Celebrating The Small Things:Week Six

I seem to be getting later and later with these posts each week but I am determined to keep them up as I know they will be such a lovely reminder to look back on in years to come.

Last week was full of school runs, clubs and work but we still managed to share a few special moments along the way.

Water Babies: Swimming is by far one of the activities I avoid like the plaque! the sheer logistics of getting in and out of the pool bring me out in a cold sweat as getting in and out of our swimwear seems to take longer than the actual swimming itself.
However I had a real pang of guilt at my reluctance to go when I saw how much they all enjoy it and how well they were all swimming.
So from now on no matter how much I don’t want to immerse myself into the cold pool or struggle with sticky bodies and wet clothes I will get those little ones in the pool at least once a week.

The Perfect Nursery: Choosing schools for our children is always a nerve wrecking choice and I don’t think their is a parent out there that doesn’t worry they have made the right choice.
I’ve been both happy and unhappy with decisions on schooling I have made over the years but one place I couldn’t be more certain on is the nursery I choose for my youngest two.
It doesn’t have all the mod cons or a swanky building but it is full of love and care for each and every child and after picking up a poorly Oscar on Friday who was being cuddled and comforted I know there is no place I would rather enlist my children’s care to.

Woodland Walks: We can all get a little complacent with the things we have and I know that since writing these posts it has made me feel grateful for all the things I have that I would normally take for granted.
Walking Frankie to school in the morning is something I don’t often have time for as I’m busy trying to fit everything into my day; but when I do it is wonderful to be able to take a shortcut through the woods, turn off from everything else that is buzzing through my mind and connect with him and the beautiful surroundings.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Four

This weeks ‘celebrating the small things’ is a little self indulgent as I’m unusually pleased with what I have achieved. I’m usually full of self doubt and always see the negatives in what I do which is really counter productive and something I want to try to improve so here it goes:

Happy In My Work- I recently restarted teaching my ladies fitness kickboxing classes which I have found a whole new love for. Teaching was always a huge passion for me but the more children I had the trickier it became to fit this kind of work in and sadly it stopped a few years ago.
Thankfully the New Year has bought with it some lovely faces both old and new that have made my job an absolute pleasure once again.

Weight Loss Going Well – A New Year, restarting my classes and a big hit of self motivation has seen me finally losing some weight.
I wrote a post a while ago on how the past few years have seen me gaining a lot of weigh which has really bought me down and I’m so pleased that over the past few weeks I have seen some changes for the good.
I’ve banished the scales as these are always a source of disappointment for me and have simply used how I look and real as motivation to keep me going.

Looking Back – Last week the lovely Carrisa over at Little Likely Lads tagged me in a post on Insta Stories that needed me to scroll back through my hundreds of photos on Instagram to find my first ever post.
Of course this task had me stopping and looking over all the photos through the years and made me love this social media platform even more.
Moments captured in pictures are hugely important to me and Instagram allows me to see a whole host of my favourite moments in seconds.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week One

When I first started blogging it was a subject I knew very little about, and to say that I went into it blindly would be an understatement; but through the encouragement of family and friends I began my blogging journey and haven’t looked back since.

Over the past few years my blog has gone from strength to strength, it has now become my full time job and has bought me and my family some of the most amazing opportunities and allowed us to meet some wonderful people…some of which I would now class as good friends.

My blog is a place that I come to when I want people to find out about a great day out we have been on, somewhere I can give advice on great new products I have tried out or to celebrate big milestones in our lives; but as the New Year sets in and we naturally evaluate the different parts of our lives I have realised there is one area I have really overlooked when it comes to writing…The Small Things.

There are so many small moments in our lives that we take for granted or miss all together, moments that although may seem small and insignificant they give us great pleasure and we should learn to cherish and show our gratitude for them all.

I have decided to now do a weekly post highlighting all those little moments that would normally pass me by as a document to look back on in years to come and remember fondly.

Brotherly love: When it comes to the youngest two its always been a bit of a love hate relationship, with the latter certainly being more predominant, so when a special moment such as Frankie requesting to take his little brother out to share his birthday treat is an occasion that should be marked.

Lego: This may seem like a strange one, but the wonderful world of Lego has bought us all so much joy since Christmas in many ways. It dominated the youngest two’s christmas lists this year but has brought the whole family such pleasure and brought us together for some much needed quality time as we all muck in trying to make the next creation.

Storytime: Its been more than a few years since Izzy has requested a bedtime story, and to be truthful its not very often she willingly picks up a book! So after buying her the fantastic Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls it has been an absolute pleasure to see her engrossed in reading and sharing what she has learnt about a whole host of ‘kick arse’ women.

Teaching My Children To Make Non-Resolutions

In the past the 1st January has never filled me with hope and longing for the fresh New Year ahead but more of a sinking feeling that so many of those resolutions I had made the year before had not been achieved and probably more accurately been broken within the first week.

It heralds a time when society tells us that we need to compile huge lists of goals and aspirations for the year ahead that whist writing I am already in my head knowing that trying to fulfil all these dreams and wishes within such a short space of time is going to be unrealistically achievable.

I know that for many of you the dawn of a New Year is the perfect start to clean the slate and achieve new goals and I applaued you for this but it is simply something that has never worked for me.

As my children grow the tradition of New Years’s resolutions are obviously something that they have become interested in so this year I have decided to introduce non-resolutions.

Instead of looking back on the past year and highlighting the things we haven’t achieved I will be earging them to highlight the positives, even if they may have seemed insignificant at the time, its all of the little things that go unnoticed I want them to reflect on and celebrate.

Instead of setting goals within an arbitrary time frame I want them to create life goals they can strive towards and achieve when they are good and ready, have hopes and dreams they can fulfil within a time that suits them and most importantly celebrate simply being who they are and be proud of whatever they achieve whenever they choose to do it.

Pines And Needles:A Family Affair

Last year the lovely people at Pines And Needles introduced me to the world of real tress and since then I would never look back.

From the excitement of going along to select the perfect tree to the the anticipation of it being delivered to the front door the thrill of buying real is pretty special.

The other evening we went along to Pines And Needles wimbeldon branch to take part in their Treetorial event and select our very own tree.

During the event a member of staff who are always kitted out beautifully in their Santa hats and kilts(the trees come from Scotland!) showed the children and gave them a few facts about the trees, let them pick out some decorations to decorate a tree whilst we were there and the highlight for Izzy was getting a ride through the tree wrapping machine!

Filled with their new found knowledge the children picked out a stunning 7ft Norway Spruce that they have named ‘Piney’ who they egarly awaited the delivery of the next evening.

Unfortunately ‘Bruce’ arrived after the little ones bed time but it actually made for a more magical morning as they all rushed down the stairs to see it first thing in the morning. Izzy has already said she knew it was here as the smell has waffted into her bedroom and Oscar immediately dived in for a cuddle proclaiming he loved him!

For the next few hours I had pulling, poking and prodding until it was time to decorate our stunning tree.

After a few fraught moments of twisted lights and broken baubles the tree was complete and had once again become the most beautiful focal point of the front room and the whole story of the chosing, naming and decorating will be a found memory for the whole family to remember for many years to come.

If you are yet to get your tree and think that Pines and Needles is the way to go for you then you can use the code JOYOF5 and this will get you 5% off of your tree of choice.

There are plenty of venues to find across London or you can also purchase online.

I would love to see you trees in all their glory and if you fancy naming yours like us then don’t forget to use the hashtag #brucethespruce on all your social media posts.

*collaborated post

Saying Hello To Autumn At Priory Farm

A chill in the wind, beautiful rich colours, Halloween and cosy afternoons snuggled up under warm blankets are just a few of the reason I absolutely love October.

The weather hasn’t yet changed to the bitterness of winter and getting out into the great outdoors is a real pleasure.

The first adventure for us is always a trip to Priory Farm to select the perfect pumpkin for carving and eating if I ever get round to trying pumpkin pie…I have been promising the children this for the past goodness knows how long!

I have written about Priory Farm countless times as it has so much to offer from fantastic play areas to a brilliant discovery walk and they always go that extra mile for special occasions such as this.

Today we climbed aboard the truck that was decked out perfectly for Halloween with missing limbs, cobwebs and huge spiders.

The short journey lead us straight to the pumpkin field which the children couldn’t wait to get to and select their favourite pumpkin, which for the first year ever wasn’t a competition to see who’s was the biggest.

A good few laps of the field and more than a few pumpkins picked and rejected we finally had our favourites and headed back to the kiosk where there was a game of ‘roll the pumpkin’ and hoopla onto creepy arms to keep the children amused while we waited for our ride back.

Prized pumpkins in hand we climbed aboard and headed off to get a well earned piece of scrummy cake and a good coffee.

There is so much going on over the next few weeks at Priory Farm as well as the pumpkin picking and a visit come highly recommend from us!

Country Kids

Making The Most Of Those Early Years

Making The Most Of Those Early Years

The other day I make the announcement that in a few months time I’m going to be a Nanny!

As you can imagine this revelation has caused me to have a million and one thoughts flooding through my mind and one of the things that has become even more apparent is the fact the time passes way to quickly.

That age old saying of ‘this time will go so fast’ is so true and I feel as though I have blinked and my eldest has turned into a young woman with her own family on its way.

With Oscar growing at a rapid rate I’m going to make the most of the precious time I have left with my youngest before I lose him to school.

We still have a while yet and I have decided that with Wednesday being the only day we have completely to ourselves it is going to be used to have as much fun as we can.

It’s going to be a day to forget about the housework and the millions of other boring jobs that need doing and just having quality time that I will never get back again.

Those early years are so precious and short that I’m going to make the most of these moments.

The dirty dishes and grubby carpets will still be there but those precious little moments with your babies won’t.

We started this off last week with a trip to Worthing where we threw stones into the sea, chased waves and ate scrumptious fish and chips and ice cream.

You can’t get much more perfect than that!

The Power Of Music And How It Evokes Memories

            “You can go your own way”

These words are just a few of many from Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits album that will always spark off nostalgia from my childhood.  

Singing along in the car with my family on trips to the seaside will always spring to the forefront of my mind the minute I hear the first few notes of this song.

I don’t know what it is with music that immediately transports you to a time of situation the minute you hear it, but it’s a powerful thing and is the same in all of us be the memories good or bad.

Years after certain events can seem like yesterday through the power of music and it’s a huge reason why I love to share a variety of genres with my children to open their minds to the sheer wonder of music.


Last year when we attended Camp Bestival it was wonderful to be able to stand their and enjoy artists from my youth such as Bananarama and share with my little ones the memories their songs bought back to me; which were mainly playing their album over and over again on my stacking system in my bedroom whilst driving my Mum and Dad mad!

It was not only blasts from the past for me that evoked old memories that I enjoyed sharing it was also creating new ones with my children like my daughter bundling me to the front of the stage to see her favourite Jess Glynne.

The moment she starting singing ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’ my daughter’s  face instantly lit up and it is a moment that will stay with me forever.

With Madness set to take to the stage this year who were another favourite of my Dad’s and Anne Marie a new fav of my daughter’s I’m sure their will be plenty more tunes that are going to be firmly etched in our memory banks for years to come!

If you fancy taking a trip to the best family festival around and enjoy an endless list of fantastic artists then take a look ‘here’

Elderflower Fields Are Getting Ready For Fun

We had our first taster of Elderflower Fields in 2015 when we visited for the day and had such a wonderful time we couldn’t wait to get back and enjoy a full weekend of fun.

Last year Elderflower Fields gave us our first experience of camping as a family…well we did cheat a little with a camper van! bur we loved every single moment of it!

The emphasis of this festival is to find new skills, take part in new activities and sample sumptuous food all in the beautiful surroundings of the great outdoors.

This year the festival will be coming to life from 26th-29th May in the stunning Pippingford Park, East Sussex.

It looks set to top lasts years with lots of familiar activities such as mountain boarding, arts camp, climbing walls, and pond dipping to name just a few and the exciting addition of a campfire cookout and the woodland tribe playground.

The list goes on with the activities that are on offer that are nearly all included in the extremely reasonable price of the weekend ticket.

If music is more your thing then the main stage is home to some fantastic performers that might not be well known artists but they are certainly not lacking in talent.


My tummy is always something I think our and the food here is second to none. The variety is huge and a good proportion of it is from local suppliers who’s passion for their products really shines through.

If you are looking for a relaxed family festival this year then this is the place to be.

I can promise a weekend they won’t break the bank but will leave you with some fabulous memories.

Take a look here to see what you could have to look forward to.

My Top Festive Days Out

I start planning for Christmas as soon as the children go back to school after the holidays in September!

Yes I know that is completely bonkers but it really is my favourite time of year and I like to squeeze as much as I can into the month of December as possible.

I have put together a list of some of my favourite days out that you might like to try for yourselves, and a couple that I am due to visit over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for what I think!

Father Christmas At Painshill


This is top of my list as it is the most magical Father Christmas I have ever seen.

You walk though the beautiful grounds of Painshill in Cobham, Surrey that is bought to life with pretty lights leading you to the crystal grotto to find Father Christmas himself.

You can enjoy a mince pie and a warm mulled wine while you wait to be taken in to the most stunning setting I’ve ever seen.

There are still a few spaces left for weekday visits but this is a must to book early.

Christmas Afternoon Tea At sketch


During the summer I had a trip to sketch to try out their afternoon tea and were blown away by the whole experience.

The food and surroundings were equally as wonderful and the quirkiness of it all was a big hit with the both of us.

Christmas has now got the restaurant in a big way and the entrance alone is something worth going to see. 

The Snowman


A couple of weeks ago we went to see the fabulous ballet of The Snowman. I will have a full post up on this very soon, but all I will say is if you want to introduce your children to the wonders of ballet of simply want to witness what I can only describe as the epitome of Christmas in a beautifully performed show then this needs to be seen.

Bocketts Farm


Bocketts is my favourite farm in Surrey and Christmas brings an extra sparkle to it.

You can still walk around feeding the animals, watching the pig races and taking a tractor ride but you also have the opportunity to visit Father Christmas in his hay barn and take part in fun extra activities the farm has put on for the festive season.

Southbank


It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Southbank for me.

The hustle and bustle of the London crowds mixed with Christmas markets, fairground rides and skating always gives me such a Christmassy feeling inside.


Hobbledown 


A couple of days ago I took number five along for lunch with Santa at Hobbledown where he got to meet Santa, decorate a gingerbread man and have his lunch.

This is unfortunately only on for a limited time and how now finished but there is still plenty going on and a trip to Santa who by the way always has a fabulous outfit would be a lovely day out. 

Chessington World Of Adventures

Winters Tail at Chessington is a really lovely day out that we have done many times.

A selection of rides are open to enjoy as well as the Sealife centre, Santa is there to visit and each year there are different activities to try.

If you want to make it a really special trip then an overnight stay in the hotel would make it a wonderful Christmas treat.

Priory Farm


Priory Farm is fabulous at anytime of year and at this time of year their famous discovery walk takes on a Christmas theme, there is a little train ride on the visit to Santa, the shop is stacked full of wonderful food, gifts and decorations and the cafe is a must stop for outstanding eats.

London Tranport Museum


Now this is a place that I would not associate Christmas with but we have been invited along this weekend to visit Santa as he finishes his journey on the Noth Pole Express. 

As well as this the children can take part in a quiz as you wander around the museum.

It sounds like something very different and a transport fans dream! I can’t wait to let you know how it goes.

Afternoon Tea On B-Bus


Imagine being able to eat a yummy afternoon tea sitting on an old routemaster bus whilst taking in the sights of London.

This is exactly what the B-Bus has to offer and I will be sampling this for myself soon. 

This really sounds like the most wonderful way to spend a Christmas afternoon.

I would love to know if you try any of these places out and what you think about them.