Happy Friday 19.08.16

Well, I’m not sure where the sun has gone, as I have woken up to grey, overcast skies and actual RAIN this morning, but we have had a lovely week in the beautiful weather, so I can’t complain – and it is good for the garden!

Here are the highlights:

  1. We had a wonderful family day out to Warwick Castle last Saturday. D and I last went there in 1997, so it was a first for the children, and it was great. The weather was lovely, which meant that we could wander around, have our picnic, watch the trebuchet and jousting displays and complete the tower and ramparts walk in the sun, as well as doing one of the organised tours of the state rooms, which was really interesting. It really was such a good day.
warwick1 warwick2 warwick3 warwick4 warwick5
2. I did a little bit of furniture restoration again this week, which I am so pleased with. We were given four old wooden garden chairs a little while ago, to chop up and use as firewood, but when I looked at them properly a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that they were actually in quite good condition, just very unloved and neglected, so I decided that I would try to give them a new lease of life. I painted them white, and then made new cushions with some lovely fresh, striped fabric. I bought a new white tablecloth for our old outdoor table as well, so it now feels like we have a complete new set of garden dining furniture, which we have since used a lot this week, for the grand total of £30.
chairs1
Chair2
3. To follow on from this, we have really made the most of the beautiful weather this week, spending a lot of time out in the garden – we have had two firepit evenings and have eaten a lot of our meals outside, which we love to do. The lunch below, for example, was delicious – homemade guacamole with crackers and crudites – and it was made even better by eating it al fresco!
guac
4. We have been reaping the benefits of our thriving herb garden again this week – our roast lamb on Sunday was adorned with our rosemary, and then we also made fresh mint sauce to accompany it, as we have huge amounts of mint – and there are only so many mojitos we can drink!
5. We had another nice day out on Monday, meeting my great friend, Hettie, and her two young children, at Carsington Water. Again, it was a lovely day for a picnic, in beautiful surroundings, and G and B did a great job of helping entertain the little ones.
carsington
6. We have come up with a new possible career option for G this week – comedian! She has been so, so funny this holiday, so quick-witted and absolutely hilarious that she has had me and B holding our aching stomachs and in tears from laughing so much.
7. B once more came into his own last night when he made us a delicious turf and surf meal – it was so good, especially the prawns, which I am generally not a huge fan of, but it was all just so tasty.
meal
8. I have been loving doing Lucy Wyndham-Read’s workouts this week – she does quite short routines which focus on different areas of the body, so you can choose whichever areas you wish to concentrate on, and then do a few as they are pretty short.
9. As well as eating out in the garden on many occasions this week, we also spent one afternoon playing board games out there too, which was great fun. A lovely way to while away an afternoon!
10. We are definitely hoping that the good weather returns again, as we are off to Norfolk today for another ten day stay. D can only be with us at the weekends, but we will still have fun, and try to make the most of the last couple of weeks of the summer holiday, which is passing far, far too quickly.
Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday 12.08.16

Another couple of weeks have absolutely flown by, with plenty more “good stuff” going on, so here are the highlights:

  1. G and B had a fabulous 11 days in France with their exchange family. They were looked after well, had great experiences of French life and had lots of fun doing different activities with the family, so it was a very successful trip. But it was also absolutely lovely to get them back home again on Monday night!
  2. One thing that has made this school holiday such a joy has been that G and B have been getting on so well together, which makes for lovely, calm days – better for everyone!
  3. A couple of weeks ago (already?!?!), D and I had our annual trip to CarFest – but this time without the children which did feel very strange. It was our first time at CarFest North, having visited CarFest South for the past four years, and the venue – Bolesworth Castle – was absolutely beautiful. As this is an equestrian eventing venue, they put on some show jumping displays, which were a very welcome addition to the daytime events, and were great to watch. The weather was very kind to us, and, on the whole, the music was good (“Faithless” though?? Really? What was that – apart from being very painful on the ears! Just awful!!), especially on the Sunday night, when the atmosphere was at its best.
CF1 CF2 CF3 CF4 CF5 CF64. I had a very successful – and also pretty speedy – trip to Ikea last week, managing to find exactly what I wanted without being distracted and coming away with far more than I had planned!
5. I had an extremely productive week whilst the children were away, making the most of the opportunity to tidy, sort and organise various areas of the house and garden that had been neglected a little of late. I completely sorted out B’s room, which is only a very small space, but it now looks lovely, and added some finishing touches to our bedroom, re-covering the cushions on the bedding box and adding some word artwork, amongst other things, so I was very pleased.
Box Wall
6. D and I had a lovely lunch at Barton Marina on Saturday, as a reward for sorting out the garage, dumping lots of rubbish at the tip and (hopefully!) selecting the “shed” we are going to use as a gym/summer house in the garden. It was a beautiful day, so it was lovely to sit outside in the sun by the marina.
BM1 BM27. We followed this with a fabulous day out in the Peak District on Sunday. Again, the weather favoured us – it was beautifully sunny but with a breeze, which was great for walking, so we had a picnic, a circular walk which included sections by the river and then up and down some hills, ending with tea and cake at the tearooms – a perfect trip out!
PD1 PD2 PD3 PD4 PD58. Wednesday saw us heading off on a shopping trip to get the annual “school shopping” done. This was very successful – we managed to get all stationery and uniform requirements (I think!) so I now just need to start sewing labels on again!
9. We were very thrilled, and extremely proud, to find out this week that G has been awarded an academic prize again for her school work this year. These are highly coveted prizes, as they do not give out many of them, but she definitely deserves it for all her hard work this year.
10. We had a lovely day yesterday, visiting one of my university friends, Abi, and her boys. It was great to have a proper catch up, and fantastic to see the boys all getting on so well and playing cricket together. I love the summer holidays for being able to meet up with friends!

So that’s been about it for the past couple of weeks – apart from D and I also celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary! Where did those years go? Crazy – but all good.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Our Norfolk Holiday

The reason for my absence over the past couple of weeks is that we were away on a fabulous holiday in Norfolk for 12 days. For the first time in 11 years, I was able to go away without my laptop and didn’t have to work at all, so had 12 days pretty much “off grid”, which was bliss. Plus we just had the most amazing time! The weather was incredible – hot, sunny, with blue skies every day apart from the day we had to drive home – we were so lucky.

So here’s a little round up of the best bits, in verbs and photos:

  1. Having breakfast at one of our favourite eateries – Creake Abbey – on our first morning.
  2. Walking along Brancaster beach to see the beautiful seals.
  3. Drinking tea in the garden.
  4. Playing tennis as a family, which we did many times.
  5. Walking the dogs in the early mornings and evenings.
  6. Kayaking at Burnham Overy Staithe – the kayak turned out to be a great investment!
Kayak1 Kayak 2
Kayak 3
7. Drinking prosecco in the garden at sunset.
Sunset 2 Sunset 1
8. Playing with the dogs and B one evening on Brancaster beach.
Bran 2 Bran Lottie Bran HoneyBran 3
9. Visiting Muckleburgh Military Museum with B.
Muck
10. Watching the waves crash on the stony beach at Salthouse.
11. Eating brunch in the garden on many mornings.
12. Eating out at various local restaurants.
Orange food 2 Orange drink1 JS 2 JS 1 Orange food 1
13. Walking through the woods at Sandringham.
sand 3 Sand 1 Sand 2
sand 4
14. Picking strawberries and gooseberries.
Strawberries
15. Drinking Pimms in the garden in the early evening.

Pimms

16. Walking around the lake at Holkham Hall.

Holkham Holkham B Holkham G Holkham D17. Swimming together in Hunstanton.
18. Enjoying a barbecue on Saturday evening.
19. Walking to the amazing beach at Burnham Overy Staithe to eat a breakfast of sausage and bacon rolls.
BB walk BOS beach BB Georgie BB Ben Breakfast beach
20. Jumping in the straw left behind by the combine harvester in the field behind our house.
21. Eating ice cream at Drove Orchards.
22. Sitting on top of the straw bales in the field as the sun began to set.
Bale Bale 3 Bale 2
23. Looking forward to going back again for another 10 days at the end of the month!
Bran 1

 

 

Happy Friday 15.07.16

It’s Happy Friday time again already – the weeks seem to be passing so quickly at the moment! Anyway, here’s a little round up of my week:

  1. We had a lovely trip to Yo Sushi with G on Saturday, to welcome her back from her trip to Germany. She had been the week previously with a friend, but it was a new experience for me and D. I’m not a huge fan of sushi, but there were plenty of other options, so I had the delicious chicken and Japanese fried rice below, which was really good.

Food DF

2. G eventually got to enjoy her Christmas present last Sunday, when she had her flying lesson. She was up in the air for well over an hour and it was a beautiful day for it, so she really enjoyed it.

Flight

3. Stemming from my childhood, I’ve always loved beautiful stationery, so the new notebook that I bought at the start of the week has made me very happy indeed!

Notebook

4. G and I had a lovely trip out with the dogs on Tuesday, walking them in Poppy Wood, followed by a quick stop off at Calke Abbey for a drink. There is a new dog agility trail at the wood, so it was great to see them loving it – and it’s always a great way to tire them out!

Dogs Lottie

5. Being very aptly named, the poppies were out in force in Poppy Wood, looking absolutely beautiful, so they definitely brought a smile to my face.

Poppies

6. Tilly had her annual check up and vaccinations at the vet on Tuesday, and it was really good to hear that she is still in very good shape, with an incredibly healthy heart, as, for a big dog, she is getting to quite a good age.

7. The summer holidays started properly on Wednesday when we went up to collect B, who is now home for almost eight weeks, which is lovely.

8. G and B enjoyed the first day of their summer holiday together yesterday with a trip to Bounce Revolution in Derby. They had a great, if rather exhausting and hot, hour, trying all the trampolines and “wipeout” style areas, so it was a real hit – and very amusing to watch!

Bounce ben Bounce GB Bounce GB1

9. I am continuing to enjoy doing workouts at home. Thank goodness for You Tube! There are so many different kinds of workouts and exercise programmes on there, for free, so I’ve been loving mixing and matching some of the individual routines, then alternating with a programme.

10. Today is the day that we decamp to Norfolk for 12 days, so we are really looking forward to that. After the busyness of the past few weeks, it will be lovely to get away and properly relax, so we are looking forward to lots of walks on the beach, kayaking, eating out, tennis, swimming, reading, etc. Bliss!

 

 

Happy Friday 08.07.16

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I last posted, but that is simply due to the fact that I have been absolutely crazily busy with work, so have not had any spare time whatsoever. However, that craziness has now come to an end, so I’m back with a lovely Happy Friday list!

  1. The first one has to be work. D and I made a decision about our business a few months ago, which was the reason behind all the hard work and long hours of the past few weeks. However, that all came to fruition last Friday, hence we have this week started a new chapter in the life of the business, which is 100% positive for absolutely everyone associated with it, which is so exciting and good to see. Definitely a cause for celebration.
Champagne
2. We have been continuing to eat healthily most of the time, still trying out new recipes from the recipe books which I received for my birthday in May, and really loving them. They are so tasty and feel so good for you at the same time. The photo below is of one of my favourite breakfast recipes – Carrot Bircher – yum!
Healthy
3. Saying that, however- we all need a treat from time to time, so last weekend I made one of my favourites for Saturday night – chocolate-dipped strawberries – so, so delicious!
Strawberries
4. I know that I have mentioned before how much I love libraries, but this has to be said again! I went a couple of weeks ago to my local one, which is literally 10-15 minutes walk away from home, and there was an extremely helpful, chatty librarian on duty, who recommended that I should try reading some Jeffrey Archer books. Never having liked the man, I have not once considered reading any of his works (and I had no idea that he had written so many!) but she suggested that I start reading The Clifton Chronicles series. I took the first two books away with me, then reserved and collected numbers 3 and 4 last week, and they really are very good. I am so pleased that she suggested them, as I am enjoying them immensely.
5. D’s new “toy” a couple of weeks ago was a pasta maker, so he and G had a lovely time one Friday evening making us some fresh tagliatelle. It was pretty simple to make but tasted so much nicer than the bought variety, even when buying fresh, so this is definitely the way forward for us now!
Pasta
6. One of the things that has made me chuckle over the past weeks has been the dogs. As there are areas of pretty long grass around where I walk them in the park, they love to explore these when they are off their leads, but, because they aren’t overly tall dogs, they literally have to bounce around the tall stalks, which is so hilarious to watch. They are honestly just like little Tiggers!
7. It has recently been the season for one of my favourite flowers – peonies! I think they are incredibly pretty, and come in such beautiful shades, so I absolutely love them. D doesn’t like them, for some completely unfathomable reason – but then he doesn’t like tulips either, which I also find totally weird!
Peony2 Peony1
8. D and I had a lovely afternoon out last Sunday at a Sausage and Cider Music Festival. The weather was incredibly kind to us, so we had a wonderful time, sitting in the sun on our picnic blanket, eating sausages, drinking cider (rhubarb cider is soooo good!) and listening to the live music – especially the reggae music, which we love.
Fi Dan
Dan_sit
9. We then had a lovely evening out by the firepit (admiring our lovely foxgloves!), enjoying a couple of mojitos and chatting – a fantastic end to the weekend.
Firepit Foxglove
10. As D and I have been child-free this week, with G in Germany and B in France, we decided to go out for a meal last night. We went to Revolución de Cuba and had the most delicious meal – shared tapas to start, then a burrito for me and chimichanga for D. We also enjoyed some fabulous cocktails – Reggae Rum Punch, an original mojito, then – our favourite – a Garden Mojito, which was amazingly good! We will definitely be going back there again soon (probably for our 20th wedding anniversary next month!).
Dan cocktailFi cockail
Place2
Place3 Place Mojito_menu Burrito_sticks
Food2 Food
Mojito Garden_mojito

Happy Friday 10.06.16

Due to the fact that we are firmly entrenched in revision season at the moment, the last two or three weeks have been very quiet and uneventful, so there has been little to report. However, there have obviously been some highlights, so here’s a little round up of some of the things that have sparked joy recently.

1. A family trip to watch “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in Nottingham a couple of weeks ago. Everyone knows it’s a great, if very surreal, film, so we were intrigued as to how they would carry this off on a stage, but, of course, it was brilliantly done, and the flying car was suitably impressive! The cast was extremely strong – Lee Mead and Carrie Hope Fletcher had the lead roles, so they were obviously fantastic, as were Shaun Williamson and Michelle Collins. It was a “truly scrumptious” afternoon out!

2. The garden is continuing to look beautiful. The bluebells and tulips have now gone, but have been replaced by stunning peonies and bedding plants, which are all adding some very welcome splashes of colour.
Peonies Plants
3. Talking of the garden, our herb garden is absolutely flourishing, which we are so happy about. We have so many different kinds of mint (for D’s speciality mojitos!!), plus different thyme plants, oregano, fennel, curry plant, lovage, chives, parsley, rosemary, sage and elephant garlic. I love being able to use our own herbs in cooking and some of them have been flowering recently, so also look so pretty.
Herbs2 HErbs1 Garlic
4. One thing that has been wonderful over the past week or so is the weather. It has been so warm (even hot at times!) and sunny, that it has been a joy to spend time outside. The photo below is of our last meal together before B headed back up to Lancaster on Sunday to start his week of exams. Eating outside and early morning walks definitely make me smile!
GB
Dogs
Lottie
5. I have been to Derby Theatre twice in the past week (have I ever mentioned what a fabulous theatre it is, putting on such a huge and diverse range of productions? – I absolutely love it). The first was with D last Saturday for a Stage and Screen Night performed by Derwent Brass. I’m not sure if it’s down to my northern roots, but I love a good brass performance, and it was such a great night. Their programme was in three sections – a tribute to the production of “Brassed Off” which took place at the theatre last September and was just so, so good, then a swing section, followed by pieces from musical shows and films. It was all brilliant, but special mention should also go to Seren Sandham-Davies, who was in “Brassed Off”, and made three appearances throughout Saturday night’s show, playing the flugelhorn as she did in last year’s show, but also singing two songs. Honestly, her voice was truly amazing.
6. Since receiving the two cookbooks I had requested for my birthday, one by Madeleine Shaw, the other by “The Body Coach” Joe Wicks, we have been trying out so many of the healthy recipes – and absolutely loving them! I like to have a good breakfast to start the day, so have been really enjoying the Lemon and Blueberry Overnight Oats, the Mango and Chia Seed Pudding, the Porridge with Pistachios and Pomegranate Seeds and the Lime and Coconut Porridge with Nut Crunch. For our evening meals, we have had some really delicious meals as well, but the highlight for me was the Cheesy Chorizo Chicken and Spinach – wow – so tasty! We are really enjoying trying out these new recipes which are so delicious, whilst also being very good for you, and are suitable for all the family.
Porridge Fritters Breakfast Berries
7. To go alongside this, I have been doing lots of workouts at home. Now, I can’t honestly say that I always enjoy them at the time – they don’t particularly make me smile – but I always feel so good for doing them afterwards and I definitely feel fitter. I have been doing a mixture of HIIT workouts, with some exercise ball and arm exercises thrown in for good measure, so hopefully it is all doing me good.
8. Me second Derby Theatre trip of the week was on Tuesday with a great friend to watch “The Mousetrap”. I do think that it is odd that, despite the fact that it has been running for so many decades, I don’t actually know anyone who has seen it, but I would definitely recommend it. This touring production was extremely well performed, and it really does keep you guessing until very near the end. I obviously can’t say anymore, as I am now part of the special “Mousetrap Club”, knowing “whodunit” but being sworn to secrecy by the “murderer” at the end of the play.
9. With the stresses and tensions of revision, exams and D continuing to work crazy hours, our little family has made me very happy this past couple of weeks. I love it when we are all together and we know that we are there for each other, especially when we need a little more support than usual.
10. My last one this week is a little holiday that I booked a couple of weeks ago for me and G for October. She gets two weeks for half term, so we are going away for the first week of it for a lovely girly trip, celebrating her 16th birthday whilst there, and allowing her some downtime before GCSE work really kicks in until the following summer. We are so excited and already on a countdown!
That’s about it for this week. Let’s hope that the beautiful weather continues, then at least we can make the most of being at home and get outside whilst work commitments prevent us doing much else.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Dawn

A Birthday Post

Well, I’ve still been crazily busy with work so decided that I would do a slightly different post this week, focusing on the lovely day I had on Sunday, which was my birthday.

It was a quiet but nice day, starting with opening my presents. B had come home for the weekend, so we all sat in our bed together whilst I unwrapped my lovely gifts. You will see from the photos below that a lot of the presents that I had asked for centred around a health and fitness theme (well, I’m 42 now, got to try to stay healthy in my old age!), and I am thrilled with all of them. However, I was also lucky enough to receive lots of other lovely gifts, all of which were so thoughtful and suited me perfectly – so thank you so much to everyone who was so kind and generous to me.

Books

Fit Weights Gifts

Bottle

Charms

B then made me breakfast in bed, accompanied with some Moet et Chandon which was rather nice! We followed this by a family dog walk, as the weather was so much better than we had expected. D had then booked for us to go out Sunday lunch, to The Jinnie Inn at Rolleston on Dove, which was delicious.

Breakfast

By the time we had fully stuffed ourselves with lunch, it was almost time to take B back to the train, so I then had a very lazy, relaxing afternoon, poring over my new recipe books, planning my healthy meals for the week – whilst drinking more champagne!

FiG DB

A chilled but lovely day!

Happy Friday 06.05.16

It’s eventually Happy Friday time again! Not that there have been any reasons for it not to have been for the past couple of weeks but I’ve just been so busy with work that I haven’t had chance to sit down and gather my “happy” thoughts! But I’m back, so let me have a think:

  1. The first fire-pit of the season has to feature this week. It was lovely to get back out in the garden one evening a couple of weekends ago, and sit around the fire, toasting marshmallows and drinking gin and tonic, of course!
  2. A couple of weeks ago G and I went to see a local amateur production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which I really enjoyed. I think that this is an incredibly difficult show to tackle, as the songs seem so challenging, and the cast were unfortunately blighted by some sound issues at the start, but I thought it was a great performance,so it was a lovely night out.
  3. I am currently loving all the colour in our garden – it’s just so pretty and bright. The tulips and bluebells have lasted for weeks now, which I didn’t expect, so it’s looking lovely.
  4. Along these lines is the amazing blossom which is out everywhere right now. I love to see the pink or white blossom against a bright blue sky, and there is so much of it in our area – just beautiful.
  5. I bought a couple of new dresses a week or so ago, which I am really pleased with. They were in the sale so were an absolute bargain, but I love them, as they are just every day dresses, so I should get lots of wear out of them.
  6. Reading has continued to feature highly, the most notable books being “To Kill a Mockingbird”, which I re-read for book club, amazing myself by how little of it I remembered from studying it for GCSE; “The Cry” by Helen Fitzgerald – loved it; and I’m now halfway through “Stranger Child” by Rachel Abbott, which is keeping me very intrigued.
  7. Morning walks! When the mornings are as beautiful as they have been recently, there is honestly no better way to start the day than with an early morning walk with the dogs. They are so excited to wake up and go straight out for an adventure and it is an invigorating way to begin the day.
  8. My guilty pleasure- The Real Housewives of New York – is back! This really is my winding down, switching off treat – usually whilst ironing at the moment, as I haven’t had time to just sit. Those women are just unbelievable!
  9. D and I had a great night out last Sunday at the All-Star Standup Tour in Derby Theatre. Four comedians, who have featured on such TV programmes as “Mock the Week”, all performed, and it was a brilliant night. Gary Delaney, Sean Hughes and Pete Firman were hilarious anyway – the least said about Jarred Christmas the better, to be honest – he did NOT go down a storm with the Derby crowd!
  10. The last one has to be the weather! After the craziness of last week, which gave us rain, hail and even snow, this week’s warmth and sunshine has seemed even more glorious. Long may it continue!
Apologies for the lack of photos this week – I have some lovely ones which I will hopefully be able to add in at some point but, for now, they just aren’t working! Arrrgghh!

I have a lovely weekend ahead, meeting a friend at Stowe tomorrow, then brunch with two of my sisters at Trentham Gardens on Sunday. What treats!

I hope that you all have a great weekend.

 

Happy Friday 15.04.16

Well, it’s almost the weekend again – which is ALWAYS a good thing! We have got nothing planned, so I imagine that most of the time will be spent pottering (which I’m more than happy to do!). Hopefully, we will have some good weather, so that we can get the dogs out for some more lovely spring walks, so here’s to a happy weekend!

But, before that, just a few of the things that have made me smile this week:

  1. The garden is slowly springing into life again, after our crazily wet winter. The lawn is still very, very wet,  but the flowers are beginning to bloom, which is adding some beautiful colour all over the place. I am particularly loving my tulips, which I planted in the autumn, and the bluebells, which are just so fabulous.

Garden

2. After re-painting our sitting room a few weeks ago, there was just something which I felt wasn’t quite right. I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it, but then I realised that it was the wooden coffee table and nest of tables. The shade of wood just didn’t blend in well with the new colour on the walls, which made them look quite dull, so I decided to paint them! Of course, they had to be white, so I spent a few hours transforming them, and I’m so happy with the result. This is a very light, bright room, as it  has two large windows, so the white furniture just seems to fit in there really well, so I am now far happier with the whole room.

From this –

Coffeetable1

to this –  Coffeetable2 Tables

3. As well as enjoying the beautiful blooms in the garden, I have been loving having fresh spring flowers in the house too, especially daffodils and, my favourites, tulips.

Tulips

4. We have eventually seen quite a lot of the sun this week, which has made walking the dogs far more pleasurable. However, it also helps that Honey has started behaving herself much more whilst we are out too. She has been going through a phase, for the past few weeks, of pulling dreadfully on her lead, and continued to do so even with a new anti-pull lead. However, I have been walking Lottie off her lead a lot more in the past week, which I thought might make Honey worse, but it seems to have had the opposite effect, which is great – and a lot less painful for my arm!

Walk2 Walk1 Lottie2 Lottie1

5. We had a lovely day last week when two of my close university friends came over for the day with their children. It worked out so well – the children all get on well together, so they entertained themselves for the most part, which gave us hours of time to chat and catch up, which was so nice – and overdue! It was so good to see them and spend that time together.

6. We had a really fun family night on Friday! We spent the evening playing a new family game on the X Box together, which was very entertaining, then watched an episode of our new favourite series which we ALL enjoy, Vera, ate lots of snacks, and then all slept downstairs in the sitting room together. The evening went so well that we said that we would do it again next time that B is home from school for the weekend!

7. Saturday saw us all taking a trip to the swimming pool together. As usual, it was really quiet, so we almost had the pool to ourselves, which was great, so we had a lovely time.

8. We then continued the family fun by having a “food night” on Saturday evening. We went shopping together, but each had a budget to buy our own food for the evening. This meant that we were all cooking at the same time, but making different meals – it was interesting to see what we all chose to make and how we handled the budget to make the most of the money to get what we each wanted.

9. G organised a fabulous surprise for me, which was so thoughtful. She made up a scavenger hunt around the house and garden, which she knows I absolutely love to do, and then the prize at the end was an early birthday present of a quilted Barbour jacket! I had absolutely no idea that she was going to do this, so it was a complete  shock, but so amazingly lovely.

10. Talking of G, she had two friends over this week, staying for a day followed by a sleepover, and, I have to say, she has the most lovely friends. They get on so well, and are so friendly and polite – it makes us very happy that she has such great people in her life.

So that’s it for this week. I hope that you all have a great weekend, whatever you are up to.

 

Happy Friday 01.04.16

As it was Good Friday last week and we were away, I didn’t get around to writing my Happy Friday post, so this is a quick round up of the things which have made me smile over the past two weeks.

  1. B came home from school for his birthday weekend – it was actually his birthday on the Monday, but he wanted to come home for the couple of days before, which was lovely. So we celebrated two days early, first with G and B completing the Closer to the Edge high ropes adventure course. This is located in Markeaton Park in Derby and is a great facility – it was very well organised and structured, and the children really enjoyed it – especially the powerfan descender and the zip wire! We then went on to Cosmo for his birthday meal, which went down very well with all of us.

Climbing Ropes

GeorgieBen2. It makes me so happy to see the spring flowers coming up in the garden – this week it has been the turn of hyacinths, but my tulips are very nearly there as well, so I can’t wait to see them bloom in the next few days.

Hyacinth

3. The train journeys that B has started taking to and from school are fantastic, I have to say – they make a huge difference both financially and time-wise – and he really enjoys them, feeling very independent and mature. He has a few journeys under his belt now, and is very calm about the whole thing, even when there are three trains and a suitcase involved!

4. As I mentioned, we were away for the Easter weekend in Norfolk, which was as lovely as ever. We are so grateful that we have the house there – it really is the perfect getaway!

5. The weather was better than forecast whilst we were away, so we had some lovely walks – or runs, for the dogs! We seemed to experience every kind of weather apart from snow over the few days, but we certainly made the most of the glorious sunshine.

Tilly

6. We also had quite a competitive time over the bank holiday weekend, as, when the weather wasn’t so good, we stayed in and played LOTS of games – Blokus and B’s new game, Scattergories, being the favourites – lot of fun!

7. Reading has also featured highly for me the past two weeks, especially with having some time away. My recent favourites have been Harlan Coben’s Hold Tight and Louise Douglas’ The Secret by the Lake.

8. During the evenings, after the children have gone to bed, D and I have been continuing to watch The Good Wife, which we are loving. I think we’re about halfway through the final series though, so the end is in sight!

9. On Wednesday, we popped into the Chinese supermarket in Derby, which was so interesting. I have never seen so many different kinds of noodles! We bought some Chinese sweets for G and B, which were really good, and then some curry paste and noodles, so we had Chinese chicken curry with rice vermicelli noodles for our dinner, which was sooo good!

10. One of the absolute highlights has to be the fact that we – eventually – completed the sale on a second house we owned in Norfolk this week! We bought it, with my sister and her husband, five years ago, to renovate and then sell on. The renovation part went really well. Not so the selling! It has therefore been rented out in the meantime, but we have, at long last, managed to sell it, which I am so happy about.

So the Easter holidays continue – I’m loving the lazier mornings, not having to get up at 6.30am but being able to stay in bed with a cup of tea and a good book, whilst the children lie in, so yes please to another week of that!

Have a great weekend!TillyHoney