Showing posts with label #familylife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #familylife. Show all posts

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?

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Keeping The Spark Alive When You Have Kids

When you first get with your partner, your now husband or wife, I can guarantee that you don’t think things will ever change between you. A spark might fly every time you catch one another gazing into each other's eyes, you go out, you enjoy each others company and life seems good. Fast forward to now and you have children, a house that it chaotic, perhaps pets to deal with and a total of zero time for one another. Sound familiar? While you are probably navigating the ship that is a family life together, it is still important to ensure that you spend some time on your relationship. After all, it is the glue that sticks it all together. I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can keep the spark alive. It might be something you do once every few years or something you make a more regular thing, but the investment is worth it.


Let’s talk about the biggie, a couples only holiday

The big one is, of course, the chance to go away on holiday just you two. This may be something you work towards for when the children are a little older. Perhaps planning a once in a lifetime trip that sees you take in the sights and sounds of locations like Costa Rica, starting your journey at the Courtyard San Jose Airport Alajuela, enjoying a cruise along the Panama Canal, taking in the glorious beaches of Los Cabos in Mexico and taking a road trip around some of the iconic states of the USA. Just a few suggestions there on your bucket list, but it is definitely something to daydream about and plan for the future.

A cheeky night away

Something not as far reaching as a holiday is a night away together and this can work wonders for your relationship. It may only happen on special occasions like birthdays, but these once or twice year opportunities are just what the doctor ordered in terms of reconnection and time to rekindle the romance. It doesn't even need to be anywhere too far or elaborate, often the time you get far outweighs anything else.

A date night

Date nights are one of those things that many couples argue they don’t need, and while it shouldn't take fates to keep your romance alive, they can really help you just enjoy each others company in a different setting. The cinema, a meal out of a coffee date is often enough.

A date at home

Not all of us have the luxury of extra funds to do what we want when we want and so dates at home have become really popular. Taking it in turns to cook, watching box sets or choosing different films to enjoy. It can be a great way to spend quality time without leaving your front door, and the best part of it is you can do it in your pyjamas.

Simple communication daily

Finally, something that can be done daily to keep the spark alive is communication. You don’t need to debate worldly affairs or the latest revelation in politics, but you can discuss each others day, no matter how mundane or boring you think it may sound. Openly discussing what you have done gives insight into each other's lives and it can be the simplest way to just strike up a conversation and be in a moment together.

I hope these ideas help you keep the spark alive in your relationship when you have kids.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Snow Fun

I thought I'd share some photos from the snow.
We haven't really been up to much lately, so I don't have much to report.
I have completed my first TMA and I'm about to send it off to be marked and the boys all had their first ever snow day!

Monday


Tuesday



Tuesday school run








Wednesday

No School!!!
I'm really enjoying having this as my view!
Every time I come into the kitchen this is what I'm greeted with and it fills with me joy, I'll be sad once it all melts away.
I'd love to live somewhere where it was constantly snowy.






Have you been having fun in the snow?



Monday, 27 November 2017

... Feeling Festive ...

So I know its only November buuuuuuut we've put our first tree up!
I know, I know its early!
I'm usually one of those people who mock the people who put up their trees in November but I just couldn't help it.

We went out to Next last week to have a coffee and a browse around the Christmas decks and check out the Christmas PJs and whilst walking round we saw this light up star and the thin tree.

We were thinking we weren't going to be able to get a tree in the lounge this year as we had a move around in the summer and there was no longer the space for a tree but seeing as this one was thin we decided it would fit perfectly beside the fireplace.

We went home and measured the space first to make sure it would fit and then ordered it for next day delivery and because it was Black Friday we got free delivery :)


It fits perfectly and I'm completely in love with the star.
We've also decide we probably won't decorate this tree aa it looks nice enough with just the lights on.
We do however need something to cover the bottom of it, as I'm not really a fan of the stand.

We'll buy our real tree the second week of December, we're hoping to get an 8ft one this year.

Whilst in store I couldn't find any Christmas PJs but thankfully online they had a good range to pick from.

The twins & Ru got gifted some from Mothercare for a piece of writing a did for them about Noah's first Christmas (I will be sharing it on the blog v.soon) so I only had Noah to buy for.

So now all the boys have their new Christmas PJs for Christmas Eve, I also have a very sweet Christmas Eve box which was gifted from Mothercare to fill up with goodies and everyone including Jon and myself have Christmas Jumpers/t-shirts for Christmas Day.
I also couldn't resist buying Christmas PJs from Primark for Jon and I.

I feel this year my Christmas spirit has tripled and I just can't wait and everything festive I see I want!
The boys are all writing their letters to Father Christmas tonight and we have decided that this year we are going to have a little more self control over presents, as usually we go OTT and they get far too much and they never know what to do with it all.

So Santa will make them something they want and fill up their stockings then Jon and I will get them 
something they want, something they need, something to read and something to wear.

This will save us a small fortune and hopefully they won't be overwhelmed by having too much. 
As everyone in the family spoils them and there really is no need for us to buy them 10+ presents each.

We've told them this and they all seemed more than happy about it and have all been thinking hard about what they really really want.

I'm not sure I'll be sharing any Christmas gift guides this year, I've just come to the end of my big to do list of reviews and I have a couple more to arrive but other than that I think I'm done with reviews for the rest of this year.

I want to focus more on them having fun in the run up to Christmas and not being in undated with toys to review as last year made it hard for family members to buy for them as they already had so much.

So I think I'll just be sharing festive fun posts with you such as writing about all the boys 1st Christmases, What's going inside their Christmas Eve box, Festive bakes, Festive makes and family time.

Have you got a tree up yet?

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Rubik's 3X3 Cube

Today is the start of the UK Speedcubing Championships!

Ready, set… go! 
Speedcubing is the fastest solving of the Rubik’s Cube that you’ll ever see!
Speedcubers can solve the Rubik’s Cube in lightning speed. 
Did you know that the Rubik’s Cube World Championships are held every two years? 
People across the world practise speedcubing with one goal in common – to set their ultimate speed cube time. 


The Rubik's Cube World Record

When Erno Rubik invented the cube in 1974, he had no idea if his new puzzle could actually be solved. In fact, it took him over a month to solve his own cube.
Fast forward to the present day and the time to beat is an unbelievable 4.69 seconds!
 That amazing time was achieved by Patrick Ponce of the USA.
 Unsurprisingly, robots are even faster, easily beating Ponce's World Record. 
A robot solved the Rubik’s Cube in 0.637 seconds! 
Speed cubes are becoming lighter, slicker, faster – who knows what the next Rubik’s Cube World Record will be?

Noah decided to give Speedcubing a go ...... unfortunately he's still trying!
So I don't think he'll be breaking any records just yet.
We started on a brand new 3X3 cube and I mixed it up for him and gave it to him, with him beaming with confidence that he'd be able to do it easy peasy!

Well after searching YouTube for the answers, he's still attempting to solve it.
We have managed to get nearly a whole side minus one square.

If like us and you need a little extra help in figuring out how to solve the 3X3 cube click here.




Monday, 28 August 2017

Spa Visits, Sleep Diary and Star Wars Auditions...

Last week was a good week, my bestie came to stay for the week.


Rupert started the week out by turning into a bit of a naked gardener and we started his sleep diary.
I also managed to send back the questionnaires we were sent.
So hopefully by the time we are seen again this sleep diary will be full and they'll see how bad he is when it comes to bedtime.


I also started a bit of a health kick and put my love affair with coffee on the sidewalk and turned back to Green Tea.
I really want to start feeling better about myself and I can slowly see Im heading to where I really want to be.
I know I'm never going to have my pre twins / Rupert body back as being just under 8stone is a tad unrealistic these days, but to not feel so flabby would be fab!


Rupert made friends with another butterfly. 
He found it laying in the grass and gently picked it up and then played with it for about half an hour.
Once the butterfly was done being friendly it flew off.


On Monday Jenny arrived and we spent the morning with the boys and then just before lunch we headed off for a girlie afternoon in the Spa.
Jenny had booked it as a surprise to help cheer me up.

Before we went to the spa we headed off to Sainsbury's to see if I could pick up a new costume, as I had bought one from asos but when I tried it on, I could have cried.
Unfortunately there were no costumes in Sainsbury's so we just ended up getting some lunch and then headed off to the spa.

Pre Spa Lunch.

Once at the spa we changed into our costumes and put on our robes and headed into the waiting room to pick our treatments.
I was wanting to get the raindrop massage but it turned out because I'd had my op only recently I wasn't allowed to have a full massage.

My options were a facial and a manicure or a manicure and a pedicure.
I was more than a little disappointed as I've never been keen on the idea of a facial as I hate anyone touching my face but then I decided if I wanted a little pampering I was going to have to give it ago.
So I decided to try a mini facial and have a manicure.

Before our treatments we hung out in the thermal spa and relaxation room.
We had our treatments in a double room which was nice and to my surprise I actually really enjoyed my facial!
I would definitely have another one!

After the spa we headed out to dinner and it was alright but nothing really special.


After moaning to my mum about how I was getting really upset about seeing everyone's pregnancy announcements and all their gorgeous new babies and thinking that was meant to be me.
(I obviously am really happy for everyone whose expecting but at times it feels like a knife in the heart every time I see a post)
My mum decided to treat me to some new boots.
Her words - 'She can't give me a baby but she can give me new boots!'

They did pick me up and I felt happy walking around in them.
So thanks mum :)


Rupert went off to nursery dressed up as all the leavers were having a Disney dress up week, he wasn't really keen on going but as soon as I told him he could dress up and that Jenny and myself were going to take him he instantly decided that he would go.


While he was at nursery we took the rest of the boys off to Hunstanton to have a go at pirate crazy golf.
We split into two teams, Jenny, Jon and Alex and Myself, Oscar and Noah.
I'm not sure which team won but it was a great way to spend the morning.

Afterwards we headed up to Hunstanton Ice Cream factory and all had an ice cream.


In the evening we had a bit of a games and ice cream night.
We played Trivial Pursuit the 2000s edition and I was all set to lose because Jon usually wins these sorts of games but surprisingly I won!
Which Jon was not too pleased about.


Wednesday

Noah had his first ever audition for something Star Wars related.
He's always liked the idea of going on an audition ever since the twins had one and after seeing his cousin Isla on a few TV adverts.

He's really shy and Ive never really thought it would be something he'd want to do, but when I asked he jumped at the chance and said yes!

I told him to just be himself and not get nervous when he saw the camera.

He did really well, he was only slightly shy and did everything he was asked to do.
He probably won't get the part but he said he really enjoyed himself and would do another audition if he got the chance.


So to treat him we headed into Norwich to find somewhere to eat.
We found Noah's favourite place - Yo Sushi and headed inside to grab some food.


Noah was like a little meerkat peering over at the belt and seeing what he could see.
Every time he got a new plate he did a happy dance.

It was quite nice to just spend time with Noah.
When Noah was little Jenny and I were always taking him on day trips, so it felt just like that.
I really need to make sure I have little outings with just Noah as I'm sure he probably feels a bit left out, specially as Ru takes up a lot of my time.

We all filled our tums and then headed back to the car.


My favourite - Avocado Maki Rolls.

We thought it would be fun to try and get home without the SatNav....we only got a little lost.
It should have taken an hour but it took nearly two.


The boys uniform all turned up and for Ru I decided to try him on some leggings which I got from the girls section.
 I know he won't wear joggers to nursery as he needs trousers to be super tight or he doesn't like the feel so I was pleasantly surprised that he really took to them and has been wearing them ever since!
They're tight and soft, just perfect for him.



I'll have to buy him some more for when the weather starts to turn cold.
I've seen lots of cool ones on Zara and I'm also going to buy him some more Slug & Snails tights as he still tries to fit into his old ones.

The boys pretending to be at a farm on our hay delivery.


Jenny went home on Thursday and we were meant to be heading to my parents on the Friday but because of Jon's back still playing up we were unable to do the journey so to keep the boys happy we headed to Jon's parents to let them play in the pool.