If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I love taking photos of sunsets.  I think the sky can be so beautiful, especially when you get that stunning mix of colours.  This is one of my more recent ones; taken last week.

I am taking part in the Alphabet Photography Project over on PODcast.  Head over there to join in or see how other blogger’s interpreted this week’s letter.


The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver

This book was chosen as part of my summer of light reading and I downloaded it onto my Kindle (I know, gasp of horror) but the blurb on Amazon took me in and I couldn’t help myself.

Anna Whitehall has it all; an enviable job in the capital city, money to burn, and a loving fiancé.  To top it all off, she is planning the wedding of the year to be held at a top London venue and complete with Vera Wang dress.

Unfortunately, when she loses her job unexpectedly she has to return with her fiancé to the village of Nettleton, the hometown she flounced out of at the first opportunity, promising everyone there that she would fulfil her ambition of being a Prima Ballerina on the stage.  Her return means abandoning her previous sophisticated life, taking a job in the dusty old antiques shop and having to face all the people she so ungraciously walked away from all those years before.

Through various experiences in Nettleton, Anna begins to see that she can have all that she wants and more besides, if she can just let go of her past.  This is a real feel good contemporary story about realising that sometimes life doesn’t work out quite the way you plan, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find real happiness.  

Jenny Oliver sets Anna up to be such a spoiled brat that in the initial chapters I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to continue reading.  She is rude and aggressive but as the story unfolds you begin to learn her journey and the reasons she was brought to this place in her life.

Although the ending is perhaps a little neat and predictable, it doesn’t detract from the story at all.  It fits entirely with the feel good element.  The story is snippy and to the point, it moves along at a good pace and you don’t get any unnecessary waffle which keeps the book short.  Although there were a few spelling mistakes which I am beginning to realise is usual for e-books but nonetheless a pain, I think this book would be ideal for a summer read.

Have you read anything good lately?  Why not come and link up with my July Book Love Linky.  Would love to see you there.


We are real fans of Sea Life Centres, having been to Birmingham’s a number of times and, more recently, Blackpool for Eli’s 3rd birthday so when we were invited to the Sea Life Centre in the Trafford Centre, we were more than happy to oblige.

Naturally, we made the decision to park on the opposite side of the Trafford centre, so we had to enjoy a brisk 15 minute walk/run/drag through the perfume section of Debenhams and then through the main shopping area to get to the correct place!  For future visitors, there is a car park next to the Sea Life Centre and Legoland, make sure you park there.

We arrived, walked in and were handed various activity books which included the normal Sea Life Centre book, a special Moshi Monsters one and a rather fetching pair of Captain hats.

The first room you enter in the Centre is a dark room where you are given a short presentation about Green Sea Turtles.  As we were the only family the guide asked us to sit on the floor and he sat with us, telling us the tale of Ernie the Sea Life Centre’s resident Green Sea Turtle.  He was very engaging and we were impressed that he decided to sit and talk with us rather than presenting from the front.  He made it really interactive, asking Meg and Eli questions and high-fiving them when they were right and because of this, the kids were transfixed throughout the whole talk and obviously really enjoyed the little show. After the show we crossed the ‘sea’ and walked through the next door into the aquarium.

Part of the Moshi Monsters activity book was to find the moshlings who have hidden in various exhibits around the centre and helpfully for little people, Buster Bumblechops is on each exhibit housing a moshling with his telescope, ready to help you spot them.  It was a great way to get the kids looking into the exhibits too, asking questions about things they had spotted which they might otherwise have passed over.

One of the most exciting elements is the tunnel; here you can spot sharks and also Ernie the Green Sea Turtle.  We had lots of fun waiting for him to swim past us with his fishy friends.

We also really enjoyed the interactive rockpool experience, where the kids got to touch a crab.  Again, the member of staff leading the talk was brilliant with the children listening; he was very engaging and happy to answer any questions asked.  I’m fairly sure Meg would have been happy to stay and listen to him for a couple of hours!

Overall we really enjoyed our visit, although it didn’t take us too long to walk through, the kids thought it was great and there was plenty to occupy them.  The Centre stays open until 7pm and when we arrived at 5.30pm it was practically empty…I would definitely recommend visiting at a quiet time to really be able to make the most of your visit and enjoy all the exhibits.

At the end, the kids received a Buster Bumblechops Sea Life Conservation Hero Award for discovering all of the hidden moshlings as well as a sticker and a badge.  

Please ignore the little photobomber!

The Moshi Monsters are in Manchester until the 31st August, if you do visit make sure you visit the Moshling Swap Zone where you can exchange up to 6 moshlings.  It is located just before the soft play section.  You can also meet Buster, Katsuma or Poppet at one of the scheduled character meetings.

Disclaimer: We were invited to this event and given entry into the Sea Life Centre, however all thoughts and opinions are our own. 



We have had some ideal kite flying weather recently; glorious sunshine combined with just enough wind to allow a kite to take flight.

It was the first time Meg and Eli had ever flown a kite, my Other Half too.  Suffice to say they enjoyed it immensely.

I am joining in with the Alphabet Photography Project over on PODcast.  Head over there to see how other blogger’s interpreted this week’s letter.


It might sound silly but some of my best childhood memories are of the most innocuous things:

* Stealing my dad’s socks so we could use them as missiles as we chased each other around the house.

* Handstand competitions in the garden (anyone remember knife, fork and spoon?!)

* Hot potato with a water balloon just knowing it was going to explode on me…I was usually right!

We didn’t have fancy gadgets and a lot of technology when I was growing up and I still have really fond memories of my childhood.  I think that’s the reason why I’m so keen for Meg and Eli to be able to build their own memories of doing simple yet enjoyable things.

On Saturday morning, my Other Half went out to clean the car.  It was long overdue but with the ridiculous mixture of weather we’ve been having we hadn’t been able to get around to doing it.

Naturally, Meg and Eli were desperate to join in and although he fought it claiming that the car would probably end up less clean than before, eventually my Other Half caved and let them go outside and join him.

I was sat inside, reading and listening to the squeals and exclamations as they got stuck in.  It’s not a big deal, it’s not a big job and yet, to them, it was the makings of a memory.  

A time when they got to have a go at doing something the grown ups do.  A time when they laughed about Eli concentrating so very hard on cleaning his little section of the car.  A time when Meg stuck her hands a little too keenly into the bucket and ended up with a mouthful of bubbles.

Those are the memories which will stick with them.  However simplistic they may seem.