‘Nemo and Giraffe’ Book Review

‘Nemo and Giraffe’ Book Review

I love being sent new things to review as a blogger, and this time we were sent a great little item that had been funded by a Kick Starter campaign.  Author Lee Hunter’s first children’s book ‘Nemo and Giraffe‘.  Having four children that love to read I jumped at the chance to review this item.  Isis Mae wanted to get involved and so I handed her the e-copy that we had been gifted to have a read through.  It was very easy for her at age 9, so we passed it along to Shayla-Rae aged 5 who is great with reading despite only being in her first year at school.  I sat with Shayla as she read through it and it was brilliant for a new reader.  She learned a lot of new words.  It was a challenge for her, but great as she has been looking for a book that she can read through herself.

This book isn’t designed to be a phonics challenge for new readers, but Shayla really did enjoy it.  This book is absolutely perfect to read to children who are experiencing a new pet.  Lee designed it this way as she wanted her children to accept their new cat.  This teaches a lovely message that anyone can be best friends.  Any age, shape, size, animal… even a cat and giraffe.  The illustrations are lovely too.

Here is Isis Mae’s review :

‘Mummy was sent this book to review but she thought because i do a lot of reading it might be good for me to review so then I chose to review it.

So first I read it but then I thought oh maybe it’s a good one to read to Shayla, Judah and Eden so we all sat down in a huddle and I read the story out loud and clear so every one could hear exactly what I was saying.

The book was good but maybe for the younger ones, I first read it through then I read it to Shayla who enjoyed it, because it was about a cat and then to Judah and Eden although Eden just ran away after the first five pages hahaha (nothing new there).

Nemo and Giraffe was teaching a lesson about how friends can be anyone big or small ,boys or girls even a cat and a giraffe!

I know Judah liked it because he stayed quiet and listened, he also liked looking at the pictures.

Judah was so cute after I had read it to them all he said ‘I really liked the book Isis’ and ran away with a smile on his face straight out the door.

I think it’s a good book to be read again and again to Judah and Eden because Judah always says you are my best friend to everyone, he is so adorable!

I enjoyed reading Nemo and Giraffe to them all whilst they where all cuddling up to me it made me smile!  I thought maybe I should read books like this to the littlies more often if they like me reading to them.  I love making people smile because it makes me smile especially when I’m making Shayla, Judah and Eden smile but I love making anyone smile really.  I think It can be for age 1( if read to by someone) to 6 years which can probably read independently or be read to)

This book has definitely inspired me to read more books like this to my siblings.

Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions of books I should read to them or any books you want me to review! Thanks 

Bye’

She’s so lovely, I love how this book inspired her.  Please make sure you go and watch her video review it’s only a few minutes long and be sure to leave a thumbs up if you’d like to see more reviews like this from Isis Mae.

If you’d like to go and support Lee and her venture then make sure to buy a copy by clicking here.

You can also follow Lee and ‘Nemo and Giraffe’ on twitter and facebook.

Twitter : https://twitter.com/NemoandGiraffe

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/nemoandgiraffe

*We were gifted an e-book version of Nemo and Giraffe for review purposes.  All opinions and words are honest and ours.

Chalk and Cheese

Chalk and Cheese

Our two youngest are very close in age, at only 16 months apart they have very similar facial features but they could not be more different personality wise.  I love seeing their differences as it reminds me how unique we all are.  They have been parented the exact same way, but their outlook on the world is very different.

Judah was your normal baby/toddler until he became about 18 months old.  It has become increasingly more apparent as time goes on that this child is extremely self aware.  He is cautious, maintains a keen observation of danger and likes to be in charge of what is happening to him.  As a baby we could push him on the swings and he would love it, send him down the slides at the park and he’d gleefully giggle, but at about 18 months old he decided that this was no longer a place of fun, but a source of potential danger at every turn haha.

He loves going to the park still, but he will wander around the outskirts, enjoying walking up and down steps and exploring the grassy areas, playing in sand pits, but he won’t go on a swing, or go down a slide.  He will walk to the top of the slide and then, walk back down again.  We don’t push him, we don’t call him a wimp.  We try and encourage him, the usual ‘yay Judah, are you coming down? Mummy will catch you.’ when he’s stood at the top of a slide but usually he replies no and toddles back down from whence he came.

Eden could not be more different.  She will clamber on everything.  Too tall for her, not a problem, she will maneuver a way to make it work, even if she hangs and lifts her body up.  She is surprisingly strong for one so small.  If she sees a giant slide, that is big for a child of Isis age (9) she will still walk her way to the top and slide down it.  She doesn’t need any encouragement, any help (of course we will be following closely ready to catch at any point that she may stumble) she will go down sat on her bottom, head first on her front, led down feet first.  She is our little adventurer and nothing will stop her.  She will go in the swing and chuckle loudly as Daddy pushes her so high that I’m telling him to stop.  She’s so fearless it wouldn’t surprise me if she tried to climb out whilst it’s swinging so I like to make sure she’s at a safe distance where we could catch her if she does do this.  (I’m not being extreme here, this is 100% likely with Eden).

I love watching their differences and on Bank Holiday Monday when we met up with friends I took lots of photos of them playing on the park.  Judah won’t get in the swing but he’ll push Eden when she’s on the swing.  These pictures make my heart melt.  I love you our beautiful babies.  Don’t ever feel pressured to be anything other than who you are… who you are is just perfect xxx

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Mia Wray, Little Magic Pieces and the end of Depression #littleloves

Mia Wray, Little Magic Pieces and the end of Depression #littleloves

Wow, I can’t believe it’s Friday again already. Here is our weekly round up with the lovely Sian at ‘Potty Mouthed Mummy‘ as the beautiful Morgana is off sunning herself in France.

Read

Again, a lot of blogs this week.  I don’t really ever pick up a book.  I really enjoyed the ‘Country Kids‘ round up this week over on Fiona at Coombe Mill’s blog.  I am getting excited about the Summer and seeing what you lovely lot have been up to is inspiring ideas of things we can do on our two weeks with all the children.  One of my favourite posts was the genius idea to have a ‘Farm Party‘ for their child’s birthday.  We won’t be able to do this, this year, but it is definitely stored in the memory for next year.  Go have a nosy at Let Kids be Kids, there’s also a lovely video.

Watched

I’m up to date and awaiting so many new seasons at the moment so I’ve not really had the desire to even switch on the good old Netflix.  I’ve been busy working away on video editing and my blog so I’ve barely had time to chill.  I like this though, sometimes watching lots of programs reminds me of when I was depressed.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a good switch off, we certainly need it as Mum’s but this week has shown me I must be happy as I haven’t even noticed that I’ve not been watching anything.  When I break for lunch I go hang with my beautiful children, but when I have needed to zone out whilst I eat I’ve been watching YouTubers.  My new discovery is ‘In the Frow’ Victoria is a fashion lecturer in Manchester and her YouTube video on her iPhone 6 tour gave me some fantastic new apps.  I’m really excited by Moldiv.

Wore

I have been enjoying the sunshine and heading out more with the children.  I dared to let Martina have the camera whilst we were out walking this week and she captured a few of me with the babies.  When I posted them to my facebook I had a few people comment on the blue New Look v-neck and how it suited me.

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Isis Mae was wearing the beautiful Watermelon headband handmade by Dovile at ‘Little Magic Pieces’ in our latest YouTube video.  She has done the ‘My Favourite Things’ tag…

Heard

We’ve been listening a LOT to the beautiful Mia Wray, she has original songs, but also creates stunning covers.  We’ve been using her for all our memory videos on YouTube.  Here is her beautiful version of ‘Shake It Off’. We’re a bit obsessed with her.

Made

A huge mistake!!!  Yesterday we headed out to meet friends as it was pre-arranged, even though the weather was forecast to be atrocious.  So the children were in their wellies and wrapped up warm with layers on.  Well, the sun shone all day, and I didn’t have my suncream with me.  It’s usually in the baby bag.  Thank goodness it wasn’t too hot, as my beautiful baby has a little sunburnt face this morning.  I guess it’s the first time Eden’s skin has been exposed to sun without protection of any kind.  The others are out the odd times in the sun.  It’s not bad thank goodness, but I just feel horrendous because my baby has a sunburnt face, so we will be staying indoors today at least whilst I slap after sun on her throughout the day and if we go out tomorrow she will have the usual Factor 50 on whatever the weather.  I will NEVER make the mistake to not have the suncream with me again.

and lastly…

I have noticed this week and I don’t want to sound too dramatic here but if you knew the journey that I’ve been on…. I FEEL again.  I don’t just FEEL, I feel happy.  I have been so numb for so long.  Not that I wasn’t enjoying life, my lovely family would melt my heart, but there is now a vast difference.  I feel as though I’m finally healing, after years of hurt and years of restoration (amidst the busyness of having children) I just feel so happy.  All the time.  I feel like I’m me again.  It has been an epic journey and if I’m honest one I never thought I’d be free of.  I’m not saying it will all be smooth sailing from now on, I’m still taking medication but I FEEL.  I am so grateful that my husband stuck by me through hard times and my draining personality as I battled depression.  I’m just grateful to my God that heals and kept me through all the heartache and never let me forget He had a plan.

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And it was all Yellow

And it was all Yellow

It’s that time of year when all my favourite blogs are full of beautiful fields full of yellow rapeseed.  I love these yellow pictures, they’re so beautiful and they make me feel happy.  It’s like carrying a piece of sunshine around with me.  I just look at them and I feel pure joy.  We keep passing one particular rapeseed field on our travels and I have been waiting for a time where I have all of the children with me, but on Bank Holiday Monday, when we were going to meet friends for a pub lunch and then to hang out at the park afterwards, Judah announced he needed the toilet.  So, I pulled over next to.. you’ve guessed it… the rapeseed field.  I couldn’t not spend 5 minutes trying to capture my little people looking cute.
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As I’m writing this it has started pouring it down outside…. typical British half-term holiday weather, and the girls will be arriving within the hour.  I’m sad that the girls aren’t in these photos but it’s also lovely to just capture my mini toddlers together.  Their relationship is just beautiful.  The way Judah looks after his little sister is amazing, and she becomes so much more brave when he’s around.  They decided to play hide and seek.  James and I had to keep up as they’re so small and the field was so vast, we would definitely lose them if we didn’t stay close.

I’m sure I’ll be going back within the next couple of weeks, if I can find a day where I have all the children, the car and some sunshine – a tough request but one I should be able to manage – stay tuned…

For now here are some photos from our quick 5 minute photography session as the babies played.  The husband even encouraged me to have my picture taken (that doesn’t happen often) but I’m glad as he did a great job.

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What we are wearing for those who are interested –

Judah :

Grey textured blazer with buttons : Zara Kids baby boy 

Pineapple and text t-shirt : Zara Kids baby boy 

Little Animal printed scarf : Zara Kids Accessories

Drawstring Waist Trousers : Zara Kids baby boy

Eden:

Lemon yellow cardigan from Nana : Nutmeg at Morrisons

Lemons make lemonade pink racer back top : Kate & James Shop

Green floral skirt with pockets : Next (last season)

Myself:

Maxi dress : Joe Browns

Black cardigan : Yours

Sunglasses : Prada

Our 9 Year Old Has a Boyfriend (and I’m happy about it)

Our 9 Year Old Has a Boyfriend (and I’m happy about it)

Last weekend when James went to pick up our beautiful girls, nine year old Isis Mae announced in the car to him that she has a boyfriend.  When he arrived home to mine and the babies happy faces (we love when the girls arrive) he seemed traumatised. ‘Tell Mummy what you’ve just told me’ he stuttered.  This usually means something good or bad.  James looked like he’d seen a ghost but Isis was smiling away, as was Shayla-Rae.  ‘Isis has got a boyfriend’ proclaimed Shayla.  Isis didn’t look embarrassed at all, she was really proud and happy.

I mirrored her smile (I didn’t want her to feel awkward, I figured Daddy had that covered) and asked ‘What’s his name?’, ‘What’s he like?’, ‘Is he nice to you?’.  She was beaming (let’s call him ‘T’ for the purpose of this blog), what poured out of her mouth next was so sweet.

‘He’s really funny’

‘He makes me laugh’

‘He makes me happy’

‘He reminds me of Daddy’

‘He makes me feel really special’

‘He’s nice to me’

‘He makes me want to go school’

‘He doesn’t look like Daddy but he reminds me of Daddy so it doesn’t matter what he looks like’

I glanced over at James who was still shell shocked by the fact she had a boyfriend, and asked him ‘Well, Daddy what more could you want?’

After making some poor decisions in my past when it came to choosing a partner.  I was once again reminded of one of the greatest choices I made in life, choosing James.  My husband is lovely to me, he is happy, kind, never speaks to me harshly, there’s never any name calling, he is kind, funny, generous and would move heaven and earth if I needed him to.  I remembered how I felt when I held my little man in my arms for the first time on my bed the day I brought him home from hospital and I cried.  I cried because I knew I was raising a man with the greatest role model that I could’ve found.  I knew that one day this precious bundle would love and make someone else feel as valued as I felt in that moment.

I know that James has been dreading this day, but we talked about it and I reminded him that the best thing we can do to assure her safety and security as she rapidly is becoming an adolescent, is to make her feel loved, supported, confident in her choices, and keep being the best role models that we can be.

I may come across over the top sometimes, but if you knew my history I guess you could understand why.  We go out of our way to affirm to our children that everything that happens to their physical bodies is their choice (obviously within reason, they’re not out trying to get piercings just yet).  If we ask for a kiss and they say no, that’s ok, we may say ‘you meanie’ but there’s no fake tears until they give in, even with the babies.  We want them to know it’s ok to say NO.  Now hear me out, we don’t want them to go through life feeling fearful because of experiences I have had.  This isn’t about putting my past onto them, but it is about us empowering them to be secure in their personal rights as they grow older.

You cannot protect your children from everything, no matter how much you want to, but I hope that we can impart wisdom, love, security and self-assurance to help them make the best choices for themselves.

Now, James and I haven’t met ‘T’ but from the way that Isis describes him, I think she has chosen wisely for her first real boyfriend.  She is missing him over half-term, I have said that if they’re still together when it gets to the Summer holidays I will speak to T’s parents about trying to meet up at a local park or something for an afternoon so they can all play together (and maybe do some reconnaissance *winks*).

We’re proud of you Isis Mae, may you always choose boyfriends that remind you of your Daddy.  We love you far too much to let you settle for anything less. xxx

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Let's Talk Mommy

Me & You {May}

Me & You {May}

Finding time to have couple time, or a date night when you have lots of children is difficult, even when you have an Au Pair.  Martina is here but we are often sooooo tired that the idea of trying to go somewhere when we feel like we’ve survived the day once the babies are in bed, it almost makes it feel like a chore.  We love just snuggling down for the evening as early as 7:30pm.  Once the children are happily in bed we just want to relax and enjoy each other’s company.  Even if we’re not saying anything, nothing beats a cuddle from your bestie when you’re feeling tired.
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We had intended to go out somewhere Saturday night together, but after an eventful day which finished with us having issues with broken keys and struggling to get into the house, it was nearly 10 o’clock before the girls went to bed.  So date night on Saturday did not happen.  It’s now Bank Holiday Monday and we have had a lovely weekend.  Sun, Sea and Sinking Sand at the beach on Saturday.  Mostly tidying and relaxing in the house Sunday, and after we had filmed a ‘Mummy vs Daddy’ challenge for our YouTube channel with the girls, James and I decided to go out for a walk whilst the sun was setting.

Despite having Martina here, this is something we just don’t think to do  Now those Summer nights are (hopefully) approaching, we want to make a habit of just walking around the local woodlands, maybe if it’s particularly warm we can stop at the Inn at the end of our road for a cold drink sat outside on their benches.  I’m looking forward to enjoying many sunsets with James this Summer. Martina goes back home at the end of September, and although of course we can get babysitters (we never do though), I want to make sure that we made the most of the time that we had.

As it’s been a while since we did one of these posts *slaps own wrist* and I had make-up on from filming our ‘Most Likely to… Mummy vs Daddy‘ challenge, we decided to take the camera and tripod out with us.  It was very funny, when I had James holding some bluebells near his face so I could set the camera up and a group of young men all walked past.  The comic timing was brilliant.  James and I were in hysterics, I love how it takes A LOT to embarrass my husband though.  He has no inhibitions or ego (mostly) so he is not easily embarrassed.  It tickled me to see that he felt silly.  This isn’t something I see often, he’s usually playing up to being silly.

I love you James and I’m looking forward to going out with you somewhere this evening.  Don’t EVER change, I’m so grateful God gave you to me, and that you love me so unconditionally.  He really gave me the best when He gave me you.

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If you’d like to watch what we were filming then you can head over to our YouTube channel or click on the video below.

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{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #21 – Sun, Sea and Sinking Sand

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #21 – Sun, Sea and Sinking Sand

Yesterday I looked around our home that clearly needed tidying and then looked at the weather app on my iPhone.  It was only about 16 degrees, but apparently there wouldn’t be a cloud in the sky until around 8pm.  I looked around the house again, and thought about our empty bank account (my husband’s agency had some mess up and hadn’t paid him), we had enough petrol to get to Nana’s in the car, and just enough money in the bank for train fare.  We don’t all fit in the car (until we buy our second car which will be a 7 seater) so I was driving to Nana’s with the children and James was going to get the train.  We had 40 minutes if we wanted Daddy to make the train (which are only hourly) so we just decided Carpe Diem and went for it.
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As soon as we hit the road, we were stuck driving at 10mph…. fear struck as we had enough petrol to get to Nana’s but  maybe not enough petrol for a traffic jam… Yay!  This didn’t last very long at all.  Once we made it past the junction that turned off to the Lake District we were cruising.  Isis was filming herself dancing and singing in the car, she’s such a funny character.  Totally used up all my phone memory though haha, little monkey.  I’m really fortunate that all of ours are good travellers, they don’t need anything to entertain them, there’s no iPad’s in sight, we chat, we’re silly and most of the time..they sleep.  Shayla, Judah and Eden (and James) pretty much sleep any car journey.  Shayla will fall asleep in the ten minute journey home from school at 3pm.  She’s so like her Daddy, any chance she gets to rest she seizes it.  Isis is a die hard and unless it’s late at night, she’s always awake and chatting.

We had some lunch at Nana’s and headed out to the beach with Auntie Jenny and her dog ‘Lady’.  My Mum had to go visit an elderly friend so she wasn’t able to join us, but to be honest, we’d have never got up to our next antics, if she’d been there to advise us against it (so I’m secretly glad she didn’t come, not too secretly though as she’ll probably read this – Hi Nana).

I decided as it didn’t look so far away that we should go and put our feet in the sea.  Daddy was tired so we left him and Eden dozing on the beach, and the rest of us headed off to the sea.  Very quickly we realised this was not the best idea.  What I had thought was a grassy area turned out to be marsh and sinking sand.  From eye level on the horizon it just looked like grass, not the case.  It was maybe 30cm’s tall grassy knolls just big enough to put an adult foot on separated by lots of little sandy traps.  If you put your feet on the sand (which I thought would be safer for myself and my dodgy hips) then your feet sank so quickly and you would lose your shoes.  I, for some reason had put my Uggs on (don’t ask me why, they’re comfy and were lying around whilst we dressed 6 people and packed a baby bag in 40 minutes) and absolutely destroyed them.  They got stuck in the sinking sand, I rescued my feet and then Auntie Jenny had to rescue my Uggs out of the sinking sand as I kept slipping (it’s a good job I’m hypermobile and can do the splits).  We were in hysterics, especially at the irony of my telling James off for spraying them with the water pistol earlier in the day haha – ooops!

After a lot of effort, we made it to the sea.  Now, if you’ve followed my blog at all, you will know that I really struggle with walking just to the corner shop since having Eden.  My hips lock, they cause me great pain and my back is weak due to the excessive weight I’ve put on not being able to exercise and spending so much time in bed.  This was THE MOST FUN I have had in soooo long.  I felt like me again, it seemed like an adventure.  Maybe a bad idea to take a toddler along, especially when about half way to the sea we remembered a fire engine had to come and rescue someone a few weeks ago for getting stuck out where we were (again, would never have got past the grass on Nana’s watch).  It might seem like not a big deal for most people, but I was so aware of how as little as a week ago, there’s NO way I would’ve been able to do what I was doing in that moment.  I was loving it.

Undeterred by the muddy Uggs we proceeded bare foot and eventually found a part of the sand that didn’t suck us in, and we made it to the sea.  Yay! Success.  The children and I were so proud of ourselves.  We then spent a lot of time running, jumping, splashing and doing cartwheels (Isis) in the sea.  It was so beautiful I took a LOT of photos.  Once we were sufficiently soaked through and I felt like uber cool Mum for letting the kids get filthy when I’d not packed clean clothes or a towel (yes, stupid but the kids thought I rocked) we then made our way back to Daddy and Eden via a much safer route.

I was so proud of Judah, he is usually scared of everything, and in a ridiculously short time, he went from clinging to Auntie Jenny’s leg and refusing to stand on the sand (understandably as we were screaming when it was sucking us in) to running on it (when it was much safer) and jumping in the sea.  He then walked all the way home barefoot like the rest of us, as our feet were FILTHY there was no way we could put them back inside our shoes.  James would never walk barefoot as he hates the feel of gravel etc on his feet.  I can’t say I’m the biggest fan either when the ground isn’t always smooth, but Judah just got in with it.  You could see he felt like he was enjoying the greatest adventure.

We had an amazing day.  Just to make sure they were incredibly filthy when they were soaking wet through the girls decided to lie down and be sand angels, so we were all desperately in need of a bath.  Nana had put some bowls of water out in the front garden for us to wash our feet before going in the house (I’d called ahead and prepped her for our messy arrival).  The girls had to wear what we could salvage as spares from the car, Shayla had James’ shirt on (she looked like she was going to go rob the local Spar haha) and I remembered how much fun can be had when you can move without pain.  Eden is now 18 months old and I’m hoping that finally my body (that the physio had said would take a year – I was beginning to lose hope) is starting to heal.  I’m of course a bit sore today, but nowhere near what had become my normal.

I still feel excited thinking about yesterday, because I had SO MUCH FUN, it was free and around the corner from my Mum’s house.  I am really looking forward to Summer and feeling grateful that we live somewhere that allows us to enjoy such moments of pure joy and freedom.  We are truly blessed.

We have been experimenting with vlogging a lot recently, talking about our children, making videos of our little memories, and yesterday we tried a video diary.  If you brave heading over to our YouTube channel to watch our footage from yesterday (or click on it at the bottom of this post below) please comment and let us know if you like the video diary style posts or prefer the music video versions.  Maybe you like a mixture, or maybe you’re like stop spamming my instagram and twitter feed telling me about your videos?  Please let us know what you think.  We’re very interested.

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As always we’re linking up with the beautiful Katie at Mummy Daddy Me, so make sure you click on the badge below to go see all the other wonderful Ordinary Moments.

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A Very Windy Picnic

A Very Windy Picnic

A couple of weeks ago we bought a new picnic basket and blanket (one that was big enough for all of us to sit on).  We have been waiting for the weather to brighten up ever since.  The children were so excited to enjoy a picnic together that the first sign of a sunny afternoon and we had packed up the car to go enjoy a picnic on the beach near Nana’s house in Lytham.
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The weather was very windy last week (as I’m sure most of you experienced) and at the beach with nothing to shelter you it did take the edge off the warmth.  The children didn’t mind this, as they were wrapped up and running around playing.  Nana & Grandad weren’t so sure but were brilliant coming along anyway to enjoy the children’s first picnic on the beach of the year.

We had raided the local Booths of all things chocolatey, made some yummy ham and cheese sandwiches (the children’s favourites) took some cherry tomatoes and diluted some cordial.  The beach is literally 5 minutes walk (10 with teeny legs) from my parents house as they live just off the road that runs parallel to the promenade and I’m so looking forward to this Summer with James only working down the road.  We intend to go with Daddy to work every sunny day and go hang out with Nana by the beach before Judah starts pre-school in September.

It was great down at the beach, because it was windy, there was no-one else sitting there.  A few dog walkers, runners, cyclists going past but we pretty much had the run of the place to ourselves.  We enjoyed our picnic and then the children had fun running around and playing.  Eden was in a ridiculously chatty mood.  I’ve never heard her talk so much.  She must have just felt extremely happy.  It was lovely, she had us all chuckling as her chatter didn’t stop.

I feel very grateful to have such by DeleteAd” href=”#29741380″> beauty so local and accessible, especially with us not having a second car yet.  It means that yeah, our Bucket List adventures may have come to a halt for a while (not that we can’t get around with public transport, it’s just not as easy with two toddlers), but we can spend a Summer by the sea.

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not my finest photography as I was still sat on the picnic blanket as they played

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall