Beautifully British · date night · Shakespeare · Uncategorized

A Midsummer Nights Dream

Last week we were lucky enough to be able to return to Tolethorpe House to watch another Shakespeare play. We first went to Tolthorpe 2 years ago when Scott surprised me with tickets to my favourite play Romeo and Juliet. I remember every detail being a surprise and not knowing where to go or what I was doing was really fun so this time we felt like veterans!

We arrived in the grounds about 6pm and the idea is you take a picnic before the show to eat in the grounds. We were one of the first cars in the car park and so had plenty of picnic space to choose from. The view really is stunning looking over the house as you eat and we were so happy the sun finally broke through just as we arrived.

 So after you finish your picnic it’s back to the car to drop off your things and pick up the blankets, I’ll explain in a minute, and then over to the theatre. The theatre is open air so the stage is completely exposed to the elements but the seating is undercover. Every year I have been the stage is always wonderfully presented and can be used and changed throughout the performance to really maximise the space. There is always a wow moment too, this year it was right near the end of the play when all the fairies had gathered in the wood and bam suddenly hundreds of tiny fairy lights were switched on round every tree on the stage! The audience gasped and wowed, it really was beautiful.

The entrance to the theatre
The play began and the actors really were fantastic especially Puck who played his part so well. The play is funny anyway but the audience really enjoyed his jokes and stage presence. In the interval everyone leaves to get drinks from inside Tolthorpe house, we had pre ordered some to save time but there was tea and coffee available at a very reasonable price. 

The second half of the play really was so funny and had us all laughing several times. Us veterans know it does get cold watching an open air performance so this is where your blankets come in handy! Everyone that had been before had a blanket for the second half, after freezing during our first visit we were much better prepared this time!

The show finished with Pucks broom being left on stage and I had to get a picture of it for T as she has a fairy that lives in her garden called Puck too, she was really pleased to see it. All in all I would thoroughly recommend an outdoor theatre and being a lover of Shakespeare anyway if you are in the area Tolthorpe is a great evening out and really something different to do with a summers evening. We will definitely be back.

Ballet · feeling proud · happy · motherhood · Mums · Parenting · Uncategorized

Bursting with pride 

I love being a parent, yes it has it’s stressful times, moments where you wonder if they will ever stop talking, normality will ever be regained or a meal will ever be eaten without a play buggy being parked at the side of the table but I have to admit I really do love being a Mum.

T makes me proud on a daily basis but the last week she has really blown me away. So it started last Saturday when we went swimming with some of our friends and T discovered all the new skills she learnt on holiday could be used back home and she wasn’t scared anymore. Infact she was trying to show her friend just how easy it was to put her head under the water! (This is the same girl that would cry if she got splashed a few months ago!)

Sunday we took T riding, she was a little nervous as it had been 3 weeks since her last lesson due to our holiday. The lesson had one of the biggest groups I’ve ever seen and at the start it didn’t go so well when she forgot a turn. After that things picked up and they ended up playing tig on horseback! T was giggling away and you could see she was really enjoying herself, it really was just lovely to watch.

All lined up ready for lesson to begin!

Yesterday was her weekly ballet lesson and we were looking forward to going as we thought she might find out about her exam results. Well after the lesson she comes running out with her certificate and she got a Distinction! 😁 I’m so proud of her, She really does love ballet and sees the exams as just another part of the lessons, there is no stress or worry at all. We checked back on her 3 previous exams and this is the highest mark she’s achieved and the most complex exam. Needless to say she got massive cuddles and kisses after this!

Yesterday was a busy one so right after we got back from ballet we had a super quick turnaround and T was off to the school disco! Yes it does seem like I live my life for T but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way, she’s my mini me, my tiny best friend and my little ray of sunshine and I would be lost without her ❤ 

Adult braces · Dentist · Orthodontist · positive thinking · Teeth · Uncategorized

Adult Braces- loose wire the update

So a couple of days ago I shared how I had a loose wire at the back of my mouth which kept coming out of place and digging into my cheek. Well after 2 days of being uncomfortable and struggling with it I booked an emergency appointment at the orthodontist. This was much easier than I anticipated and she was just happy to help get it fixed. She was so happy to help she actually did a full wire change and tighten! 

So really it was like a free appointment and I’m now moving along slightly quicker as a result! The downside is I am not used to going straight to work after an appointment and with the full afternoon training my mouth quickly became very sore. Wax was applied as soon as i got home but then as usual the pain started to travel down my jaw line on both sides of my mouth. This again was managed with pain relief and wasn’t too bad.

Until the standard morning after tightening waking up feeling like you have been hit by a bus. My whole face aches and now I have to go to work and take an important call from a new customer testing our system. Normally after an appointment I have a day off because there is no way I want to be in work like this so today will be a challenge.

I just have to keep in my mind how pleased with my progress my orthodontist was and this will be so worth it in the end,(while I eat soup and drink tea at work.) 

Have a good day guys I hope it’s better than mine!

Lou x

Adult braces · Orthodontist · Teeth · Uncategorized

Adult braces- 7 months in and a loose wire!

So I can’t believe it’s coming up to 7 months I’ve had these things fitted to my teeth now and it feels like I’ve never been without them! I’m pain free, I have a way of eating where I can mostly manage everything I want but I know what should and shouldn’t be eaten in public to avoid awkward food in brace situations and I’m even smiling in some photos with my braces out! 
So it was all going so well until a couple of days ago I felt a sharp pain while I was eating and realised a wire had come loose at the back of my mouth! It hasn’t broken and I can pop it back in with my finger but now it mostly does this every time I eat which is very annoying!
I’m going to see how long I can last without booking an emergency appointment at the orthodontist because that’s just a pain but it is so sharp on the end!
Has anyone else had this?

Overall I’ve seen so much movement in my teeth I’m so happy with the process especially the ones that have been fitted recently into the wire, I can’t believe that in just a month they are now almost aligned with the others!

The difference in my teeth so far is amazing and I’m so excited to see what they will look like once this is all over, hang on in there guys it’s worth it!

Before braces!
7 months in!

family holiday · food diary · Greece · greek food · Uncategorized

Sampling the Cretan foods 

Every time I go to another country I always make sure I try the local foods, I’m a bit foodie anyway so this is never much of a chore for me! 

Some countries it works out better than others, the meat and dumplings in Prague was unusual but hey at least I can say I tried it!
Our hotel in Crete had so much on offer every day and always a designated section for traditional Greek food.
This sign was out at every meal time and I have to say I could get very used to the Cretan diet, I just loved the variety of beans and salad we could choose from and have to say I ate a lot of olives while out there! 

The Loukoumades in the picture were a sweet treat I particularly enjoyed, think of them as a small funny shaped doughnut with a bit of syrup and cinnamon sprinkled on. They were delicious and I had to stop myself before I ate too many!

Another thing Ioved about the food is the amount of different ways they present vegetables! This is my plate one evening, you can see where my extra few pounds came from, but on there I have stuffed pepper with feta cheese and tomatoes, roasted vegetables,fresh tomatoes and olives and vegetable balls! They also do so many different things with potatoes too it just really inspires me to come home and be more adventurous with my food.

T ate very well on holiday always picking at least 3 or 4 salad options for her plate and not being afraid to try new foods especially if I said  it was a Greek food! (This came in handy when I wanted her to try a couple of things and she wasn’t too sure, naughty Mummy!)

This was an evening where they had several different mouthfulls of food for you to try as you went in, my favourite was the feta cheese terrine but of course I tried them all! 

We were also lucky enough to get booked into the A la Carte restaurant one night of our stay where we were presented with a Greek meze starter to share and even a kids meze for T! It was delicious, the Greek meatballs and salad being a big hit but wow there was a lot of food! 

The one thing I was surprised about out there and didn’t even try for a few days was the Cretan wine. They don’t seem to have rose it’s either red or white and as I can no longer drink red because of my ceramic braces and I don’t like white wine I left it. But a few days in I became curious and tried it and it was delicious! It was so smooth and easy to drink I didn’t feel like I was drinking white wine at all! After that it became one of my favourites and I’m now on the hunt to see if I can get a bottle or two back home! Scott also enjoyed the Greek beer Mythos! 

Finally on our way home we had to stop and get some Milka from the airport. It’s kind of a tradition now every trip we come back from we have to bring some back so for us it’s not really a holiday unless we come back with Milka 😁

Family · family holiday · Parenting · travel · Uncategorized

Kids club abroad

So I have never been a fan of kids club abroad, I mean why pay for a family holiday if you are going to dump your kids in care several times during the week right? And whose kid really wants to go anyway? 
So the first two holidays we took to Spain T took one look at kids club and said nope, no way, She did absolutely no way, not one chance want to stay there! I could kind of see her point , It was full, and by that I mean crammed, of children of all ages who spoke all languages none of which seemed to be English. The workers weren’t English either and didn’t seem too fussed if we stayed or not. They had some activities out on tables and a play park attached but no real plan it was kind of just a free for all/do what you want sort of session and so for a 4/5 year old it must have seemed very daunting!

This year was 100% different. Firstly the welcome meeting at our hotel was a walkabout so we actually got taken to kids club where several staff members took the time to explain the sessions and how we signed up, What they do, How much fun they have. T was mesmorised! It was a boiling hot morning and she didn’t even once mention the glaring sun we were stood directly in while the explained, in maybe a little too much detail given the conditions, each aspect of the kids clubs for varying ages.
We took the forms and didn’t think much more of it, I wasn’t going to pressure T to go because being a family holiday I was quite happy to spend the whole week with her, after all it’s what I came away for right? But sure enough she asked to go. So the one day we knew would be cloudy I queued up first thing and got her a space in the morning session for 2 hours. She was thrilled.

We arrived and they took down our contact details and asked for T’s name and age and introduced her to the room, “This is Tiana from UK she is new today” 😊 She went in all smiles and seemed happy enough so we left.

Now what to do in a family resort without a child for 2 hours! We went and treated ourselves to a fancy coffee,took a walk along the beach, explored part of the hotel we hadn’t seen before and then waited until we could go and get her!

She had a great time! She came out with all sorts of artwork and had taken part in lots of team games inside, outside in the shade and in other areas of the resort. She had been given a t-shirt and water bottle that she was to wear to kids club if she went again and was hers to keep, again she was so happy about this and even bigger news…. She wanted to go again!!

I couldn’t believe it here was I doing everything i had ever stood against, putting my child in kids club on a family holiday! I wanted the difference to be that she wanted to go though, I was never going to force her. So again we left it a day and she asked again to go. One more morning session down and she had a great time once again.

As we were only there for a week I felt two sessions was enough not to interrupt our holiday too much so we didn’t let her go anymore and she understood why.

I am just still so shocked as to the turnaround in her this time. I think this was just the right kids club for her, the friendly faced encouraging staff really made her want to go and it seems so was made to feel so welcome she wanted to go back! The structure and controlled activities is just what she loves and I’m so pleased we let her have this positive experience, If she never goes to another one again she will always have that.

Children · Family · family holiday · Parenting · Uncategorized

Things I have learnt about T on this trip

She has the independence I knew about but is now growing the confidence to go along with it, during meal times she would happily go off to get her own drink and would get her own food and sit at a table on her own if I let her! Once I even had to chase her back to the poolside as she walked off to see where Scott had got too, this was day 2 and she had been at this pool once before! I don’t know why but she must have felt so immediately comfortable where we were she just seemed to forget all usual rules about not walking off alone.


 She can sing anywhere and not feel self conscious about it. Not loudly but quietly along to herself occasionally accompanying it with a dance move or two. Unless in the car when we get the full surround sound of whatever is going through her head phones, no need for radio!

She can laugh at herself, unless she is tired then she gets grumpy.

She has a determination that makes me proud-we saw this with her swimming, sea swimming.

She is young enough to still say things wrong and make us laugh but old enough to be able to go sightseeing in an old town and not complain.Some of the highlights of holiday were 

“Runaway track” – runway 

Sunball – the sun

“I’ve got dots on my screen!” – she is swimming and water has splashed her sunglasses!

Air freshener – air conditioning!
She is happy with hers and our company and doesn’t set out to make friends, She would have been friendly towards anyone that we met but as no one approached her/us to play she was happy to play at the park/in kids club etc on her own. This must come from being an only child but I’m pleased she isn’t needy of other kids attention and can be happy having fun with us for now.

Is too polite a lot of the time and often lacks guts/balls/just a bit of umph! She gets pushed infront of in lines and doesn’t speak up when I’m a group of kids until it’s too late and someone has already been chosen for the activity.

She isn’t boastful, T was lucky enough to get a suitcase scooter for Xmas that we could use around the airport and a lot of other kids commented on it how cool it was, they wanted one. She just smiled and looked at us proud of her new toy, one little girl even threw a tantrum because she wanted one right then! She was only about 3 bless her. 

family holiday · swimming · teaching your child to swim · Uncategorized

Teaching your child to swim

I’ve taken T swimming from a young age? I think she was 10 weeks old on her first trip and she has always loved the water. Well I say loved It, she loves swimming as long as she doesn’t get any water on her face! As long as I can remember she has never been brave enough to jump in, has never liked being splashed, and has never wanted her ears or head under the water. I suppose I didn’t push this or encourage it because she was happy enough bobbing along with her float on the surface and I didn’t like getting my head wet so why should she? Being the one to take her swimming the most and then being on my own with T we were happy with where we had got to and didn’t see any need to move on from there really. 
The last family holiday we had abroad was 2 years ago and all I remember was T’s confidence in the water soaring over the week and she had actually stopped crying if she got a drip of water on her face.

This holiday was so completely different. The first day we had the usual drama and upset when she got splashed and so in the end we bribed her, Yes it got to that, just to put her head under the water. It worked and she was soon walking along the bottom with her head under the water to huge cuddles and kisses at the end!

T could see how proud of her we were at how well she was doing so she tried and tried everything she was given. Firstly seeing how long she could stay underwater for then swimming underwater a short distance, then gradually longer. Throughout the holiday T was able to jump in to the shallow end, swim a short distance on the surface and jump in from the deep end swimming underwater a short distance to Scott or I.
This is a huge huge deal for T and we couldn’t be prouder although I have to give most of the credit to Scott. Without him pushing her to challenge herself further each and every day she would never have got this far. He encouraged her and told her she could do more and more to show Mummy so each time I came back to the pool there was another milestone reached. I am so proud of the way T has responded to him and the way she strived to make us proud and do well each and every day.

It only makes me feel why couldn’t I achieve with her what he has managed to? Because I was happy with her swimming the level it was at and didn’t push her to go further does that make me a bad parent? As I don’t jump into the pool or swim underwater very often she had no example and no one to look upto doing these things but now she does and look how far it’s got her. I’m proud of my baby girl each and every day but this holiday has made me extremely proud at just how much she has conquered her fear and achieved. Also i’m proud of the bond her and Scott have built, how they have worked together to move her forwards becoming ‘pool buddies’ only makes my heart melt.

Teaching your child to swim is a minefield, like the rest of parenting it doesn’t come with a manual but once you get it right you can be sure the struggles were worth it. 

chania · Crete · family holiday · travel · Uncategorized

Back from holiday, Back to blogging!

Hi guys I’m back after a superbly hot week away in Crete! What a beautiful place Crete is, We had a blast and I’m planning to tell you all about it over my next few posts. 

So firstly a bit about where we went, we stayed in Gerani, a small town just outside of Chania on the North of the island. It’s very mountainous there so the scenery on the transfer was stunning. As with anywhere in Greece there are a lot of unfinished buildings but if you look past that it is full of little local areas with a splattering of big, expensive looking villas with a sea view. 

As we went all inclusive we spent a lot of time in resort as we also had a beach belonging to the hotel so this was great. On one of the days we did venture out we went into Chania. 

Chania itself is a mix of old and new. We caught the local bus from near our hotel and took the journey through a few other resorts into the centre of town. The bus station is in a fairly new part of town but don’t be fooled as just a couple of minutes walk away we discovered the old town and the beautiful harbour. 

We wondered from one end to another looking at all the cafes and bars taking care to mind the horses and carts taking tourists along the front. We settled on a lovely little bar with a view right out onto the water. Considering the prime location the drinks were reasonably priced and the service excellent. 

This was our view from the bar, just picture post card really.

After our snack stop we wandered through the old towns narrow streets lined with multi coloured buildings often draped on colourful flowers. There were plenty of soiveniour shops but again all reasonably priced and also a town square which was lined with eateries.

We found Chania to be quaint, colourful and welcoming to visit and we would love to wander the streets again this time stopping at more of the bars and restaurants. 

More to come next time on our holiday to Crete 🏖

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

family holiday · family time · happy · making memories · Sunshine · Thankful · Uncategorized

MIA

The time has finally come after months of planning, excitement and waiting it’s that precious, wonderful time we call holiday! 

To me holiday means:

Hours of playing in the pool 

The excitement of exploring your destination 

Staying up late, no matter how little you are!

Dressing for the beach in the day and dressing up at night 

Trying the biggest ice cream you can, just because you can

Always finding out a little bit of history, still a history geek!

Trying all the cocktails on the menu, well it would be rude not to right?

Eating far more for breakfast than you would ever eat for lunch at home

Playing games by the pool, in the evening before the show starts, on the plane, in the airport…. tv? What is that?

Only having Wi-Fi once a day in reception or your room and not really caring!

Eating your body weight in food because after all it’s free! 

Dancing your self silly at a kids disco because you actually enjoy the music and the dance moves just as much as the little person!

Teaching the little person just a tiny amount of the local language but enough to make them feel proud 

Spending a whole week actually together, no interupptions, tiredness from work, no homework, routine or housework, just being a family and loving every minute of it!

Our last family holiday abroad 2 years ago

See you in a week guys!  😁

Lou xx