This week has been fantastic! We have spent 3 days at various beaches up the Yorkshire coast – each in different and equally fab company. We have loved being able to pack a picnic, grab our beach gear and just play all day on the shore in the sun! It has been both relaxing and adventurous to swim in the sea and sample seaside goodies, and we have loved these days together.

Unfortunately though midweek, both Nathan and I started feeling ill and have now ended the week with incredibly painful throats, dry coughs and feeling all rather chesty with little energy. Little Alice too isn’t doing so great, so we have spent this weekend at home downing hot water and honey, watching movies and resting where we can whilst coughing our heads off!

Grateful For 

I am grateful this week for wonderful friends in the village. A bunch of us went up to Hunmanby Gap on Wednesday for the day with all of our kids and it was such fun. We chatted, laughed, swam and the kids played non stop for a good 6 hours. I was so happy to be there in that moment and have since felt grateful to have found such great people that are on the same level as me and are a bit nuts too. I am grateful that they have good kids that get on so well with mine and who are lovely friends for each other. We had a really lovely day that made us all feel great joy!

This week I am also grateful again to be living closer to the coast so we could enjoy 3 trips to the beach. I am grateful to have finally had a waffle on the harbour (Nutella, banana and cream – it was lush) and to have spent time with my littlest sister and her girls. I am also grateful to have received my certificate from college!

Succeeded At

I just succeeded at finding some deals in the ZARA online sale yesterday (now lets hope they look as good on me!). And also succeeded at passing my Level 3 counselling course!! I went on Thursday to collect my certificate and it felt so flipping good! It wasn’t easy to study around kids for a topic that at times was hugely sensitive and hard, but I did it and I passed. I am so proud of my little certificate.

Found Beauty In 

The beach and seaside of course! I absolutely love the beach, especially in the Summer. I love seeing my kids enjoy it and I have loved swimming in the sea and generally soaking up the Yorkshire Coast – such a beautiful and happy place to be!

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This week has been incredibly busy, very adventurous and ultimately very blessed! We have seen and done loads together and on some days this has been pretty nuts, although mostly enjoyable too! We have been all over from Rock Pooling on Filey Brigg to museums in Leeds, and even down to the Peak District on Friday night for our very first family camping trip! We have made many lovely memories in and amongst all of the craziness and have also being able to tick off lots from our Summer bucket list too. I am hoping that the rest of the Summer holidays is set to be just as fun and happening as this week has been.

The highlight for me was certainly being able to go to Chatsworth house yesterday. I have wanted to go for such a long time and it didn’t disappoint!

Grateful For 

On Tuesday the youth I work with at church had their annual girls camp. I remember them well from my own teenage years, and as a leader, it meant that I too had the opportunity to go! I only went for one day as anything more wouldn’t have worked with the kids, but as anticipated it was jam packed and a lot of fun! We hiked 9.5 miles and then cooked dinner on a fire. In the evening we gathered round a fire and sung songs, read a few bible passages and shared our faith. It was incredibly peaceful and uplifting and since that special moment in the evening sun and around the fire, I have been even more grateful to be LDS/Mormon as I have felt really uplifted and just thankful for my faith!

I am also grateful for our first family camping trip – It was a lot of fun. And I am grateful for the positive effects I am feeling from my NLP therapy already!

Succeeded At 

This week has actually felt really successful and I have accomplished a lot of little (and some big) things that I have needed to. On Monday (before we went rockpooling) I succeed at attending an interview for Uni (more on this later as it unfolds) which has made me feel really excited. I successfully completed a 9.5 mile hike on Tuesday and I successfully found some new bargainous sandals to see me through the summer (which I love). I succeeded at putting up a tent and building a fire, and finally I succeeded at coming to a decision about my blog!

Ethan Succeeded at growing a nice stash of tomatoes, to which I felt incredibly proud of. He has been so dedicated in nurturing and watering his 2 tomato plants, that it was absolutely wonderful to see them. Homegrown tomatoes – how fab!

Found Beauty In 

There were so many beautiful and majestic moments in my week this week. From the scenery of the 9.5 mile hike I did on Tuesday on girls camp, to the beautiful calmness of the Bay and Filey Brigg on Monday, and Chatsworth House on Saturday. I have found beauty in people, beauty in family moments shared and beauty in nature and historical buildings!

It was beautiful to see the kids playing and looking for crabs with cousins, and it was beautiful to drive through the Peak District on Friday and Saturday. I found beauty in the sunsets and I found peace, stillness and beauty looking out of the tent doors early Saturday morning whilst we camped.

This week truly has been a beautiful one!

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As of today we are officially on the one week countdown to our Summer holidays from school and I could leap for joy! As you can imagine we are not only very tired and completely ready for this long break, but also super excited for 6 weeks of adventures and fun times together. We have been making plans with friends old and new, plans with their cousins and booked a huge family holiday to Scotland (in a castle!) towards the end of August! We have been talking about camping, beach trips, walks, museums, food and swimming. And with all of that chat, we just know that whilst it’s going to be a busy few weeks, it’s also going to be absolutely brilliant too!

I love the Summer holidays and I am especially looking forward to this years as we are now settled in our new home and lives. I have also been thinking of how we are already so very much in the Summer groove with this glorious weather we have been having. That in itself has meant that we have had lots of beach trips, country walks and adventures that have really put us in the mood for “the six weeks holidays” and helped us enjoy Summer right now in the moment! I find that Summer is such a joyful time of year and I do not fear the school holiday’s as I know some parents do – yes of course it will be tiring and nuts, but in a different way to what the school runs are and I love the freedom that time is ours!

Living where we do now, we have nature walks on our doorstep, friends in every other house (just about), and the beach a stone’s throw away. Whatever happens, or however tight money may feel some weeks, we are surrounded by potential free adventures and that fills me with more confidence than I have ever had in the lead up to the Summer Holidays and consequently makes me so happy!

With that in mind, this years Summer holiday plans are way more sporadic than how we have planned it in previous years. Last year and the year before in 2016 I wrote about how our plans for each week were very much structured and themed day by day. This year however we haven’t done that. We know what we want to do and we are going to go and do it – if not we will stay home and explore the fields or play with friends!

The only planning has been in a calendar to give an idea of when! There are lots of things we have chatted about what we want to do and lots of people we want to spend time with and so, we simply sat down together and brainstormed what everyone’s ideas were. From there we have made a spreadsheet calendar to track the possible days we can fit it all in, so that this way Mr Smith has an idea of what we plan to do (when and where) and can hopefully book some annual leave around it to join in the fun!

Last Summer was great – having a bucket list enabled us to do, see and experience so much. So yes, we now have 5 more days of school following this weekend, so whilst I sort out their worse for wear school uniforms and prepare to tackle one more week of school runs, I will leave you with our 2018 Summer Bucket list – perhaps it will inspire you?!

Summer Bucket List 2018

Go Camping (more than once)
Go to Flamingo Land
Go Swimming with Slides
Play Pirate Golf
Climb a Mountain
Swim in a river
Go to The Deep
Rock Pooling on Filey Brigg
Medical Museum in Leeds
Tropical World in Leeds
Chatsworth House
A boat ride
Fort Paull
Dalby Forest
Go to Scotland with the Family
Toast Marshmallows & make smores
Withernsea Lighthouse and Spurn Point
Williams Den
Play in the Water fountains in Hull
A countryside walk
Have a picnic in a field
Wharram Percy
Build Sandcastles
Eat a Waffle on the Harbour
Eat Ice cream sundaes at the seaside
Go on some seaside rides
Ride the Steam Train to Whitby
Play on Grandma’s water slide and make pizzas in her garden
Go to Scarborough

 

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It’s been several months since we first visited Scarborough Sealife Sanctuary as a family, and I was excited to both visit again, and then also see what (if anything) was different too now Summer has arrived. We planned a day around it on Saturday in Scarborough and it was very much enjoyed by us all!

We arrived first thing (10am) both to avoid the crowds, and also because we wanted to do other things in the afternoon in Scarborough. It was definitely a great time to arrive as we were able to casually wander round and do the activities they had without fighting crowds, and then there were few (if any) ques for the viewing areas.

If your kids, like mine, are obsessed with Moana, then Sealife is most definitely the the place for them right now. It doesn’t have anything remotely around it, but it does bring certain aspects of the film to life, because as we entered the Ray pool they started going nuts about “Moana’s Grandma” and it suddenly added a new spark to the visit! Of course then we made our way round the familiar sights and saw everything we did before from the various breeds of fish, the Octopus, Jelly Fish, Ray’s, penguins, seals and Sharks, as well as Penguin Island, now open to better view them waddling around on land!

The walk through tunnel is always a fave, and a place where Alice sat in excitement and wonderment for quite a while. She pointed, smiled and we realised what a fascinating and sensorial experience it must be for a little 1 year old! The turtle however was a source of fear, and whenever she swam past Alice, she cried and freaked out (moment over!).

FEEDING THE OTTERS

Our timely arrival meant that on this visit we were right on time for the Otter feeding once outside! This was a great addition and fresh experience this time for us, and whilst not necessarily something new there, the timing of our visit enabled us to be there this time!

Sealife at Scarborough have public viewings of feeding both the Otters and Seals at various times throughout the day, and with it being warmer weather it is lovely to stand out in the sun (close to the beach) and listen to the pro’s give a personal talk about each animal, their life inside and outside of captivity and how they help them at the sanctuary to prepare for life in their natural habitat!

Feeding the Otters was both a fascinating and a little gross (I never knew they ate baby chicks) experience, and was great to see close up. Megan had a front row spot and couldn’t take her eyes off them – as a lover of all animals, she was completely in her element. Like I’ve said before…that’s what we love about the Sealife Sanctuary – you see them helping, rescuing and rehabilitating sea creatures and mammals all over the place and for a budding vet it is pure inspiration and joy!  

Sealife in Summer is a great day out whatever the weather, but very much enjoyed in the sunshine we had on Saturday. I guess it’s easy to assume it would be a good go to on a rainy day (which i’m sure it would), but its location on the north bay is so lovely that sunshiney days mean you can truly appreciate all it has to offer; with panoramic views of the north bay, the glistening sea, and then to see the otters, penguins and seals more eager to pop out and say “hello”! Its nice to chill outside and watch them, instead of just rushing by to get to the next display!

Right now Scarborough Sealife Sanctuary have the “Octonauts Octo Glow Event” on with challenges for children around the centre and meet and greets available daily with Kwazii and Peso. There are also 2 new baby penguins bringing it to a total of 24!

Sealife in Summer is a great family day out and once you have bought your ticket, you can go back in as many times as you want. We love the touch pools, the penguins, the Ray’s and the shark tunnel… what will you discover?

*We are Ambassadors for Sacarborough Sealife and this visit and post were done in collaboration with them – all thoughts and pictures are my own! 

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