dear beautiful

This month we have loved:

* Some amazing family days out, including exploring Blackpool for the first time.
* Celebrating Easter by handing out homemade parcels to unsuspecting people in the village.
* Bug hunting!
* Birthday planning for my Other Half including a football cake made almost 100% by Meg.
* Discovering Modern Family (adults not children) – how did we miss this first time around, it’s brilliant!

We took our photos fairly promptly this month which I was quite impressed with, usually I realise about two days before the end of the month and we have to rush around trying to find one we can use.

Okay, it’s not perfect but what I’m beginning to learn from this project is that the chances of capturing an everybody is looking, everybody smiling photograph is like gold dust.  I’m learning to settle for the majority of us looking in the right direction!

What have you gotten up to this month?  Hope it’s been a fun one!

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

The theme for this week’s The Gallery is ‘Happy’ and having not had a very happy Easter break due to various things (you can read about that more here) I was a bit stumped by the theme.  

I thought about what makes me happy, firstly.  Well, recently it was the discovery that they do really make Big Carl wine glasses (Cougar Town, anyone?!) and on a night out last week with some family for a birthday celebration I was very happy indeed to be drinking glasses of wine which were as big as my head.  Given the reaction of social media, it would make a number of you happy as well!

I know you love my wild WINE eyes.

But, that seemed a bit superficial.  Especially considering I was a bit of a wreck the following day.  Which wasn’t so happy.

I ummed and ahhed and in the end, I have decided my signature photo is one which I hope makes you, if not happy, then at least amused.

Especially because the bit that makes me laugh the most is the person who is not smiling in this photo.

It was a beautiful day at the beach and we were having lots of fun building sandcastles with friends.  I love being at the beach; there is something so refreshing about the crisp salt-tanged air, the way your hair gets all knotted from the incessant wind, and of course the indulgence of eating as much ice cream as you want because you are at the beach.  I also love that Meg and Eli love it just as much as I do.  Eli asks every single morning whether we can go to the beach and now the weather is improving I’ve tried to say yes as often as I can.

On this particular day however, despite all of the above and more, one person just didn’t want to smile for a photo.  Didn’t want to summon up her inner joy and let it be displayed for all to see on her face.

You might even say she went for a face which directly contradicted the amount of fun we were having.

So a bit of a cheat but I hope my daughter’s grumpy face brought you a happy smile!!

Hop on over to the Sticky Finger’s blog to see how other people interpreted this week’s theme.  Hopefully better than me!


I am a big fan of outdoor play and exploration, joining in many a week with Coombe Mill’s ‘Country Kids’ linky but this last Saturday, I woke with a cracking headache and having a house inspection in the morning (which I hate and avoid at all costs) I naturally decided to take the kids to soft play.

In hindsight, the noise, the warmth of so many bodies, the bright artificial lighting…it wasn’t the best choice for getting rid of my aching head but Meg and Eli certainly made the most of it.

Our closest soft play centre is Jollies Barn and the kids absolutely love it there.  They do a fab meal deal on a Saturday which is £7 for entry as well as lunch (hot food too!).  The centre itself is huge so even though when we arrived and saw that the car park was full, once we were inside it didn’t actually seem that busy.

We turned up just after 10am when it opened and didn’t leave again until 1pm, 3 hours of running, screaming children was about my limit and to be fair both Meg and Eli looked absolutely shattered.  I had enjoyed some semi-peaceful time reading my book and devouring a bacon cob; the great thing about going to soft play these days is that now Meg and Eli are old enough to go and entertain themselves so I no longer have to look the fool trying to squeeze myself into spaces not designed for an adult!

If you are ever in the vicinity I would recommend going; it is really clean and well looked after and there are some interesting elements which I haven’t come across at soft play before such as the thunder and lightning sensory room with real sound effects, which my Other Half thinks is brilliant.

Eli’s personal favourite is the Dragon slide (I think that is what it is meant to be), if ever he doesn’t appear for a prolonged period of time he is almost guaranteed to be going round and down, round and down.  He never seems to tire of it.

I also think the entrance fees are good.  If we weren’t doing a meal deal we would pay £4 for Eli and £5 for Meg during peak times, and for the sheer size of the place I think this is good value for money.

There’s a nice little section for the under 2’s although you do sometimes see the larger kids taking over (mine included) but to be fair I haven’t ever really seen a large number of babies there.  Perhaps they come more mid-week when it’s quieter overall.

Although we didn’t perhaps get the fresh air which would have helped with my migraine, it was a really chilled out way to spend the best part of Saturday morning.  I didn’t even have to make any lunch which really IS a winner in my book!

Plus my Other Half turned up about an hour after we had arrived and was duly dispatched to take some photos for this post so I really didn’t have to attempt to scramble around like a monkey.  What’s not to like about that?

Disclaimer: I was not asked to write this post, I am simply sharing my opinion of our local soft play centre.  Visit the website if interested for more information.


Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

In light of recent events, this Easter was quite subdued.  We spent the long weekend trying to have some precious family time together and made the conscious decision to not blow the budget on buying Meg and Eli chocolate that would just end up being eaten by us anyway.  They each got an egg from their grandparents and that seemed like enough.

Easter Sunday we went to church, the kids wearing their new ‘Easter clothes’ (it seems this is a Liverpool tradition I haven’t been able to escape) and then we had a lovely roast dinner, just the four of us before heading over to Liverpool for a little Easter egg hunt.

We hid 10 colourful plastic eggs in the garden of my parents in law and that seemed perfectly adequate for Meg and Eli.  The instructions were that they each needed to have five eggs each and so needed to work together before they would be given the extra special prize.

I love it when I see them working as a team; Meg easily found five eggs but Eli needed some help and she was more than happy to give it to him which was very sweet to watch.

It wasn’t overly complicated.  It wasn’t all that exciting.  But it was more than enough for the two of them and I think that was proven when Meg asked on the way home to ‘have a colourful egg hunt every year’, I think that’s probably something we can accommodate although we may have to get smarter in our hiding of the eggs!


I love social media, not only because it allows us to connect with hundreds of like-minded people and all that jazz but because it allows me to record the amusing things my children say and do which might otherwise be confined to the inner most part of my brain and subsequently forgotten about.

I was having a random shufty through my Facebook timeline the other week and came across some statuses which just made me laugh out loud. I have chosen a couple of my favourites, and I hope they raise a smile for you too. They all feature my somewhat, precocious, sorry precious daughter usually doing what she does best:


Tonight at the dinner table:

Meg: *dramatic sigh* ‘What is the point of parents?’
Me: ‘Well, what do you think the point is?’
Meg: *thinks* ‘Well, who else would say to tidy our rooms and when to go to bed?’

Other Half: ‘My parents love me.’
Meg: *frowns at OH* ‘No, that’s not it. I think it’s just to tell us rules we don’t even like.’

Yes, that’s exactly it Meg. Clearly we are winning at parenting.


Meg: ‘Tomorrow I want to try orange juice on my cereal instead of milk.’
Me: ‘Why on earth would you want to do that?’
Meg: ‘Because I go to school now Mum. This is REAL LIFE.’

I have literally no response….


Me: ‘Meg, Eli is going for a sleep now is there anything you want out of your room?’
Meg: ‘No’
Me: ‘…because you won’t be allowed in there when he’s asleep…?’
Meg: “I don’t want anything.”

*5 minutes after putting Eli to bed*

Meg: ‘Can I have the fairy dress out of my dressing up box please?’
Me: ‘No Megan because it is in your room and I told you that you wouldn’t be able to go in there when Eli was asleep.’
Meg: ‘I know I can’t go in there but you didn’t say YOU couldn’t…’

This child is undefeatable!!


Alerted by sounds of crashing:
Me: ‘Meg are you throwing toys?’
Meg: ‘No’
Me: ‘What’s all that noise then?’
Meg: “Sorry Mum I can’t hear you I’m busy throwing my toys.’

*Goes to inspect playroom*

Me: ‘Megan, what has happened in here?!?’
Meg: ‘Erm…I was a dinosaur messing up the houses. Then I was a volcano bursting everywhere….*pause* you’d better not come in.’

Yeah, thanks for that advice! #lifewithmegan


Like butter wouldn’t melt…