I am no stranger to a soft play, they are an ordinary moment of any preschooler or mum’s life, and love or hate them, they are a great place to catch up with mum friends and ditch the kids to let off some steam! With our initial years raising our family in the City, we were surrounded by them and had several at our finger tips, and whilst I rarely went in them with the kids (they gross me out) I loved to see them having fun and going nuts whilst I had a sneaky hot chocolate and lots of chats. We would spend hours at them, especially on rainy days and even now in school holidays we can occasionally be spotted at the ones for older kids!

Now Alice is 1 and toddling around, I guess we go full circle and start that all over again. The difference however for Alice is that she is on her own, and we are now living in a village!

Here in East Yorkshire, aside from family and school friends that I have to travel a little ways to, I don’t know as many local people as I did back when Ethan and Megs were younger, or even where the local soft plays would even be with out the help of a little google, so I was super excited to find out when we moved in that the village has their own soft play (yes really). I was kindly invited by a couple of childminders in our early days here, with instructions that it was a mile down the road crossing several fields to get there, but it runs twice a week, is cheap, and well…just perfect!

It is far different to what I have been used to but I love all the more so. Soft Play village style involves a mile walk across fields, through woodland and past some goats and chickens. It is a beautiful walk that I have enjoyed taking each week which leads you out over some tracks and finally to our destination of “Soft play” at the local sports grounds. It is a pop up one and therefore half the price of that in the city and has far less kids there too. It is super chilled out and everyone talks to each other over a free cuppa and is clean and easy to watch the kids at. It is just a cute little space for kids to have fun with the other kids they know from all of the other groups we all go to for a couple of hours twice a week! Its more of a club/playgroup than a business and I have thoroughly enjoyed going along each week with Alice.

I love our walk there and back with its stunning views, and I love to see her toddling and crawling with the other kids.

I love that such an ordinary thing as that of going to soft play has now for us become an adventure – A 2 mile round trip of little country lanes, horses, old windmills, fields and new friends.

The village soft play is now part of our weekly routine that we look forward to… an ordinary moment in our week to meet up with the other weekly soft play goers to have chats, drinks a little play!

I love that for Alice her ordinary will be this cute pop up soft play. It will be walks through the countryside to get there and it will be those little kids from the village that she sees at everything else. I love the slow and chilled pace of life here, our new ordinary and the little moments of quaint traditions that we can now be a part of together in this new chapter and stage of life…

 

The Ordinary Moments
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I don’t know about where you are, but here in Yorkshire (Yorkshire folk will confirm), we have had some pretty miserable rainy weather recently! When I planned our Summer break, I never took into account the good old British weather and how it might influence those plans. I just saw the word “Summer” and imagined long sunny days in sandals and shorts, paddling pools and water fights, and lots of ice pops! Reality however has been somewhat different, and whilst we have eaten our fair share of ice pops, I’ve quickly realised Summer is very unpredictable – you cant exactly have a beach trip in a monsoon, and you can’t take the kids on a nature walk when its blowing a gale, and as you are probably more than aware, it has been on that level of rainage/storms!


Yesterday was a complete wash out of course, and potentially a day of cancelled plans, falling out and exhaustion. I was slightly disappointed to say the least, but at the same time we took it in our stride and made the most with what we had. With said rain (and a long weekend of travelling) it meant that we ended up staying in all day which would usually equate to me going slightly mad and us all getting a good dose of cabin fever, but it actually turned out to be a really hearty and successful day in! We had invited some friends over for a play date and whilst the kids built dens, played dress up, trains, knights and watched Moana (for the 50th time), we chatted about anything and everything! We then made homemade pizzas for lunch and had sneaky ice creams out of the freezer for afters. The day flew by and the kids had so much fun with new faces and friends. 

I went to bed feeling like it was certainly a “Mum win” kind of a day!

On the flip side of our lovely rainy day in yesterday, just last week we embraced the rainy forecast and hit the water fountains in Hull city centre. We decided that the kids were going to get wet anyway so what’s a bit of rain? It turns out it wasn’t “just a little bit rain” but clearly Yorkshire is now home to a Monsoon season, and we were soaked to the skin in seconds with nowhere to shelter! The kids LOVED it, and it was the biggest laugh and fun we’ve had in ages…

It is from these 2 days of laughing and having fun despite us apparently being in Monsoon season, that I have decided that rain is actually a lot of fun if you are prepared. Whether you are out and about splashing in it and getting soaked, or snuggled with friends indoors eating yummy food (and they were delish pizza’s), and playing your favourite games together, it can be a great day “whatever the weather”!

I think as parents we often spend so much time feeling like we aren’t enough for our kids, or we are so quick at pointing out or down falls, and what we haven’t been able to do with them, that we miss the small moments that matter. The moments that bring sunshine despite the rain…the moments like making the most of a rainy day with friends, and getting soaked from fountains and rain together. The moments of giving your kids a fun day inside despite the weather and creating memories as well as their own pizza! On days like these we need to pat our selves on the back and celebrate, because we didn’t just survive it, we laughed, we loved and we had a heck of a lot of fun!

Rain, I have discovered, doesn’t have to make for cancelled plans and going insane. It is fun, sounds great on a conservatory roof, and encourages you at times to take a break and become inventive!

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It’s been absolutely ages since I had a good baking sess with Megs. I am not that great at it though occasionally I do surprise myself, and so baking with her is a great shield if its not perfect, and we always have fun in the process too which is wonderful. It is something we tried to do weekly when she was at home with me, purely because she loves it so much and it is an opportunity to talk and be creative as well as having some half decent tasty treats in the house.  And so whilst she was off school this week and when she was feeling better and getting bored of Netflix, I ensured her hands were washed well (twice) and we got our bake on!

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Iv’e said it before but Autumn/Winter makes me feel a need for more spice and warmth in my life, with the likes of cinnamon and ginger making an appearance for flavours and fragrances around the home. And so as the suggestion to bake slipped out of my mouth I automatically found myself fancying giving ginger biscuits a go (hoping they would be a success), and after a quick look on Pinterest I found a recipe that was both easy and thankfully only required the ingredients I had in saving the stress of searching for something else (Phew)!

I am a bit weird when it comes to baking or things that require measuring out for cooking as I don’t have any scales in my kitchen (true story). When I cook I make it up as I go along unless I can use cups or a jug and so with baking, I always look for a recipe done in “Cups”…this way I can scoop it out and bung it in the bowl. I honestly will disregard a recipe if it is in anything but cups!! As I write this I think maybe kitchen scales would be a good gift this Christmas? Who knows what delights i’ll create then. Anyway I digress, here is the recipe I went with that was so easy and successful, and its in cups…

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Megs and I had a lovely time laughing, giggling, chatting, measuring and mixing. It was lovely though she hadn’t been well to be able relive those life at home days again and have her mostly as herself as oppose to shattered from school every evening and rushing to do dinner. Oh, and the biscuits weren’t all bad either…VERY tasty and very impressed with the results…nothing like making the best of a bad situation with some chewy gingery treats to show for it!

Ginger Biscuits

You Baby Me Mummy
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I love it sometimes when life takes a spontaneous turn, it makes it a little more exciting doesn’t it? Like after a couple of weeks of lovely crisp sunny weather we wake up to a heavy down pour of giant flakes of fresh white snow. Two amazed little children screeching around the house, unable to walk, only bounce as they move due to the sheer excitement in their little selves from seeing snow! I love at times like this to go with it and just grab these moments and make the most of them.

Megan and I decided that instead of going to the museum as planned that whilst Ethan was at school we would do something a little different, and so we grabbed our warm clothes and boots and enjoyed a lovely walk to the supermarket in the fresh flurry to buy some supplies to have a cosy baking and craft day in…she loved it.
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She laughed the entire walk there, mouth open catching flakes and crunching along to make the first prints. Moments like these rarely pop up on the verge of spring and so it made such a fresh change of pace and activity!

Megs is a creative soul; she loves to make things, bake things, colour, paint and stick, and it seems like ages since we had, or rather made time to pursue these things together. We did these activities a lot when Ethan was at home but since school and then pregnancy sick days, our days have been either out and about, watching movies under blankets, seeing friends and family or generally doing very little. Its been nice recently to wake up with energy, with ideas and with the spark of being “Mummy” again. To be able to get back to our ordinary routines of making and creating together as well as taking days out to explore. It was so nice on Wednesday to be able to say “let’s go wander in the snow and lets bake something tasty to enjoy with hot chocolate later when Daddy and Ethan return”.
InstagramCapture_9e0ac575-3caa-4dde-af5d-a474e94bd985.jpgI thoroughly enjoyed the little giggles and pleasure in Megan’s face as she mixed, poured, measured and stuck to make biscuits and flap jack and then cards for her Grandma’s for Mothers Day!
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Days like these are nothing spectacular, just the ordinary moments that make up family life. But, days like these certainly make me cherish being a stay at home mum – they feel productive yet relaxed and they are moments where we laugh together, talk about all kinds of things and bond over something that Megan is into.
I am so glad to be getting some flow back to our lives, some energy and joy so that we can make the most of days when spontaneity strike!

Linking up with Katie @mummydaddyme for #OrdinaryMoments 

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