Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

At our happiest Outdoors




One of the things we realised looking back over the last year, was that as a family unit we tend to be at our happiest and most content when we are outside. It doesn't matter whether its at the beach, the woods, on the allotment or on the moor, it just seems to be that open space surrounded by nature suits us all. So with this in mind and the fact that the children are now at ages when they can keep walking for quite a while before the youngest says 'pick me up' we have been making a conscious effort to get outside as much as possible lately. Wrapped up warm, with a flask of hot chocolate for them and coffee for us and of course a treat of something sweet like cake we have already done quite a bit of walking this year. We are lucky enough to live on the edge of Dartmoor, which is a magical moorland that covers an incredible 954 square kilometers, so gives us plenty of space to explore! And with the first signs of Spring appearing and the prospect of warmer days to come I am really looking forward to our explorations as a family this year.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

January 2015



A bit like a wind up toy, I feel exhausted after a Christmas spent celebrating whilst also nursing 3 poorly children, who of course couldn't be ill all at the same time, no they feel ill one after the other until every day of the holidays was spent looking after a sick child! So I am finding January quite difficult. I can't seem to get myself going. If only someone or something could come along and wind me up! The dull days, the cold, the rain, lack of sunlight, non of it helps, it really is a case of digging deep and trudging through these first few months of the year, hanging on to the thought that Spring is just around the corner! I am not one for making New Year resolutions. I have tried in the past and in general fail. I do like however to spend the start of a new year thinking about the past 12 months. What can we learn from it, what did we do wrong, what should we change, what could have been better. But there's the thing, its often easier to think and to stress over the 'things' that went wrong, the things we shouldn't have said, the things that we didn't do, than to think about what we got right. As a parent especially I think we often worry and beat ourselves up mentally about how we are bringing up our children. We worry if we are doing it correct, are we saying the right words at the right times, are we there for our children when they really need us, do we spend enough time living in the moment, are we listening to them and each other, which is sometimes so difficult in our busy lives. I think its good to try and learn and possibly change but we do need to remember what we did right. Remember the moments of harmony, the moments when life seems perfect, the times when we all laughed together, the times when you think this is it, we are happy.
I found myself on New Years day sat on the sofa with my laptop, the kids happily watching a movie, the fire was lit, we were warm, we were full of food, a moment of calmness. I found myself going back over my Instagram account, laughing at some of the photos, smiling at others. It was good, as lets face it most of us that have Instagram accounts use them mainly to show moments of joy, of happiness, snap shots of our 'perfect' lives! So I set about making a photo book using only photos from my Instagram account to remember our best bits of 2014. And there a couple of weeks later it was. My first ever photo book. And it couldn't be any more perfect. So easy to make, I used Blurb Books and found it very straight forward to use. It's the first of many to come. It's such a lovely reminder of our year. A reminder of the good times, glimpses of the past, a great way of capturing time and giving us memories and reminding ourselves that sometimes we do get it just right!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Good Life Experience

This time last week we were in a field in Flintshire surrounded by camp fires, listening to an array of wonderful music, chatting to people as though we had known them for ages and watching the children run free laughing with their new found friends. We were at The Good Life Festival and it was just that the, 'Good Life'. We had such an incredible time that I wish we could experience it again and again and again?
 The Good Life Festival was the first festival put together by Cerys Matthews and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone of Pedlars. It was about the Great Outdoors, culture and food and so much more. They managed to create an event which felt very much like a gathering of like minded people, with a party atmosphere which was both relaxing as it was exciting. 
For us it began on the Friday night at the camp site. We spent the evening sat round a huge camp fire eating gorgeous barbecued food and making friends. Of course the highlight was when Cerys Matthews came guitar in hand and started singing. Listening to her mesmerising voice whilst watching the dancing flames of the fire was an evening we won't forget in a long time.

 
We had an early start Saturday morning, as not only was it the festival but it was also our Second child's birthday so excitement levels were high! After the unwrapping of presents we wandered over to the main field were we spent the day popping in and out of the various tents, the Best Made Co with their axes who had flown in from New York City specially was a favourite along with Hatchet and Bear who ran spoon carving workshops. We sat round camp fires melting marshmallows to make into the yummy sticky smores, started fires using flint and steel in the woods, and watched rabbits being skinned. We tried our hand at archery and all had a go at throwing axes, which was a great experience! We ate wood fired pizzas and listened to local bands in the day whilst chilling out. The children were safe to wander and spent a fair amount of their time at the vintage fairground where they enjoyed the helter skelter, the swing boats and the flying chairs which the birthday boy declared the best thing ever! My OH tried his hand at spoon carving and came away with a very usable spoon and lots of knowledge and it was the touches like those that made the festival so special. Ej from Hatchet and Bear spent two hours teaching each group of 10 happily sharing her fascinating knowledge, in fact everybody we spoke to whether involved with the festival or like us just there to enjoy it were friendly and chatty.  


 One of the most amazing things to happen at the festival came about after a chance conversation with Charlie Gladstone at the fire on the Friday, we mentioned how we were there to also celebrate our son turning 7. The next day whilst wandering through the festival I very friendly Charlie greeted us with a small present for our son, how he had remembered that it was his birthday considering how busy he was amazed us. Then when Cerys Matthews took to the stage in the afternoon and sang happy birthday after dedicating it to our son, amongst others, added to the overall intimate feel of the festival. My OH and the boys also got their picture taken modelling the festival bags for the local paper, the Birthday boy declared himself famous!!

Another highlight was Murray Lachlan Young and the section he did for the children was fantastic, his poetry captured the imagination of the boys who giggled and whooped as he told his tales. And then as the day turned to night CC Smugglers took to the stage and completely blew the audience away with their energy and music, followed nicely by Paprika. We danced, talked and flew round on the swinging chairs in the dark. 
We quite honestly didn't want the day to end. For us the weekend was magical, our birthday boy decided it was the best birthday he had ever had and we are over joyed to hear that they are planning to do it all again next year. 
We can not wait and however much I urge you to go and get back to nature and experience it all for yourself what ever you do 'don't tell your friends' as I also feel this is a festival I would like to keep secret! 


Friday, 29 August 2014

The Mundane but Necessary that Annoyingly Takes Up Head Space!!!

Boy Back To School Coats


We are back from our very windy camping holiday and I have just about got on top of the laundry and are packing away the last of our camping gear. Apologies to all of you that were hoping this was a 'Shops Back Open' post. That will, I promise be happening soon.
It really does feel like the countdown to returning to school has begun. The last few days have been filled with hair appointments, shoe shopping and the buying of school uniform. My mind has been a whirl of navy and grey clothes interspersed with images of kids winter coats, like the ones above! I don't know if it is just my children but none of them are keen coat wearers! But seeing as we walk to school and live in one of the wettest places in the UK a coat is a very necessary part of their uniform so I am determined to find the perfect one. It needs to keep them waterproof, warm but also, and probably the most important thing, allow movement so they can play freely. So yes as you can see this dilemma is taking up very valuable time and energy, time and energy that I really want to be channelling into my work, so I really need to find this perfect coat soon!! 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Window Shopping






I've been having to sit down and rest over the last few days due to problems I'm having with my back, but the sitting down and resting doesn't come naturally too me, especially as every where I look there is house work to be doing and piles of sewing to be finished. Even sitting at my sewing machine has become uncomfortable and I can only do it for short periods of time. What it has meant though is that I have done quite a lot of browsing online! It's so easy to loose yourself and time when looking on sites like Pinterset and Etsy! I've been busy searching for art work for my boys bedroom. We decorated it over a year ago now when my boys who share a room moved into bunk beds. We wanted to create an inspiring space for them to play and study but we haven't quite got there yet and their walls are still quite bare. My sons are no younger little, they are at the stage when they consider themselves to be quite grown up but at 8 very nearly 9 and 6 they are far from being big! And the artwork needs to appeal to both which can prove difficult! So far these are my favourites on Etsy!. 

See more of my Etsy favourites here.

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