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Book Review: Find Your Why – Joanne Mallon

Find Your Why – Joanne Mallon

When I was asked to review Find Your Why – Joanne Mallon I jumped at the chance. I’m not a particularly ‘Woo’ person, but I think there’s definitely something about positive thinking, setting goals, and a positive mindset.

find you why - Joanne Mallon Book review

If you look at people who you consider to be successful, they all have a very common attribute. They set goals and make them happen. What’s the saying “from small seeds grow big oak trees” or something along those lines. The gist of it being that the seed is the idea, and every step you take is watering and nurturing that tree until one day the tree is a flourishing oak.

Setting goals and then breaking that goal down into manageable pieces makes it more achievable. Your goal won’t be the same as the person sitting next to you, and your version of success in life and career won’t be the same either.

Book Review - Find Your Why - Joanne Mallon

Find Your Why by Joanne Mallon is a very easy read which gives you much food for thought.

This book helps you discover ‘Your Why’ and is packed full of loads of tips and advice which will enable you to work out what these are and reach them. Knowing what you want in life is the driving force behind why we do the things we do.

Essentially we are in control of our lives and future lives, and setting goals and putting things in motion gives us a good sense of wellbeing and positivity.

This book makes you sit and think about what you want in life and how you can make it possible.

Book Review - Find Your Why - Joanne Mallon

My Thoughts

My first thought is how gorgeous the book looks and feels with the embossed front cover and nice thick white paper. The book is also full of inspirational quotes which I really like anyway, and they also make you stop and think about what they mean for you.

This book made me stop and think about a lot of things that I want to achieve both personally and professionally

I’ve got quite a few goals on the go at the moment with the top two being:

Buying a house – this is something we’ve been working towards for a while and hopefully, it won’t be too long before this box is ticked.

Scaling my business – I freelance as a Virtual Assistant and I love it but want to set up multiple income streams so that I can work flexibly around my kids whilst enjoying life.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and even better is that’s it’s not a one-time read. I know that I’ll be rereading this book time and again so that I can recap and refocus on whatever it is I want to achieve.

I would definitely recommend this book. Joanne also writes a blog www.opposablethumbsblog.com

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter

It looks like Halloween is back on this year with lots of places to choose from Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter and the surrounding area. It does look like everything is on a pre-booked basis so if you find something you fancy make sure you snap up some tickets.

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter and surrounding areas

I definitely want to take the kid’s pumpkin picking this year. We haven’t done it before and last year the place we were supposed to go was rained off on the day we’d booked and then cancelled for the remainder of the dates due to flooding which was a shame.

Here are some of the great activities and places to go this Halloween.

Halloween Pumpkin Trail at the Devon Railway Centre

Halloween Pumpkin Trail – Devon Railway Centre

Running from 23rd – 31st October, the Devon Railway Centre. Follow the Pumpkins to find the Halloween Treasure. Find out more via the Devon Railway Centre Facebook Page.

Childrens Halloween Activities and Pumpkin picking in Exeter

Halloween Party – The Creedy Centre, Crediton – Sunday 31st October

Run by Unique Sweets and Treats and Paint Pots of Devon there are two sessions running on the day. The Admission Price includes sweets from the Trunk & Treat attraction, unlimited squash from the Café, free access to all the games & attractions. For more details and to book tickets head to the Facebook Event.

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter

Spook Fest – Crealy – 23rd – 31st October

Featuring NEW spook-tacular attractions, creepily good live shows and entertainment and the return of some of your favourite Halloween attractions! The fang-tastic Halloween event includes…
The Creaky Hotel (Under New Management)
The Haunting Of The Wilderness
Scarecrow Scare Maze
Book Of Spells Live Show
Buddy & Blossom’s Halloween Bash
Pumpkin Patch’s Plot (Includes FREE pumpkin)
To book Tickets via the Crealy Website.
The Jolly Group Pick Your Own Pumpkin

Jolly Pumpkin – Pick your own – Silverton – 15th – 31st October

Pick from 50 different varieties of pumpkin, Squash, and Gourd starting at just £1. Ticket booking is essential but no time scale on how long you stay. Put your wellies on and grab one of their colourful wheelbarrows. Refreshments are available. For more information and to book tickets head to the Jolly Pumpkin Facebook Page.
Spooktackular Halloween Train Play

Halloween Spooktacular Train Play – Topsham – 31st October 10am – 4pm

Fancy dress is optional but there will be prizes every session for the best dressed.
Pre-booking only via their website www.trainplaydevon.co.uk
ullacombe farm shop halloween party

Halloween Half-Term Party – Ullacombe Farm Shop – 26th October 10.30 – 12.30

Held at the fabulous Ullacombe Farm in Bovey, there will be lots of spooky party games with prizes, decorating Halloween decs, learning dance, and singing a song from some Halloween-themed musicals! Suitable for ages 5+ and just £15 to join in for the 2-hour workshop. There is a £5 non-refundable deposit to pay upon booking. This is a drop-off session with parents returning at the end for a mini-performance from the young spooks! For more information and to book a ticket head to the Ullacombe Farm Shop Facebook Page.
Exton Village Halloween Walk

Halloween Walk – Exton – 31st October 5pm

A thrilling and super scary, sweet-filled Halloween walk on 31st October. It will start at Copper Beech House (with the chimpanzee!), will pass by a number of our generous hosts, and end at the puffing billy for snacks. Get your costumes and dramatic makeup at the ready! Head to the Exton Village Facebook Page for more info.
Thorne's Farm shop

Pick your own Pumpkin and Charity Scarecrow Train – Crediton – 28th – 30th October 10am – 4pm

Pick Your Own Pumpkin festival with the added bonus of a charity scarecrow trail around the farm. Great for all ages. Bag of sweets for completed trail finds. Fancy dress is optional. For more details head to Thorne’s Farm Shop Facebook Page.

Shaldon Zoo Halloween Fright Night

Fright Night Shaldon Zoo – Saturday 30th October 3.30pm – 5.30pm

A fun filled evening for all the family. Come dressed in your favourite costumes and enter the fancy dress competition. Do a spooky walk around the zoo and see the animals who love to be awake after hours. To book tickets head to the Shaldon Zoo website.
Days Pottles Lane pick your own pumpkin

Pick Your Own Pumpkin – Days Pottle Lane, Exminster – 16th & 17th Oct and 23rd – 31st October

Pick your own pumpkins straight from the field, prices start at £1. No booking is required. Homemade food and drinks are available. Carve them onsite. Thre are is also an electric bike track, inflatable obstacles, face painting and archery. For more details head to the Facebook page.

Whatever you do this Halloween – Have a Spooktacular time!
See what we get up to in the next Family Life post.

Our Family Life 2021 (39/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (39/52)

Monday

Our Family Life 2021 – I knuckled down today and got a load of work completed. There’s something so satisfying beating a deadline and today was that day. I love listening to podcasts whilst I’m working rather than music – much more productive.

My faves are Chillpreneur with Denise Duffield-Thomas and Influencer Insights with Abi Hugo. Definitely worth a listen from a blogger/business point of view.

toddler boy sat in a car tyre

Tuesday

A full workday so not much to report.

Wednesday

It’s getting to that time of year when drying washing becomes a bit of a pain. I so wish we had room for a tumble dryer. One day I’ll get my utility room but until then it’s crappy Airers and washing draped on radiators (not that they’re on at the moment).

Oh and I’ve started my Christmas shopping. Last year was not the most organised so I wanted to get a head start to make sure that A – it’s done and B – No last-minute grab what’s there and pay over the odds for shopping happens.

I’ve no idea what we’re doing for Christmas this year but I want to be the organised one with all the shopping done and dusted mid-December!

Thursday

A work day in the office.

Friday

today was super busy. The morning seems to fly by and then it’s time to drop Freddie off at my mum’s so I can do my driving lesson. My instructor is pushing me quite hard which I like as I just want to get my license now. This is oy lesson number 3 but we’ve covered so much already including reverse parking, changing gear a million times with lots of clutch control, and driving into a parking space all of which have been fine. I’ve booked my theory test which I’ve got on the 1st November and fingers crossed I pass so I can get my practical test booked in.

I think my biggest fear of driving is going to be the kids in the back of the car moaning like they do on car journeys but we’ll see.

it was the school fair after school. It wasn’t as big as usual as they spaced everything out a bit more so the queues for everything were huge. Belle and her friend ditched us mums so they could go off on their own, but Freddie enjoyed the bouncy castle and the playground climbing space which he doesn’t usually get to play on. Belle was staying at her friends so by the time we got home it wasn’t long off bedtime so it was a quick shower for Freddie before bedtime.

toddler boy playing with playdoh shapes and cutters

Saturday

Belle spent the day at her friends and Freddie was tired after a week of preschool so we just pottered around at home. I had some coloured icing leftover from Belle’s birthday cake so I set up Freddie’s tuff tray with his playdoh cutters and let him play with that.

He really enjoyed that and was pleased that he could have a little taste as well as play with it. Once he’d finished I took all the cutters to be washed and came back to find an empty tray. The dog had scoffed the lot!

I phoned the vet as it was a lot of icing and was told that he would most likely have a sore belly and maybe some sickness and diarrhoea.

The dog has been drinking a ridiculous amount of water which I suppose is a good thing to flush the amount of sugar out he’s eaten.

Sunday

We popped out to TK Max to see if there was anything Hawaiian-themed for the Blog-on conference but there was nothing. I did manage to get a gorgeous leopard print notebook and a Bento box for Freddie so not an entirely wasted journey.

When we got home  Charlie (the dog) had left the biggest puddle of wee in the middle of the floor and looked rather sheepish. This is so unusual for him and obviously the result of his excessive water drinking.

Poor Charlie. He’ll always be led by that belly of his!

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab. You can also find us over on Instagram.

Our Family Life 2021 (38/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (38/52)

Monday

A child-free Monday which is the norm now that Freddie’s at pre-school all day on a Monday. Whilst its nice, I’m really missing my little side kick and am counting down the minutes until I can pick him up. It does mean that I can get a decent chunk of work done. Thankfully, when I picked him up he’d had a lovely day which put my mind at rest no end. He doesn’t say a word when I ask him what he’s been doing, so it’s lovely that we have an app that updates us on what he’s been doing.

He did say that he’d had a lovely day, and had a huge smile on his face which put my mind at rest.

Tuesday

A work day for me from home. I wonder if I’m on borrowed time now that lots of people are returning to the office, but hopefully I can work from home going forward as I really like it. I don’t take the mick, but I do sit in my comfies and pop downstairs every now and again for a Freddie cuddle. Best of both worlds in my opinion.

Wednesday

Nothing to report. Just a bit of housework and organising upcoming work.

Thursday

As I work for the NHS, we now have to have weekly LAMP testing and it’s totally gross. You have to spit in a pot first thing in the morning before you have a drink or brush your teeth. It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s stomach churning and really hard to do. It’s making me gag. Bring back LFT”s or give me a weekly PCR any day over this grossness!

Friday

I was supposed to have a driving lesson today but my instructor has COVID so I thought it would be nice to take lunch to my Mums. She’s been having Freddie so I can do my driving lessons. I went to a local deli and picked up one of their boxes full of gorgeous salady bits topped with chicken. Turned out that I went a bit overboard but it also meant that my Mum had enough leftover to have for her dinner as well instead of cooking.

On the way to school we went to the park where Freddie made friends with a little boy and girl. It was so nice seeing him interact with other kids when previously he would fall over himself to get away from other kids.

Saturday

We had Ryan and Little Boogs over so we made some cupcakes which went relatively well. I find with kids that you have to split whatever it is you’re doing into however many kids you have so that there are no misunderstandings as to what each of them own. Blue cupcake cases for Luka and pink ones for Freddie. We set up two decorating stations with icing and sprinkles for both. Freddie was done in 5 seconds flat whilst Luka took his time over each cake.

Sunday

Sunday’s are definitely our lazy day when we do everything at a much slower pace. It’s probably the best thing to come out of COVID and something we’ll cling onto going forward. Playing and eating being at the top of the list!

Ryan and Co popped back today to give me a gorgeous bunch of Sunflowers that Luka had picked at Darts Farm which was a lovely surprise.

Our Family Life 2021 (37/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (37/52)

Monday

It’s the last day of the school holidays. Belle starts in Year 6 and Freddie starts pre-school. We have no idea how Freddie is going to be when we drop him off tomorrow. Essentially we’ll be dropping him off with strangers as he hasn’t met any of them before. I don’t feel great about this, so today we’ve had extra cuddles and maybe a few extra treats.

Tuesday

Back to School! I’ve been a bag of nerves and didn’t sleep very well last night. Never mind kids getting separation anxiety, what about the parents! Freddie was very excited, and we hoped that the excitement would continue when it was time to leave him. Belle left us as soon as we got in the school gates to find her friends. We stood in the line waiting to drop Freddie off and he was absolutely fine. He found a ride-on police car and things were looking hopeful until it got to our turn and he had to go in the door. Parents aren’t allowed in the building, and it was really hard watching his face crumple when he realised we weren’t going in with him. I’m not even going to try and hide the fact that I had a little cry as we walked back through the school. I hated leaving him. They said they would ring us to let us know if he’d settled. I literally counted down the minutes until we could go and pick him up. He seemed fine as he was sat on the carpet with all the other kids. It was only when he spotted us that he started to sob. That cuddle was literally the best ever!

He was fine once we were back home, although he did look a bit worried when we went to pick Belle up thinking that I was going to leave him there.

Wednesday

It’s Belle’s 11th Birthday!
We always let the kids pick what they want for breakfast on their birthday. It’s usually pancakes with fruit and whipped cream, but Belle wanted doughnuts for brekkie so we had a tray of Krispy Kreme doughnuts which was a lovely treat. She opened her presents and was very pleased with what she’d got. She wanted money to go on a shopping spree, so we bought her a purse with some cash in, and then the rest was just bits and bobs that she likes such as face masks, make-up, a switch game, and some other trinket type bits.

It’s always a huge rush when a birthday lands on a school day, but the morning went smoothly until we got to school. Freddie was due to go back to pre-school and immediately started to cry and cling to me. He kept saying that he wanted to go back through the gate and that he’d been to school already. Today was far worse than yesterday. He was sobbing and clinging to me so much that I almost just took him home. The teacher convinced me to leave him since we’d have to do it all again tomorrow otherwise. After he was peeled off me, I left desperately trying to keep the tears in check which didn’t work at all. I stood around the corner for ages before I left to go home. They did phone me to say that he had settled after about half an hour, but you never know if they’re just saying that.

I was the first one there at pick-up. Freddie was so pleased to see me and we had a lovely walk home with him chattering away about the water that he’d played with. He was super clingy for the rest of the day, and again when we picked up Belle he was very worried that I was going to leave him there again.

The Grandparents came round to wish Belle a happy birthday and she got even more presents.

Belle chose Macdonalds for dinner. She had wanted to go out but we thought it would be too much for Freddie as Chris didn’t finish work until 6. She had a lovely day though so that’s all that mattered.

Thursday

A workday for me. Chris dropped Freddie off and he had a bit of a wobble but was happy to walk in the door. It’s so much easier when Dad’s drop the kids off. I’m not sure if that’s a man thing in general, but they don’t seem to have the emotional attachment when it comes to things like this, and the kids behave completely differently.

It was my Nephews birthday today so we went to a local pub for dinner. Freddie doesn’t really like sitting at the table and quickly found one of those sweetie machines that he preferred over the food we’d ordered. It was nice to all get together as the last time was at my Dad’s funeral back in May.

Friday

Freddie should have been at pre-school this morning, but we’ve decided that five mornings a week is just too much to and fro-ing from school, so we’ve changed it so that he can stay all day on a Monday with a packed lunch and miss the Friday off. Freddie heard the words ‘Paw Patrol lunchbox’ and was totally on board.

All in all, it was a knackering week for all of us!

Saturday

We had a family birthday party for Belle. Her two specifications were a balloon arch and a pinata. The balloons weren’t a problem at all, but finding a pinata was difficult. She wanted a flamingo which we weren’t able to track down. We found a flip flop which we were going with until at the last minute the party shop were able to get me a cactus.

The party started off as a bit of a disappointment as we had a lot of latecomers and then my brother came minus his four children who we’d been waiting for. I was really upset for Belle as it was looking like a washout, but we managed to salvage it and ended up having a good time. The pinata was a lot of fun. It’s amazing how hard kids can hit with a stick and the look on their faces when all the goodies fell out.

I think it’s fair to say that once everyone had gone and the tidying up had finished, that we all just flopped in front of the TV exhausted.

Sunday

No rest for the wicked as my Mum would say. All I wanted to do today was veg in front of the TV, but instead, Belle and I went on a birthday shopping spree. She ended up having almost £200 to spend. She thoroughly enjoyed it and spent the most part of her money in New Look where they have a great range for her age group. She bought loads and was still left with £60 which she wants to save for nearer to Christmas.

When we got home she put on a little fashion show for us which you can watch on our Instagram Reels. 

What a week!

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab. You can also find us over on Instagram.

Our Family Life 2021 (36/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (36/52)

Monday

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and like every other Bank Holiday, it’s just me and the kids. Bank Holidays for retail workers just don’t exist so half the time we forget as it just feels like a normal day. Belle is starting to feel better so I made her get up at a decent time and have a bath whilst I stripped her bedding and let some fresh air into her room. We had some lunch and then decided to walk to one of the local parks. It was lovely as there were only two other children there so they pretty much had the run on the place.

10 year old girl stuck in a baby swing at the park

Belle decided to get into a baby swing and then pretended that she was just having a rest when really she was stuck. Freddie said we should leave her there, but after much faffing (her) I was able to pull her out.

Toddler boy sat on a bridge at the park

Freddie likes to play Tigers. It’s a game that he’s been playing for a while where he tells us there’s a tiger chasing us and we have to run away before he ‘gets us’. The only safe place in the park was the wobbly bridge. Belle pretends that she’s too old for stuff like this but really she loves it just as much as he does.

Toddler boy standing in front of a statue

Tuesday

A workday for me. It’s a week until Belle goes back to school and Freddie starts pre-school. I’m dreading it. I know he’ll love it, but as far as I’m aware parents aren’t allowed in the building so I’m worried that come next Tuesday they’ll be expecting us to hand Freddie over at the door and leave him there. I have no idea how he’s going to react, but I know that if he doesn’t want to go in and we can’t go in to help settle him in then he’ll no doubt be coming home with us.

Wednesday

It’s exactly a week away from Belle’s 11th Birthday and I’ve still got some last minute bits to get. She wants a balloon arch which I’ve managed to order from one of the local party shops. I also bought some really cool palm leaves which I’m going to dot around to keep inline with the tropical theme. We’re having a family party but she was quite specific that she wanted a balloon arch and a pinata. The pinata has proved a bit trickier. She wanted a flamingo but I’ve had no luck in tracking one down. Fingers crossed I manage to find one.

  • Ten year old girl sat with Lego friends models

Thursday

A workday and nothing to report.

Friday

Into town today to get the school bag that Belle wants from New Look. Belle was very impressed with the girls 915 range in New Look and wants to come back for her birthday shopping spree. We got ourselves some lunch and went and sat in the sunshine which was lovely. There’s only so much we can do with little legs in tow so we have to be strategic when we go out and about so that he doesn’t get too tired and I end up having to carry him. He did amazingly though and it turned into a really lovely afternoon.

Saturday

We’re out tomorrow so we’re having a day at home today. Belle made an Angel Delight pudding kit that Nanny had given her and we just played in the garden, did jigsaws and playdoh and cars……

Sunday

It’s my Nephews 2nd birthday on Tuesday so we’re popping down to see him today as it’s back to school on Tuesday. Chris is working so we’re catching the train. This has bothered me all week as we haven’t used public transport since before the pandemic. My brother lives in Dawlish so the trains are always busy with beachgoers. Thankfully the train was relatively quiet but I was a bit OCD with hand gel and making sure that the kids didn’t touch everything and that Freddie definitely didn’t lick the window! We didn’t make it past the amusement park without Freddie sitting on a few of the ride-on things. I’ve promised that we’ll be able to come back soon to have a go on some more of them and Belle wants to bring some coppers to play on the 2p machines. It was a lovely afternoon and the kids all played really well together.

The train back was a little bit busier than the way down, but still not overcrowded.

Toddler boy sitting on a ride at the Meuse entrance arcade

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab. You can also find us over on Instagram.

Our family Life Weekly blog post

Our Family Life 2021 (35/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (35/52)

Monday

Our Family Life 2021 – It feels like we’re having a lot of days at home, but the kids seem to want to just be at home having lounge picnics, playing on the trampoline, and generally just being together. As the chairs were delivered the other day we have a huge empty box and oodles of bubble wrap which has kept them both entertained for the most part of the day. Freddie was enjoying being dragged around the room by Belle whilst he sat in the box. They added in cushions and made it into a ‘person nest’ and also made catwalks with the bubble wrap, prancing up and down to see if they could make the bubbles pop. Amazing isn’t it, you spend a fortune on toys and yet a box and bubble wrap has kept their attention way longer than any of the toys they have.

A toddler boy playing with bubble wrap

Tuesday

Back to work for me. It feels like I’ve been off for ages, so lots to catch up on.

Wednesday

Lunch box and school bag shopping today. It should have been an easy task but there aren’t that many physical places that we could go to have a look at them. We ended up getting a gorgeous marble print lunch bag in WH Smiths and an almost matching water bottle in Wilkinson’s. As the weather was gorgeous we decided to get some food and sit by Exeter Cathedral which is such a good sunspot. It was busy but there was still plenty of room for everyone to sit distanced. Belle and I used to sit there a couple of times a week when we did her baby groups so it was nice to do it with both of them.

A shopping haul of lunch box, water bottle and stationery

I had to add in this picture of Belle and Freddie. Freddie is tapping on Belle’s shoulder so that she’s turning her head – leaving him free to pinch a bit of her pudding. He’d finished his. Aww, it was hilarious!

Thursday

I was in the office today and it was really nice to be there. With being on annual leave and isolating, I think it’s been about a month since I was last physically in the building. We now have to do weekly Lamp tests which is a spit test and quite honestly I would rather have a PCR than do this even once a week. You have to spit in a pot when you first wake up before you have anything to drink or brush your teeth. It made me gag and was absolutely disgusting!

Belle went for a sleepover at her grandparents so the house was a lot quieter.

Friday

Animal duties today. Cleaning the hamster out and giving Charlie a good brush. Freddie is still obsessed with watching the hamster videos on youtube and so thought Cookie would like to have a drive in some of his cars. She played the part very well and kept him entertained for ages.

A hamster in a toy police car

Saturday

Freddie has been potty trained for quite a while now, but is still in pull-ups. Only for the simple reason that he doesn’t like wearing pants. We bought bigger ones thinking that maybe they felt too tight, but he didn’t like them. So we bought some boxer shorts to see what he thought about them. He tried on all three pairs before quickly putting his pull-ups back on and his boxers on his head. I’m not overly fussed as he’s not wetting in them or anything, he just prefers them. we’ll keep trying until he cracks it.

A toddler boy with a pair of boxer shorts on his head
Sunday

A day of home jobs and making sure we have everything ready for back to school and the start of pre-school. We also have a lot of stuff that we need to sort out in the bedrooms. Belle still plays with her Barbies and other dolls, but there are a lot of toys in her room that she hasn’t played with for ages and could go to the Charity shop. We also need to sort out storage for some of Ryan’s stuff that he doesn’t need as he’s on base during the week. It’s one of those jobs that once you start you have to keep going as it’s just such a mess. I get really nostalgic when I start sorting through things so it takes me way too long as I do all the ‘remember when…….’.

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab.

Our Family Life 2021 (34/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (34/52)

Monday

Family Life 2021 – What a lovely weekend we’ve had. Today we decided to get out and about with the dog. We have the regular places that we like to go to, but we thought we’d try somewhere new. I’d heard about Mamhead Sensory Trail on Facebook as a great place to take kids as well as dogs so off we went. My niece came as well which It was a lovely walk that was pram and toddler friendly, but you can stray off the path if you have older children who want to explore and climb a little bit more. We had heard that there was a secret rope swing, but it must be well hidden as we didn’t find it. We drove past the spot a couple of weeks ago and there was a coffee van there, but unfortunately, it wasn’t there today so we had to make do with water.

A family with a dog walking through Mathews sensory trail

Tuesday

I had big plans for places we could go this week, but Chris has done something to his shoulder and finding driving difficult. He’s booked in for a sports massage, and we’ll just do bits more or less on our doorstep which is hardly a hardship. We took the kids to the park today. Freddie is quite adventurous with his climbing, but he’s still at the stage where he still needs a little bit of help – not that he wants it. It was nice to see him running around on all the equipment, not trying to avoid all the other children like he has been doing.

A tree trunk that looks like an elephants head

Wednesday

We went back for our Summer Holiday Toddler Sense class this morning. Belle came with us and met her friend there before going off to her house for the rest of the day. Freddie had a lovely time and was much more confident than last week. They did some chalk drawing, dancing and maypole dancing which I think Freddie quite enjoyed. The only thing was that he kept making a beeline for my bag to get his snacks out so I had to keep chasing him away like a pesky seagull.

As Belle was with her friend I popped into my mum’s for a cuppa before heading home. My mum has a budgie and Freddies is quite fascinated by him and all the bits he has in his cage. He’s not flying at the moment which there doesn’t seem to be any reason for. It happened around the time that my Dad went into the Hospice which is slightly odd.

A toddler boy sitting on a basket swing

Thursday

A chill day at home. Freddie was happy playing and Isabelle was playing an online game with her friend in her bedroom so I even managed to sneak in a bit of work which was good. Freddie likes to have the hamster’s cage on the floor so that he can show her his toys and watch TV with her.

A toddler boy climbing on foam shapes at toddler sensory class

Friday

We did a spot of shopping today. As Belle keeps reminding us it’s her birthday in a couple of weeks and we’re having a little family party so we must get organised for everything. We popped into a couple of charity shops which is one of Belle’s favourite things to do and fast becoming Freddies as well. We didn’t manage to get any goodies on this occasion as I’m trying to get them to realise that we don’t have to buy things just for the sake of it.

Our new dining chairs came today which I absolutely love. They’re the ones that I wanted originally but Chris dismissed them and still isn’t keen. I love them though!

Grey dining chairs with telescope legs

Saturday

Our Grandson came over for the day which is always a treat. We played on the trampoline, built bricks, raced cars, played hide and seek, and watched a movie. It’s always busy when Luka comes over, and the boys are like little Duracell Bunnies. I literally flop down at the end of the day!

Sunday

Was a pyjama day for us. Do you find that since Covid, that you appreciate the slower pace of life. Gone are the days that I run myself ragged just for the sake of being out and about. Sometimes, it’s just nice to be at home, in the garden, or playing.

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab.

 

Our Family Life 2021 (33/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (33/52)

Monday 

We thought we’d do a few bits and bobs at home to kick off the week and I had a bit of work to catch up on.

Freddie is obsessed with belles hamster, Cookie, and likes to talk to her every day. He’s been watching a YouTube show which is basically hamsters going around elaborate cardboard mazes and loves it. He likes to get the cage down to watch it with Cookies ‘friends’ which is kind of cute.

Tuesday 

Belle and I escaped on our own to do some birthday shopping for Daddy’s birthday this weekend. it was kind of successful but we ended up with more stuff for Belle than we did for the birthday boy. We also met my son and his fiancée for lunch at Slim Chicken which we haven’t had before. It was lovely but both Belle and Ryan were quite irked that they don’t have ketchup. Loads of nice dipping sauces minus the very obvious and I’m guessing most asked for ketchup. Odd!

Wednesday 

This morning we went to Toddler Sense this morning. Belles’s friend’s mum runs it so she met her friend whilst we were there. Freddie was really shy to start with and a bit uncertain about going up to the front to collect the shakers and ribbons etc but he got there once he’s warmed up and really enjoyed himself.

Afterward, we went for coffee and ice cream with belles friend and her mum followed by a trip to the park.

We also popped into a charity shop after much begging from Belle and ended up with a dolly and a buggy which Freddie proudly pushed all the way home.

Thursday 

We had a day at home and I had my hair done. I had balayage a few months ago with darker roots and lighter on the ends which I love. I had the colour redone today and I love it. I’ve had quite a bit chopped off and additional layers as it’s so thick and a bit unruly at the moment. It feels so much lighter and swishier now!

Friday 

Our morning started with a gorgeous breakfast at the Pink Moon. They were doing a summer holiday special with unlimited pancakes and milkshakes for the kids.

Chris had a full moon breakfast which was a full English with posh beans and avocado on the side. I had a breakfast muffin filled with pulled pork, bacon, and cheese with hollandaise sauce. It was gorgeous.

We then went to the sports shop to get both kids new trainers. Thankfully it was a successful trip with very little grumbling from Belle. There was a sticky point when Freddie wanted one Spider-Man trainer and one Cars trainer with flashing lights on the side.

Saturday

As it’s Chris’ birthday tomorrow and my mother-in-law next week we had a family picnic at my in-law’s house. We all had to take some food with us so Chris made a pressed picnic loaf with loads of meats, cheeses, and pickles which he impressed himself with so much.

It was a lovely afternoon. The weather didn’t look too hopeful in the morning but the sun came out and the kids were able to play with a sprinkler pad which they loved.

Sunday

It was Daddy’s birthday today so the day started with presents which Freddie helped unwrap, telling him what everything was as he unwrapped them. Chris like most men is really hard to buy for, but this year he was clear on what he wanted (at the last minute). He wants to get a tattoo. His first tattoo. Whilst moneys slightly boring to give as a present I would much rather give him something that he wanted rather than the usual go-to presents of aftershave, t-shirts and alcohol.

Then Belle decided she wanted to make a Birthday Breakfast. She did very little by way of helping with the full English that ended up on the table, but took 100% of the credit. Typical….

We had a pretty chilled morning followed by us going out for a child-free meal in the afternoon which was such a treat. We rarely spend any time on our own without the kids so it really was very nice. this is when having an older child comes in quite nicely. Ryan and his fiancée came over to look after the kids armed with kids magazines which was a smooth move on their part.

We picked a local Portuguese restaurant that was recommended to us, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. We had a selection of starters including a type of stew with beef and chorizo. It was the kind of dish you could eat a huge bowl of with a stack of bread for dipping. We also had prawns, a goats cheese and spinach samosa, cod fritters and these little shrimp filled pastry’s which were amazing.

For the main course we had a sharing platter of sizzling pork and sausage with fries, salad and some side dishes which looked like Cous cous but were in fact cornbread crumbs with a mix of chickpeas, tomatoes and kale. We washed it all down with a jug of sangria. The desserts sounded amazing but we didn’t have any room left to eat anything else.

All was well when we got home, and we had that nice feeling you get when you actually get to sit down, talk and appreciate a meal without small people invading your space.

It’ll be sad when Chris has to go back to work, but it’s been a great week. 

My Family Life 2021 (32/52)

My Family Life 2021

Monday

After a busy weekend, we had a lovely chilled out day. Well, I say that but there was much cleaning and washing involved. Freddie was happy pottering around playing with his toys and Belle was happy hiding away in her room which she likes to do these days.

This months Birch Box arrived which I love every single month. It’s so nice getting some treats.

Tuesday

A work day for me. Just today and Thursday and then I’ve got two weeks off from my employed job.

The kids went out with Nanny for a few hours today, and then Belle went for a sleepover at her best friends house. She took a bag big enough to stay away for a week!

Wednesday

My Mum was looking after my brothers kids so we went to see them today. It was just Freddie and I but the cousins had a lovely time together. We walked over and it would have been quicker if I’d taken a snail with me.

Thursday

I was in the office today. It was nice not to be at home for a change. It was the last day before my annual leave. I had thought that my time with the team was coming to an end but I’m staying for now which I’m pleased about.

Friday

We were going to go out. It started to pour down so that ruined our plans. In the end my sister took Belle to ibounce trampoline park and Freddie and I stayed at home playing cars. Freddie would have loved it too but under 5’a are only allowed to go to the family sessions which were fully booked. My sister and I had a catch up when they came back which was nice. Freddie loves it when ‘Aunty Smelly’ (Kelly) comes over because she’s super noisy and messes around with him.

Saturday

The weather is still a bit iffy so we decided to make cupcakes and watch a film.

It’s really hard baking with a 10 year old and a 3 year old. Neither of them wants to share with the other so we have to share the jobs out or it all becomes a nightmare. Each of them has six cakes. We use different coloured cases so there’s no confusion. Once cooked they have the end of a worktop each to decorate as they want. Freddie finished his in about five seconds whilst Isabelle takes ages decorating hers. Both of them made cakes that look like boobies which they thought was hilarious.

Freddie’s Cakes

Sunday

The start of ten days off as a family. We went to the quay for coffee, cake and ice cream. There’s a coffee shop that we always go to so the kids now call it our coffee shop.

The queue was so long and the ice cream was quite drippy by the time we got it so the dog got quite a treat as he finished Freddie’s.

There’s a little boat that you can go from one side of the river to the other instead of going over the bridge. They use a wire from one side to the other and pull the. Oat backwards and forwards. We went on this for the first time with Freddie and he really enjoyed it. We even watched as he dropped the wire in to the water to allow a boat to go past.

We then went in the park and Chris and I took it in turns to stay outside with the dog. We finished off the day with a steak dinner. All in all it was a nice first day off together.