with my four kids, who are of course all having an amazing time too. The extra organisation that I put in during the weeks before they broke up has definitely paid off.
- I hired a cleaner to make sure the house was spic and span ready for the kids being home. Yes, I know that they play, eat and generally make a mess, but it's easier to clear up after them when starting with a tidy shell.
- To keep on top of this I've made us a summer holiday cleaning rota. The kids are helping out by doing chores which is making it a lot easier for me. They are also tidying their rooms every night, so hopefully we will end the holidays with them as tidy as when we started.
- We've already done lots of fun things and I'm sure that making a calendar of all the summer activities that we have planned was a really good idea.
- In preparation for rainy days and in case they finish their chores early and get bored I have lots of activity baskets and craft activities ready for them. It's great that they can take these, have fun and easily clear them away again on their own.
- Having lots of days out and fun activities planned, means that we have managed to go completely screen free this holidays. The kids haven't even asked to watch TV, a DVD or play on the tablet once.
- We're meeting up with friends at least every other day. It's great for the kids to have other children to play with and talking to adult comrades is lovely for me too. Of course, I'm really lucky that my four kids have been getting along really well with each other anyway.
- With the kids helping so much with chores, I'm even managing to go for a swim, run or go to the gym each evening. I feel a bit guilty for taking this time for myself but a healthy mum means a happy family. If I keep up this fitness regime, I may even treat myself to a spa or beauty treatment once a week.
- Even though there is technically no school, I'm not touching alcohol on "school nights". As tempting as it would be to pour a glass of wine and reminisce about each lovely day, I know that going alcohol free means I have a clear, fresh head in the morning, so I can have an early start for another fun filled day. I may treat myself to a glass each weekend as a treat.
- All homework is completed, we're already signed up to our Library's Summer Challenge and have enjoyed cuddling up each afternoon reading to each other.
- I have stocked up the pantry and made a healthy summer holiday meal plan, so we've been eating healthy homecooked meals too.
- Being a work at home mum is also going well, of course. As I'm stimulating the kids on our fun days out, feeding them well and giving them lots of activities to do, then I am getting plenty of free time to get my work done. The money is rolling in. Result!
Aargh, I love my kids, I really do. For me, the summer holidays as a kid are some of the best memories of my life (they were so long, and it was always hot- do you remember?) and I want to pass that onto my kids too. I want us to be running along a sandy beach, in the sunshine with a Mr Whippy ice cream, and I'm sure we will do that, but in reality that's not the whole picture of the summer holidays.
The house is a mess. We're arguing over chores. The kids are really excited about the freedom no school affords, so are running around the house and up the walls- screaming, laughing loudly, then falling out with each other and there are tears (usually mine).
We had a fun weekend and we have plans for the upcoming weekend but I needed this week to get some work done and be ready for our weekend ahead. Of course, there has been no chance of that. I'm in that rut of running around, doing everything, but not getting anything done. The phrase headless chicken springs to mind.
We haven't met up with friends yet, the kids are ok as they have each other to play (argue?) with, but I need some adult company! Each evening, I'm too exhausted to even comtemplate doing any physical exercise. Even if I was ready for it, I've been on my own with the kids until late each night so no chance for
escape fitness. Every night, my one solace is a glass (ok, maybe bottle) of cava or prosecco. Of course, I regret it in the morning, when I'm woken up early being bounced upon by the energetic brood. We can't sign up to the summer reading scheme yet, as I haven't even found the overdue library books yet! I've not shopped and to be honest, can't afford a big shop yet this week so we're doing daily trips to the local shop and eating easy (read beige not so healthy) food. I need to earn more money for our time away, but I just can't find the time to put int he work. Sadly noone wants to pay me for not doing anything.
By the end of each day I have a headache (definitely casued by the kids and not at all the wine), am exhausted, frazzled and can't string a sentence together.
That's why I sat down and wrote this instead of doing proper work! I may have priority issues.
Roll on our weekend away! All of the same above but at least at a different location! :-)
Roll on our weekend away! All of the same above but at least at a different location! :-)
Anyway, how are your holidays going?
Any tips to being an unfrazzled mum? Please send them this way. Thank you!
Monday, 20 July 2015
When I was younger, I loved looking at photos, information books and brochures of India. They were always so bright and colourful. I used to collect all sorts of elephant ornaments and my favourites were the bright decorated Indian elephant ornaments dotted amongst the shelves in my bedroom.
|Williams Ridout / Homify|
Oh, the kitchen cutlery drawer. Everyone has one. We all strive to keep them clean, clutter free and organised but then we take a good look inside and find various bits and bobs have been added until the drawer is full to the brim and once again needs a good sort.
Saturday, 18 July 2015
Last weekend we just managed to fit in some strawberry picking at Brooksgrove Farm before the end of their strawberry season.
Friday, 17 July 2015
I have our country kids post about picking strawberries at Brooksgrove Farm, Pembrokeshire, coming up later.
But while we wait, here is the short video that we made of the day. Sorry, it's not edited just "put together" but I've come to realise that if I'm going to make occasional videos of our days out then I need to get them down in the most time effective way that I can.
Enjoy! Have you been strawberry picking yet?
I spend a lot of money on school uniform each year and the kids spend a lot of time wearing it. Therefore, it's important to me that their uniform is affordable, comfortable, long lasting, easy to care for and smart. BHS asked us to put their school uniform to the test on a typical after school free night:
Monday, 13 July 2015
When it comes to travelling, I love to explore new places. I have a long list of countries to tick off which I eventually want to visit for the first time. However, I also have lots of places that I long to revisit as well. It would be amazing to show Dave and the kids some of my favourite holiday destinations.
Tuesday, 7 July 2015
Children walking up the hill in wet clothes, wet suits and often bare feet means Summer has finally arrived at Gelliswick. The beach is enjoyed by locals all year round, but once the weather warms up and the tide is high, then the sea can really be enjoyed for jumping and swimming.
Saturday, 4 July 2015
At this time of year we are naturally enjoying lots of outdoor, country kids time. Most "after school and club" evenings are spent down on our local beach, jumping when the tide is high or just enjoying a quiet moment on the grass (the heat has been wearing us out!).
Last weekend though, we did something a bit different. We went to Milford Fish Festival. The annual county wide event was cancelled, but Milford Haven Port Authority stepped in to make sure that our annual town event could still go ahead. I noticed most areas did a similar thing too which was lovely to see. Fishing was such a big industry for this town, that still needs to be remembered and celebrated.
It was £3 entry for adults and free for children. I thought this was very fair, especially as there was no parking to pay. I know these events can work out to be expensive once you add rides and food to the experience, however, there were lots of free activities on offer too.
The kids had been poorly at the end of the week, so initially we weren't sure if they would make the event. By Saturday morning they were recovered enough and cabin fever had set in so we definitely needed to get out. Dave walked down the docks early morning with the eldest three as he had to work and they enjoy running around down there (yes, those feral kids are mine!).
Izzy was was still out of sorts after being ill and burst out crying a few times while I was trying to get her ready. I thought a few times about staying home with her and letting her rest, but then she would perk up again and want to go, so that's just what we did. Eventually.
We walked down slowly together. It was nice to see the event from up in the hills and talk about it. Izzy thought it was a big "birthday party". We met Dave and the kids at work. While we waited for him to finish the kids had fun playing with bricks and stones as they do (I know what I'm getting them for Christmas!).
We were already hungry so shared three wood fired oven pizzas between us from The Artisan Cook-delicious!
All the kids enjoyed the fun house as always.
Then the three eldest went on the trampolines. I loved seeing them enjoy themselves on here.
Our friends, Cloud and Regi, were back from Amsterdam, Izzy fell asleep on Dave while he spoke to them and caught up! He carried her around for ages, then we remembered that as we no longer use it, her buggy now lives down Dave's work, so we could put her in it. It was also handy for the walk home at the end of the day.
The best thing there, in my opinion, was a "Come and Try" Kayak session for just £2. This gave so many local kids a chance to give this fun activity a try- it was lovely to see. There was a queue but all the excited kids were very patient. When it was Danny and Caitlyn's turn, Danny just got in and paddled away on his own. Caitlyn, having less experience and being smaller needed more tuition and support, which members of Haverfordwest Kayak Club were more than happy to give. They were so good with her and she didn't stop smiling the whole time out on the water. It was also great to see how much she had improved by the end of the short session. She can't wait to go again now!
They played on the inflatable slides and bouncy castles.
I spy Danny getting a tattoo!
Danny enjoyed a pot of lobster. I treated myself to some Sweet Pepper Cheese from Teifi Cheese and some fresh watermelon.
Then we went to see the living sea creatures (which I prefer) with Silent World. Izzy loved this part.
Danny kept shaking hands with the inflatable "Lobster a la Carte" each time he passed!
There was also free pavement painting and a chance to make craft "fish on sticks" in the MIlford Haven Council kids tent. By the time we'd ticked off our "to do" list, these things had come to a close, so we had an icecream and then sat down to enjoy the live music.
I love this picture as it shows how loving Rebecca is to her little sister. They can be so sweet with each.
Danny spotted a man selling some of the pies off cheaply, he was straight up to get one!
We all had such fun watching the remaining bands together, first The Review and then Honey Fungus. Earlier entertainment had been X Factor's Jay James Picton, Ragsy and sea shanty group Vagrant's Crew. Our local choir The Nantucket Wailer's also sang a set, including some wonderful sea shanties. I had been practising with them up until recently but the kids have a lot more on in the evenings during the summer, so it's hard to have time for myself. I loved having the chance to hear them sing on a band stage- it sounded really great. As a family, it was fun sitting together, singing, dancing and just enjoying the time together. Some things get so much easier as the kids grow older.
So, thank you to Milford Haven Port Authority and of course all the volunteers for organising a great day out. It was lovely to catch up with so many friends all in one day too. Next, we have our carnival tomorrow...