The long Easter weekend is one that I look forward to pretty much all year.  Mostly because it used to signify the start of two blissful weeks of no school runs but since the council decided to shift all the holidays around, it is now just a lovely long weekend all on its own.  It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to spend time together as a family, see friends and have fun and eat more chocolate than we really should!

Unfortunately the weather forecast had other ideas and it looked like torrential rain was going to hit for the entire weekend.  That said, Friday we woke up to blazing sunshine and it turned out to be an absolute beauty of a day.


Friday was our ‘laze around’ day; we had some plans to see friends in the afternoon which we duly baked Easter cupcakes for but apart from that we just mooched around and did odd jobs.  James cut the grass, I…erm…supervised and the kids played in the garden.  It was one of those days when we really didn’t do much at all and yet it felt like such a great day.

Saturday was a little cloudier than we would have liked but it was still pretty mild.  James took Meg and Eli to the Kids AM screening at the cinema with the promise that if the rain held off we would go for a walk in the afternoon to the sand dunes.  Typically, the rain held off until we were actually in the middle of our walk and we got totally and utterly soaked through.


It was definitely one of those situations where we could either have all moaned and grumped about the fact that our wellies were squelching and our coats were no longer doing their job of keeping the rain out and heading away from the sand dunes and into the woods to try and get less wet had actually just made us more chilly…you get the idea.  We decided instead to laugh about it and as much as possible turn it into just another adventure, with the promise of Kung Fu Panda and hot chocolate at the other end of it!  Because the weather was so bad I didn’t manage to get my big camera out but I did do a little film:-


Sunday was way more chaotic than we had thought it would be.  We had the great idea to have the Kindness Elves come back and bring the kids Easter treats and the story of Easter, which was all great.


We also wanted to have a special Easter breakfast but Eli was so excited by the appearance of the Elves door that he couldn’t actually keep still enough to eat his breakfast and we almost had total meltdown.  Then we had to get dressed and out to church, before coming back for the roast beef James had spent the morning preparing and cooking in the slow cooker.


I had also planned a little Easter egg hunt for the garden but the weather was so crazy that we just had to rush out and do it when there was a break in the torrential rain; which happened to be just as dinner was served!


So a bit more manic than I had hoped for but both Meg and Eli seemed to have a good time, which is what counts.


Monday we headed down to Loughborough to see my parents.  It meant a very early start and we were all a bit grouchy to begin with but it was totally worth it.  We all miss being just around the corner from them and we don’t get to see them nearly as much as we’d like so it was lovely to spend the day just us and them.  It was just a shame that school hadn’t broken up and we had to hare it back home again at the end of the day rather than being able to stop over.

Despite the weather we had a really nice weekend; sometimes it’s just nice to have the opportunity to be altogether without work or commitments getting in the way.  I am particularly looking forward to the Easter holidays now though…providing the weather is better of course!


If you’re interested, here is last year’s Easter post.

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With Easter literally on our doorstep, it’s a great opportunity to get together and enjoy time as a family. Whilst we are quite an active and outdoorsy family, we also like to get some downtime and watching movies (or films if you prefer!) is a fantastic way for us to do that.


I know that we aren’t alone in this either so I have put together a list of some recommendations for family movies to watch this Easter. It’s a great time to snuggle up, tuck into some Easter treats (maybe even the grown ups could get treated to a new TV such as a Panasonic 4K TV) and have a giggle and a good time:_


Hop
Featuring actors such as Hugh Laurie and Russell Brand, Hop is an animated film about E.B. the son of the Easter Bunny. It is expected that E.B. will follow in his famous father’s footsteps to become the next Easter Bunny but E.B. has other ideas; he wants to be a drummer. So, on the eve of his Easter Bunny coronation, he sneaks off to Hollywood to try and make his dreams come true. This is a heartwarming, coming of age story where E.B. must save the Easter Bunny factory from chicks (yes, really) and accept who is he is. It is an action adventure with just the right amount of comedy and fun for all ages to enjoy.


The Good Dinosaur
Okay, so it isn’t technically Easter related but it does feature an egg so that kind of counts doesn’t it? Plus, this is the newest family movie on the block and well worth downloading or purchasing this Easter. The Good Dinosaur is the story of Arlo, an apatosaurus who just wants to make his mark on the world but is too afraid to do so. Through a twist and turn of sad events, Arlo ends up separated from his family with only the feral child ‘Spot’ for company and together they must make their way home and discover who they are along the way.


VeggieTales: Twas’ the Night Before Easter
If you are looking for a family movie which will help your children to understand a little more of the story of Easter, then we are huge fans of VeggieTales in this house and we know you won’t go wrong with their Easter offering. In a classic VeggieTales story, Marlee Meade must go on a little journey in order to discover what Easter is really all about.


Rise of the Guardians
This is a good option if you have slightly older children but you still want to watch a film with a slight link to the Easter Bunny! The immortal ‘Guardians’ who must come together to protect the world feature some of the well known names from childhood: Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy to name but a few, although they are called slightly different things. The story is about protecting the innocence, belief and imagination of children the world over and is an action-packed animated movie.

What do you think of my choices? Can you think of any others to add in this Easter?

This is a collaborative post

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It seems like so long ago now that we were out buying thermals, packing our suitcases and trying to keep schtum from the kids about our trip to Oslo.  In fact, just last night we were reminiscing about the trip and how well we thought it had gone and whether we’d be able to do anything similar this year.  I really hope so!

If you are thinking about heading to Oslo then we would really recommend it; it’s a beautiful city, the people are super friendly and there is loads to see and do.  Having written three posts sharing what we got up to and some of the photos we took, I also finally got around to putting together a little video of our time there.

You can find the written posts here, here and here, or you may just prefer to watch the video!  It’s only a small snapshot of what we did, but hopefully it might inspire you to plan your own city break in the near future.

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Around 8 weeks ago I was sitting in my study, contemplating the month ahead and the work I had planned out.  I had this sudden urge to be back in an office environment, to be around other people during my working day and perhaps try something a little more challenging.

I have loved the freedom that being freelance gave me; it came at a time when we needed someone to be at home for school drop off and pick up, and for some one on one time with Eli.  I have been able to be around for assemblies and school events and I love that.  But I also felt the need to push myself in my career again.


Confident that it wouldn’t be too difficult to find something in the line of work I was used to, I duly sent off my CV for various jobs in our local vicinity.

Turns out…it’s not really as simple as that.

According to the agencies and companies I applied to, I am lacking in recent experience for the type of administrative work that I used to do, but I am over qualified for anything less than the type of administrative work that I used to do…quite an interesting dilemma.

I started off being quite particular about the job I wanted and when that panned out to nothing, I started being less particular.  And I still got nowhere.

I can’t pretend that although I am a big believer in doors only opening when it is right, I haven’t still felt a little bit injured by the fact that I am finding it so difficult to get a job.  I may have had 3 years out but that doesn’t mean that I am not still very much able (and willing) to work hard to do the job.  Or that I wouldn’t be good at it.

So what’s a girl to do?

Perhaps it isn’t the right time for me to get a job, perhaps there is the ideal job just waiting around the corner, perhaps I need to give up the game altogether; after all, my ideal is that I will sign with an agent and get to write books full time but that is a pipe dream which is also failing to turn out quite the way I imagined.

It would be so easy to feel disheartened about the situation.  James has a good, steady job but if I were able to secure a little more work it would just make the extra bit of difference month to month.  I think it would also be good for my well-being; to not just have myself for company throughout my working day but to get to be around other people as well.  However, I am choosing not to feel dispirited.  There is so much that I want to do with my life, so many other things I would choose to do if I had endless amounts of time and resources that perhaps it’s time I knocked on a few of those doors instead.

Okay so it isn’t quite turning out the way I imagined that it would; perhaps there was a touch of arrogance about my confidence that I would simply send out my CV to a few companies and then waltz into a job, but that doesn’t mean that the pull I felt to do something else was a wrong emotion.  Maybe it just means that I am searching in the wrong place and perhaps something even better is just around the corner.

And that’s a pretty exciting thought.


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So way back in January (which seems a lifetime ago now already!) I was invited to join a lovely little community called Love Life Outside as a co-host.  I had planned to get weekly updates sharing some of my favourite photos but life just got in the way and I haven’t managed to get around to it until now!  If you want to read more about the community you can do here; we’d love for you to come and join us.

So a slap on the wrist for me and a promise that I will be sharing my favourite photos from the week each Sunday here; so long as all the sickness bugs we’ve been battling stay away of course!

This week I haven’t gotten out as much as I would have liked to.  I mean, I’ve sat in the garden and enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine and I’ve taken the dog for a walk but we haven’t been down to any of our special outdoor haunts which I’m hoping we can rectify at the weekend!

I am constantly inspired by the photos which get shared on the Instagram page and it definitely pushes me to think about different places we could go and visit; now that the weather is starting to brighten up a little it is getting easier to persuade the whole family to get outsid as well.  In fact, yesterday the kids played in the garden until well after their bedtime and it was pitch black before I had to call them inside.  They had been out since the moment they came home from school and although by the time they actually came in, it was a heck of a lot colder, I love that they had been able to do that because of the lighter evenings.  It is something I am looking forward to a lot more of as we race towards the summer.

Over the last couple of weeks I have shared a number of outdoors posts but these are my two favourites.  I keep harping on about washing on the line but I seriously love the feeling when you can peg it all out there and the freshness of the clothes when you bring them back in (it’s how I get my kicks these days!) and then this photo from Mother’s Day when Meg and Eli were racing through the sand dunes.  Those kids love beach life, even when they have to layer up in order to enjoy it.

A photo posted by Jess McGlynn (@jmcglynn) on


As for my favourite community photos; this week it was such a hard choice.  I managed to stick to just four although I could have gone on and on…

A photo posted by Natalie (@natalie_g_photography) on

A photo posted by Lisa 🌿 (@mysweetreverie) on

A photo posted by April Brover (@brovermama) on

Don’t forget to keep on sharing your brilliant ourdoor shots with us over on IG and use the hashtag #lovelifeoutside to be featured!


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