We have officially survived the first week back at school! It has been touch and go a little bit, especially with the weather being all kinds of crazy (on one day we seriously had just about every weather type except for snow!) but now it’s on to another long weekend. Let’s just hope the sun shines for a little part of it…
This week I have been reading Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. It is a book which had been recommended to me a number of times but my goodness. I LOVE it. I’m actually only 50 pages or so from the end and I don’t want to pick it up because I don’t want the book to finish. It’s post-apocalyptic with flashbacks to before a virus wipes out 99% of the world’s population and then to the aftermath of it. We follow a band of musicians and actors known as the Travelling Symphony and I have just adored everything about this book from the setting to the characters to the writing. Definitely a favourite of this year and I can say that without even knowing how it wraps up!
Watched I watched The Imitation Game this week and really enjoyed it. I did go and look up the accuracy of the film afterwards (and wasn’t surprised to learn there were a number of liberties taken) but I liked the overall premise and I thought that Benedict Cumberbatch did exceptionally well as Alan Turing. The movie is basically about the man who broke Enigma during the Second World War and that’s all I knew going into it so I won’t spoil it for anyone else.
I’m not usually one for self-promotion but I made a vlog of our Easter break this week and I’m actually really proud of it. Plus I’m almost at 1k subscribers on Youtube so I’m just throwing my channel out wide although for me it isn’t about the numbers; I love being able to look back and see the things that we have got up to, and to share that with family and friends as well!
Wore I actually ordered this shirt to wear at Easter but it was coming from overseas and got delayed so it only turned up this week. I don’t know whether I can legitimately get away with wearing rabbits without it being a tongue in cheek nod to the Easter festivities but I’m going to give it a go anyway.
Also I am in love with these sparkly trainers I picked up from Primark. Rose gold and glitter…what’s not to love?!
Heard I know this post is supposed to be about the things that we have loved but the only thing I really heard this week was the sad news that the house we were going to make an offer on has been withdrawn from the market. And I certainly didn’t love that. So we are back to the drawing board! I suppose the thing that I ‘love’ is still that we are making some exciting decisions and hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to share that we have found somewhere new to live.
We are just heading into birthday season here, otherwise known as the time of year when I look a little bit manic with each passing day. We celebrated James’ birthday on Tuesday and then it is Eli’s birthday next week, Meg’s the following week and mine the week after. If you’ve ever wanted to know what too much cake looks like then keep your eyes peeled over on my IG because you’ll soon know!! I’m just kidding…I absolutely love birthdays and I love being able to share and celebrate with family and friends. Some might have suggested that I love it a little too much but there’s no such thing really is there?! Have a great week all!
Over the Easter holidays we were thrilled to discover that Speke Hall, which is just a short distance from us, was hosting a special outdoor adventure with Robin Hood. We have visited Speke Hall a couple of times now since we became National Trust members but hadn’t yet attended one of their special events.
On arrival, Meg and Eli were encouraged to pick up a free trail and a leaflet which told us what was on throughout the day. The trail had a map which showed the location of different activities all across the gardens, woodlands and maze plus a walk with Robin Hood himself. Luckily for us, it was one of the few days over the holiday when the sun deigned to shine which made being outside bearable, although I’m sure the kids would have enjoyed it just as much even if it had been chucking it down!
We headed to the maze first as this is the kids favourite part. I usually take myself up onto one of the bridges so I can look down and keep an eye out for them. The activity here required them to find some items which Robin Hood had misplaced.
Then we spotted Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham: it was time for the walk! We quickly made our way out of the maze and joined in with the fun. The walk took us around some of the grounds of the house and ended with a rather amusing dance routine which children and adults alike were required to join in with (I opted for simply taking pictures instead!)
After a restorative cup of tea and a cake, we followed the map we had been given and completed the rest of the Robin Hood related activities; most of these had just been added into the existing areas which Speke Hall has including the new Childe of Hale play trail. One of our favourite things about Speke Hall is the variety of outdoor areas. You have the maze and a playground but also a woodland playground, the chance to build shelters and play giant musical instruments as well as the opportunity to wander through the woodlands and the formal gardens.
The house was closed on the day of our visit but this didn’t matter too much as Meg and Eli were kept more than occupied with the Robin Hood trail and it easily took us the best part of the afternoon to get everything done.
We finished our day off with some face painting which looked amazing. It was one of those moments when you wished that it would last a little longer than a day as it was just fantastic. Overall, we really enjoyed the activities at Speke Hall and the fact that it was all included with the entrance price (aside from the face painting). It certainly makes me want to keep an eye on future upcoming events, especially as we move towards summer and can really make the most of being outdoors again.
This particular event has now finished but they run plenty of exciting and family friendly events throughout the year which you can find out more about here. For more of our adventures over Easter (including footage from Speke Hall), you can check out our vlog:-
I know it sounds cliched but I actually can’t believe that it is Friday already. This is the last ‘proper’ day of our Easter holidays and although I think the kids are ready to be back in the routine of school and I’m ready for some peace and quiet again, I don’t really want them to have to go back just yet! We’ve had a brilliant week, and here are just some of the things we have loved:-
I am currently reading a book called Ink by Alice Broadway. I’m only 100 or so pages in and I’m really loving the concept; it’s a YA fantasy where all your achievements and transgressions are tattoed onto your skin but so far there has just been a load of grisly writing about how once you have died, your skin is removed and turned into a book…apparently it gets better once you are passed this particular part but I am finding it equally gross and fascinating.
I haven’t watched much this week, a couple of episodes of Once Upon A Time here and there but I’ve mostly been spending my evenings working so I can spend time in the day with the kids. Boring I know but it’s all part of that freelance work-life balance thing. Apparently.
I’m going to have to gracefully bow out of this category this week as we haven’t really ‘made’ anything. Unless you count an Easter Egg hunt which played out almost exactly the same as it did last year with the kids sporting wellies and braving the wind and rain to hunt out eggs in our garden. Maybe one day we will get the bright sunshine everywhere else seems to get over the Easter weekend!
I took the kids to a special event on the East Lancashire Railway this week which was wizard themed and gave them the excuse to put on their Harry Potter robes and wands. I am going to hopefully write a separate post about it but it was absolutely fantastic and they really enjoyed dressing up and playing the part of young wizard and witch on their way to rescue the sorting hat.
The Moana soundtrack is still being requested here daily; we haven’t watched the film once this week but we’ve had the music on in the background on a fairly constant basis. I have to admit that the songs are catchy and interesting which makes it acceptable!
I took the plunge and started my new bookish Instagram community this week. There haven’t been too many people joining in (any tips push them my way…) but I wanted to showcase the ones who had joined in. These are some of my favourites and I would love it if you hopped over and took a look. You could even join in!
I am truly confident in the fact that I am not the only lover of stationery out there; whether it’s writing a letter, admiring a pretty notebook or using a colourful pen…I’ll take it all and it’s something which I have definitely managed to pass on to Meg and Eli. Not a day goes by when they don’t squirrel themselves away with paper and pen to write a story or draw a picture. It was for this reason that I was excited to be asked by the creators of National Stationery Week to share with you this upcoming campaign and encourage people to join in with sharing their love of all things stationery based. National Stationery Week takes place on 24-30 April and there are all kinds of fun things going on from 7 Days of Stationery, a Stationery Trail, quizzes, the chance to blog about your love of stationery and plenty more besides. Royal Mail is even getting on board with all post sent that week being franked with the logo and the #writingmatters hashtag. That sounds like the ideal opportunity to send someone a letter if ever I heard one. If you need something to get you started then I recently vlogged a whole bunch of goodies which were sent to me by the team at National Stationery Week…I still haven’t managed to find a use for my beautiful new notebooks but they have proudly joined my ever growing collection!
If you’ve ever felt like you needed to justify your collection of stationery (I’m looking at you James…) then this week is the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded stationery lovers and have some fun whilst you are at it!
I am a huge believer in finding joy and adventure in the small, every day moments in life. I hope that anyone who is a repeat visitor here can attest to that; we try our best to capture and share those seemingly innocuous times in life which can actually represent the very best of experiences. A few weeks ago we woke to gorgeous sunshine blazing through the curtains and there was really only one thing for it. We grabbed our towels and our swimming stuff (well, the kids did, they are braver than me!) and headed out to the beach.
We are very lucky that we live less than 30 minutes drive from a number of very good beaches and we opted to go to Ainsdale on this particular occasion reasoning that although we are National Trust members, Formby beach was likely to be crazy busy and we’d be better off closer to home. It definitely seems as though everyone in the North West had the same idea as us so I’m glad we went for Ainsdale in the end.
It didn’t take long before the kids had stripped off and were splashing and shrieking with delight in the water. The sea was quite far out so we stuck to one of the little inlets which usually appears, although the official line from Meg was that the water wasn’t as warm as she was expecting. Talk about precious ordinary moments…
…watching the kids dash up and down the beach, wind whipping their hair, sand in just about every conceivable place but total happiness written across their faces. I really don’t know whether it is because we lived in such a landlocked place for such a long time but they still adore coming to the beach and it would be their first choice for a day out every single time.
…digging my toes into the sand and tipping my head back, soaking up those rays (and hoping for a limited appearance of freckles on my skin) and listening to the sounds of happy families up and down the coastline.
…seeing one very grumpy boy (who didn’t want the type of ice lolly he got…) being persuaded to come and snuggle with his nana before careering off up the dunes for another sandy adventure. And then finally…coming back home at the end of the day, windswept and sand-whipped, rosy-cheeked and rosy-skinned, falling into bed at the end of the day completely wiped out but in the best way possible. To me, those are the best kind of ordinary moments.