One of the highlights of this week was the morning we spent in Grandma’s Garden! To many that may not sound like anything spectacular, but for us, whilst rather an ordinary moment, was great… it always is fun and special too as Nathans mum has one of the best and most adventurous gardens I’ve seen. It offers a multitude of activities for all of her grandchildren and whatever their ages they all enjoy being present in the garden.

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I love when we are over, whether by ourselves or with the whole family, to sit either on the lawn or patio and watch my children having lots of fun in the various areas and hearing them chatter, laugh and play. Sometimes its hide and seek, other times chasing chickens or debating whose turn it is on the mini tractors. They occasionally steal tomatoes from the greenhouse and have on occasion been found to break a window or ornamental plant pot between them all. When they are not up to no good or on an adventure, their grandma loves to get our the tools and put them to work..planting, weeding and teaching them about the various plants and seasons along the way.
This week they started the day off in the veggie patch and working hard in the morning sun they both helped their grandma weed, harvest berries and broad beans and then plant the next round of potatoes. I wandered around a little, helped to pick here and there, but it was apparent that this was a moment for them to share with grandma, so I took a step back! She teaches them about plants and veggies, the various things we will eat and enjoy and she gives them ample opportunity to work hard and what each tool is for. It a wonderful sight to see them understand work and where our food comes from. Its wonderful to see them with their grandma doing something that has become so ordinary but always a great moment!

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By the afternoon the sun was beaming down and it was time for some well earned fun, which as I said usually includes playing on bikes and tractors or exploring the little wooded area at the end, but this visit held a surprise and treat…a new venture to tackle in Grandma’s garden that was a little less ordinary, it was “The water slide”!!
Their Aunt set it up and they spent ages slipping, sliding, laughing, water fighting and just having a grand old time in the sun. Grandma and I sat laughing at them and talking on deck chairs being splashed occasionally, but it really was a great day for us all.

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I remember visiting my grandparents and helping pick carrots in the garden, I remember we had particular films we would watch and things we would play too..meals I always got excited about when grandma would make them. They are wonderful memories, and when I watch Ethan and Megan around their grandma and late grandpa too, when I see them take to their ordinary activities every time we visit I know they are the seeds of special moments and memories to look back on and forward to each time they visit. I love to see them work along side her, help her and share these moments with her and their cousins too. This garden has seen parties, wedding receptions and been the backdrop for many of our wedding pictures, but despite those things, it never tires of the fun it holds for a host of grandchildren making memories at their grandparents! I know it will be but still I always hope that visiting grandma’s home and garden will always be something great to look forward to.

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Linking up with Katie @mummydaddyme for #ordinarymoments 

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Tomorrow our summer holidays officially start and whilst I have a sneaky feeling several days will be complete madness, I can not wait for some summer fun with the kids! As I look ahead over these next few weeks of hopefully long hot summer days and lots of adventures with them, I am reminded of a couple of summers ago, when whilst pregnant with Poppy, a spontaneous beach trip turned into a tyre blow out and being stranded with 2 kids, no food and a lot of heat, at the side of a country lane. The time it took to have my sister come save us, get the wheel fixed and be back on the road, we had to get home again and were all well and truly gutted to have missed out on a fun day with grandma at the seaside.

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For a few weeks now we have had on the fridge door a whole months worth of plans for the kids and I to enjoy and make the most of this years summer holidays. I know from looking which days we will need a picnic, which days we will stay home, approximate expenditure and the days we need to drop some texts in advance to hopefully have friends or cousins join us. I am a planner and I like to be in control and know whats happening. It makes life easier to organise the kids and be confident in what I am doing as mother, its even more important to me now that I have a new born baby to have some kind of plan so that I know what I am doing day to day to avoid stress. The mistake I made 2 summers ago was not that I decided to be spontaneous and go against the plan, it was that I hadn’t or rather we as a family hadn’t planned properly for summer generally. Its easy to plan picnics and day trips, throw in the sun hats and cream, plan to take extra clothing or wellies etc, but one thing many of us miss is making sure the car is ready for summer, after all it is that that is doing all the work in getting us safely to our adventures and home again. I learn’t just 2 years ago after driving for almost 10 years that there is something known as winter and summer tyres and that day when I took my wheel with its battered tyre on to the garage I not only had to pay a premium but was made aware that we in fact had a winter tyre on and this wasn’t suitable for the increase in heat for the summer, thus causing a blow out and potentially dangerous situation for us all, especially when just 20minutes previous we had been on the busy M62!!!

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I recently found a website called “Point-S” where they make it extremely straight forward to buy cheap tyres suitable for your car and the season we are in (take a look its pretty great). I cannot tell you enough how scary and generally inconvenient that day was, and each summer since I have thought about it and pondered on what might have happened. As a mother I think how we protect our kids from the sun, from the dangers of water, and strangers, when all along we could be driving in dangerous conditions because we have over looked the tyre situation on our car for summer.
So to avoid a summers day stranded with your kids or risking the safety of you all whilst out and about, check the car and check the tyres before you are planning budgets, outfits, picnics and outings and lets all have an amazing chilled, fun and safe summer !

*This is a collaborative post

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Yaayyy Summer is officially here; a happy and bright time of year filled with long lazy days, no school, spontaneity, adventures, ice creams, picnics, and lots of outdoor fun! It is a season I love as things in life just slow down a bit, days are more flexible and yet whilst they seem to be so relaxed they also feel so fulfilling and so much gets accomplished, I love it…Now if the sun would just remember this and consistently show its face (like the glorious weather we saw yesterday), so that we can actually make wonderful things happen (and maybe get a little tannage too), then life would be GRAND!

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I have found that the kids recently have been asking a lot about particular things they want to do, and places they want to go to together, and in response, I find myself saying to them “yes lets definitely do that in the holidays”! I guess that’s the new vocab in me as a School mum now, and perhaps a little because I am so tired with pregnancy too, but when you have so much less freedom and are bound by term time/school holidays it really is hard to do it all. So as to keep my promise, not forget and make the most of Summer 2016 (with a newborn!!!) we sat down together whilst daddy was out at football and again whilst getting ready for school and discussed some ideas of what they really wanted to do in the holidays, and then from there made our summer bucket list!

And here is what they said….

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I really loved seeing them both ponder on what they love to do and return to, as well as what they’d like to do/try…their excited little faces as they threw the ideas out was a really wonderful moment!
I limited it to 10 ideas each so that it is attainable, and then we will add in park trips, lazy days, National Trust and spontaneous invites from friends. I am so impressed with their ideas and its great that some of them will be able to be accomplished on rainy days, some are local and will enable them to see and spend time with school friends or cousins too, others will easily be ticked off all in a visit to see my parents and then thankfully only a few will take a little more planning which is such a relief…especially as I will have a new baby in tow and potentially solo parenting whilst Nath is at work! I am so looking forward to making the most of the school Summer holidays and having some family fun together to meet their wishes. I can’t wait to make this a reality with them both and enjoy a new chapter together! Keep shining Sun we have lots to look forward to…

What are your plans for the Summer Hols? 

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My oh my where has the sunshine gone? I am pretty disappointed by the miserable showers we have been getting here in Yorkshire and so very much wish Summer would please return. Last weeks high 20’s weather inspired my budgety creation for this post and now it seems so inapplicable. But hey ho, lets live in hope that whether your headed on holiday or summer decides to show its face again, that this seemingly obvious tip will help you to save a few pounds and up cycle your wardrobe to a more summery feel.

Hearty Life (2)I realised during the “heat wave” that one thing I was lacking in my maternity wardrobe department was a pair of shorts. Me being me and almost at the end of pregnancy saw it pointless to go out and buy a pair…why spend money for a few weeks wear and when living in England we might only have a few days out of those weeks to wear them anyway? SOOO with a little bit of rummaging I found some faded black skinny maternity jeans from a previous pregnancy that I hadn’t worn in this one, and decided I would make my own pair of maternity shorts.

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I have been making shorts this way for years and find it the easiest way to keep onto good fitting jeans/trousers that have seen better days. Its a 5 minute affair and requires only a pair of good scissors with some added skill and precision.

1. Put Jeans on and mark a point where you will cut (mine is always on the knee so I can fold them to be just above)
2. Take off and lay on a flat surface ensuring both legs are straight and aligned
3. Cut across marking carefully and straightly
4. Take cut off and place over other leg to ensure the same amount is cut off and repeat step 3
5. Fold up cut edge to look smooth… Voila … a new pair of shorts!

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I saved money this year on Ethans Summer wardrobe too by doing this on jeans and chinos that were either stained on the knees, ripped or generally half mast! I love seeing them getting even more wear out of their clothes!

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