Thursday, 24 July 2014

Our Summer Bucket List

Today is the last day of term - the Summer holidays are looming, and we have six weeks stretching out ahead of us that I plan to thoroughly enjoy. I don't mean by rushing about with rigid plans and set routines, making sure we fill each & every day because that's rather unrealistic and frankly I don't want to, & the kids won't want to either - but by just making the most of it. Some days we might do things, some days we might not. There will be 'nothing' days as well as busy days, we'll just do what we like, when we like. I can't wait!

We enjoyed making Autumn & Christmas Bucket Lists last year too, which is something we'll be doing again later on this year. Have you made a Summer Bucket List?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A day in Weymouth

Weymouth has to be one of my absolute favourite places in the UK. It's always our 'go-to' holiday spot (or even just for an impromptu day on the beach), and we have been there many times on our family getaways. It is absolutely beautiful, and very much the quintessential British seaside town.

The Mister's parents celebrated their Ruby wedding anniversary (that's 40 years, folks - you get less for murder) at the weekend, and as a family we all headed off on the train down to Weymouth for the day to mark the occasion. There were 23 of us in all - myself & the Mr and our five, my M&FIL, & the Mister's two brothers, their better halves, and their children & step-children.

The day didn't start very well with our town getting a real battering from the thunderstorms with some serious torrential rain, we experienced severe flash flooding and so ended up sitting on the train for over an hour waiting for the water to recede. As it happened, there were people collecting for CLIC Sargent on board with a raffle & a Disney-themed treasure hunt, and so the children were happily legging it up and down the carriages searching for the character pictures.

The weather was horrendous, we were left wondering whether or not to abandon our day out when we were told the water had receded and we were finally on our way. The rain continued on & off throughout the journey down to Weymouth, and as we arrived at the station the heavens opened once again. Regardless, we headed to the seafront and made the best of it, and as we reached the promenade the rain eased off.

My M&FIL had booked us all a table at a restaurant/takeaway called Fish 'n' Fritz for lunch, which is located on Market Street, just a stone's throw from the picturesque Weymouth Harbour. Fish 'n' Fritz is the national runner-up in the Fish & Chip Shop of the Year competition, & regional winner for the south west UK which, after sampling their batter from the Mister's plate, comes as no surprise. I was very impressed with their service which was nothing short of outstanding. They set up a table for our party with banners & balloons for my M&FIL, and posted a picture on their facebook page congratulating them on their anniversary which I thought was a lovely touch.

Considering the size of the party, the food and drinks were all ordered and delivered to our tables quickly and efficiently with no mistakes. The children were all served first (as was I, since I ordered a chicken burger and chips!) and the portions were more than generous, the menu even stated that if you wanted more chips you only had to ask and you could have more free of charge. This didn't happen though as we were all quite stuffed! The staff were just simply lovely, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back there or to recommend it to friends. In fact we fully intend to visit again this Summer!

By the time we had finished our lunch, the sun was finally out and it turned out to be a scorcher of an afternoon. We wandered along the harbour to the arcade & fair and my M&FIL handed out £5 each to all of the children to go off and enjoy themselves. They swapped their money for tokens for the rides and 2ps & 10ps for the machines and had a whale of a time collecting tickets and playing games together. E ended up biting off more than she could chew on one ride & cried to get off. The gent operating the ride stopped it no questions asked and let her get off and even gave her her token back to use on another ride which I was pleased about, it was very kind.

When all of the money and tokens had run out, and I managed to drag the Mister out of the arcade, my M&FIL treated all of the children to an ice cream each before we headed back to the railway station to catch the train home. We had a really lovely family day out all together, the kids had great fun playing with their cousins and celebrating with their grandparents, and I really appreciate my M&FIL arranging such a memorable day for all of us. I hope we will enjoy many more of them in years to come.

Congratulations to my M&FIL - D & J - on their ruby wedding anniversary. It's an honour to be their daughter-in-law and I am delighted to have been welcomed so warmly into their family, and to share these moments with them. They are wonderful grandparents to our children, and I have to say they've done a cracking job of raising their son, too. He's all right, is my other half. Congrats on these past forty years, and here's to the next forty.

Monday, 21 July 2014

When I Grow Up

review post.

One of my favourite things to do is imagine the children as grown ups. What will they do? Who will they be? Where will they go? I'm not wishing their time away, simply daydreaming about the adults they will become and where their lives will take them. As their mum, I hope I'm doing my job well, that they will grow up to be good people, and most importantly, that they will be happy in whatever they choose to do.

We are fast approaching that stage with A, who will be starting the 6th Form in September. We talk about universities and degrees and travel, potential careers and future plans and I realise just how fleeting childhood is. A wants to be a teacher, to travel around the world, to live in different countries. I remember when she just wanted her Barbie house to be built, and to know whether or not she was allowed another bowl of ice cream. know that we dream big for our children, and offer a fantastic selection of costume themed t-shirts to inspire their imaginations, including fire fighter, police officer, astronaut, chef, sailor, doctor, even an Olympic medallist. Or if they're more interested in being a ninja turtle or a penguin, and well, why not? Then there are t-shirts for that, too!

H often talks about wanting to be a fire fighter or police officer when he grows up. He is a very fair and reasonable young man (most of the time, he can be decidedly unreasonable when it's time to go to bed) & I think he would do really well in either of those roles. He loves this police officer t-shirt, and couldn't wait to wear it. It's made from thick, high quality 100% cotton with a double needle top stitched neckline for strength and to retain shape, and a seamless collar to stay smooth, and 'itch free'.

E on the other hand, well she's only 4. She wants to be a mermaid, a princess, a fairy, a fairy princess... She dreams of far off lands just like her big sister, but E's involve distant magical worlds and fairytales rather than beaches and big cities. Just like the book character, E would rather go on adventures in Wonderland, so the Alice in Wonderland costume t-shirt was the perfect choice for my beautiful dreamer. It even has a little "drink me" bottle peeking out of the pinafore pocket on the design!

The t-shirts have been washed and dried a few times now, and still look as good as new. They are put through a regular 40c wash, and line dried as opposed to tumbled because I prefer to do that where I can anyway - and we've had the perfect weather for it, too! They have been ironed (on the reverse), and the designs have so far remained intact and look like as lovely as they did when they first arrived.

There are a wide range of costume t-shirts that would be ideal for World Book Day fancy dress, particularly if you have a little one who doesn't like to dress up. These designs would have been perfect for L, who doesn't like the feel of fancy dress costumes or wearing anything too 'different' to his uniform to school, I just wish I had known about them sooner!
There's an excellent selection to choose from, including designs inspired by Dr Seuss, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as things like wizards, princesses & pirates, and of course, Alice in Wonderland.

For more information, the product latest news, and to browse their designs, simply visit their website or follow them on twitter and facebook.

We received complimentary t-shirts for the purpose of this review. The views shared are my own personal & honest opinions and written in my own words. All links are no-follow.

Meal Plan Monday 210714

Mon 21st July - Ploughman's, with home-made bacon, goats cheese & broccoli quiche

Tues 22nd July - Spaghetti & meatballs with ciabatta

Weds 23rd July - Sticky chicken with rice & salad

Thurs 24th July - Pasta bake

Fri 25th July - Sausage & mash

Sat 26th July - Slow cooker lasagne & garlic bread

Sun 27th July - It's A's 16th birthday today, so we are out for a family meal to celebrate

I've joined in with Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky with this post
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