Friday, 13 December 2019

- Portugal -

Back in August, the younger three minibeasts all had their very first trip abroad.
We flew off to Portugal, for a massive family holiday. 
We went with my parents, my brother and his family and my cousin.

We re-booked a villa that we had hired 10 years ago and surprisingly nothing much had changed, apart from we took up more space this time thanks to the additions of all the new children.


The villa was in Moledo,  which is in the North of Portugal.
Filled with beautiful beaches and friendly people


Having our own villa meant we could do what we liked and when we liked. 
The boys all need feeding pretty much non stop or they get hangry, so not having to wait for set meal times worked for us.

As I'm talking about Villas, did you know that Clickstay has 75,000 Villas worldwide to choose from!
Amongst those 75,000 there are some amazing villas in Portugal, which could help you plan your very own Portugues villa holiday.

There was a local supermarket that we all enjoyed visiting, especially the boys as they loved looking at all the fresh fish on offer and all the different sort of sweets and snacks Portugal had compared to back home.

Moledo had lots of different bars and restaurants which we could walk to from our villa, a couple of mornings as we were up before everyone else the boys and I would walk down to one of the favourite bars and they'd all have pancakes for breakfast whilst I enjoyed a nice strong Portuguese coffee.
The bar also had a very long Gin list that Kelly, my mum and I tried to work our way through.
Pretty sure we nearly succeeded too. 


Being within walking distance of two different beaches we thought we'd probably spend most of our time down on one of them, but the kids loved being by the pool and playing hide and seek in the garden.

The kids pretty much took the lead on how the day would fold out and we were all pretty happy with that, if the kids wanted to stay by the pool there were enough adults to keep an eye out if some others wanted to go into town and do a little bit of exploring.


One of the best things about the villa was that the wifi wasn't on and the TV didn't have any signal which meant the kids couldn't get sucked into screen time and they actually spent most of their downtime colouring in or making up games to play together.
It was great to see them all having fun together without the aid of a console or iPad in their hands.



Towards the end of the holiday, we heard about a festival going on in a nearby town, so we packed up the van and headed over to Viana Do Castelo and witness their amazing Feasts of Nossa Senhora da Agonia.


The Feast of Senhora da Agonia is probably the most famous pilgrimage in the region.
 It is celebrated over the weekend after 15 August (day of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin), and usually includes ethnographic parades, processions on land and processions on the River Lima with decorated boats. The streets along which the religious procession passes carrying the image of the Virgin are decorated with carpets of flowers.

The cult devoted to Senhora da Agonia dates back to the 18th century. It is associated with the devotion of the people engaged in fishing, who gave thanks or celebrated the graces received in times of trouble during storms and shipwrecks.






We all loved the drumming and the boys loved watching the groups dance around the square.
The drumming was so loud we could hear it even when we were down by the river.
It was an amazing day out and one I'm sure the boys won't forget any time soon.






The boys spent two weeks perfecting their dive bombs and learning to swim in the sea, eating fancy fish meals that my brother who is a trained chef lovingly cooked up for them.
They learned little snippets of Portuguese which Rupert loved showing off to the locals.
They spent two weeks with their cousins who they hardly see since we moved away from London.
We had midnight parties where they all showed off their very amusing dance skills.

We left our normal day to day routine back at home and the boys took a while to adjust but it was lovely to be stress-free and soaking up the sun rays whilst the boys all had a blast just being kids!




I definitely feel villa holidays are for us, as we just wouldn't even fit into one hotel room.
I feel there's more freedom with a villa holiday.


Do you prefer a Villa holiday or are you an all-inclusive holidayer?

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

- Christmas Wreath -

Last weekend I went to a Christmas Wreath workshop over in Swaffham
It cost £40.


The workshop was completely full, some people had never made a wreath before and some were returning crafters.

We were shown step by step how to make our own wreaths and the instructions were really easy to follow.


We started off running the wire around our copper wreath and then covering it completely in moss before we started on any of the greenery.


We had a big selection of foliage to choose from, we could use as much or as little as we wanted.
If at any point you got stuck the florists would come over and lend a hand or talk you through how to correct it, or where to add some more foliage.

Once we had all finished with the greenery we were then walked through the next step...Decorating our wreaths.
We could each pick 12 decorations and a ribbon.
Then it was up to us what we picked and where we placed them.

Checking from a distance to see how it looked.
Placing the decorations in amongst the foliage.



I was really happy with my final piece, once all my decorations were in place I then went a bit glitter happy with the spray.

The finished wreath up on my door!
I was worried my hook wouldn't hold the weight of it, but so far so good. Even these ridiculously strong winds haven't blown it away yet.


 Having the amazon delivery man ask where I bought it from has been one of my Christmas highlights so far, as I got to smugly reply that I hand made it myself, I even have the ivy spikes in my fingers to prove it!


Making a wreath myself has defiently given me an insight at why handmade ones are so expensive to buy!
A lot of hard work and effort goes into them. My hands were completely black once I'd finished crafting mine and they hurt for days after.

Have you made a wreath this year? 


Friday, 29 November 2019

...Count Down To Christmas with the Sockvent Calendar...


Over the years I  have seen the choice in different Advent Calendars explode, you can now get your hands on all sort of toy Advent Calendars for your little ones to cheese Advent Calendars for those cheese addicted family members.

Until the other day, I was unaware you could even get your hands on a sock Advent Calendar!
Sock Shop UK contacted me and asked if they could send me one of their Wild Feet Advent calendars.


I haven't had an Advent Calendar for years so I was more than eager to accept their offer.
25 days of brand new socks! 
Hard to say no really.  


This huge 43cm x 31cm advent-style gift box is chock-full of ladies socks in seasonal and year-round designs, ranging from Kawaii-style Christmas trees to the angelic pugs shown on the lid of this set. 
25 totally different designs to be discovered, one per day, all December through to Christmas Day.

Wild Feet socks are made using a cotton-rich blend of fibres and in a soft, smooth weave for all-seasons comfort. 
It’s a sock enthusiast’s dream present. 
They have both men’s and ladies’ versions, and in slightly smaller 12-pair choices too.


I love the idea of getting a brand new pair of socks on the run up to Christmas, I'm constantly in need of socks and often end up pinching Noah's so this will finally give me no need to go rummaging through his drawers when we're in a rush to run out the door.

I know all the boys are going to want to have a go at opening a door on this calendar that I'm not sure ill even get a go, they were pretty impressed when the postman delivered it.


 SOCKSHOP have some amazing Black Friday deals which last all weekend, where you can buy this and their 12 days of Christmas Advent Calendars for half price, so why not go and bag a bargain before Christmas!

If you arent too interesting in trying to grab a bargain in the sale why not check out their awesome Christmas shop, where you could find some lovely stocking fillers!

Over on my insta stories in the run-up to Christmas, I will be sharing a new pair of socks daily!



...Would you buy yourself or someone you know a sock advent calendar?...