It’s been a while since I wrote a Happy Days Linky post. Mostly because we’ve been sitting on a secret. A big one!
As announced this week by Isabelle we are looking forward to becoming parents again in June 2018.
Whilst we’re extremely happy with this news, I’ve been feeling really poorly and was slightly worried about announcing to the world as we did have a bit of a scare at about eight weeks.
I am officially 14 weeks today and the exhaustion that I’ve been feeling has eased off enough to feel half human.
I feel a bit sorry for Isabelle as I’ve not really had the energy to do very much so we’ve watched quite a lot of films snuggled on the sofa where I may have had a sneaky catnap or two.
Advent Calendars – Isabelle has been on countdown for ages to the day she could start opening her calendar. We got her a Smiggle one this year and Nanny got her a My Little Pony Chocolate one. Ryan has two also but he’s far too grown-up to show interest either way. We also got Charlie (the dog) one which is full of gourmet dog treats.
We went to Isabelle’s Christmas Fair at school on Friday where there was a game where you either got a prize or a Brussels sprout. Isabelle asked what you did if you got a sprout to which I told her you had to eat it. She won one prize and one sprout. I burst out laughing when she turned round with her mouth full of chewed up sprout, crying that she was going to be sick. Of all the times to take any notice of what I say it was then. Bless her.
I’m writing this post on our second day of our midweek break at Bluestone Wales. We arrived yesterday so this is our official full day at the resort.
The Drive Up
We set off from Exeter yesterday whilst the sky was a strange yellow colour and the sun looked like it was on fire. I think from all of our friends facebook status’ that we were the only people in the whole of Exeter that hadn’t taken a picture and posted it.
The drive was pretty uneventful until we got closer to Wales. The closer we got to the resort the windier it became. There were leaves and bits of bush and twigs whirling around outside the car, and we could feel the wind against the car which swayed a little bit.
We arrived slightly early for check in and as the weather was pretty grim we sat in the carpark to wait. Some other people were slightly braver than we were and got out to take a bit of a walk. I think we were far more sensible as we watched them try to keep hold of their hoods, umberella’s and children.
A bit about Bluestone
Bluestone which will be celebrating it’s tenth birthday in 2018 is set in the middle of Pembrokeshire National Park surrounded by beaches and countryside with lots of historic features.
It’s a luxury resort where the kids can roam free, explore with lots of both indoor and outdoor activities for all ages.
There are a range of lodges and cottages to stay, and whilst the resort has a fantastic village vibe going on, it’s extremely spacious.
Bluestone does everything it can to remain an environmentally friendly business by following the Green Dragon Environmental Management System. Just from our first reccy around the resort we could see that a lot of love and attention to detail has been put into creating the Bluestone experience.
Once we were given the keys to the lodge we made our way down there to drop off our luggage. Once you have checked in and done the drop off, Bluestone is a car-free zone which is great for little ones. There are golf buggies and bikes to hire and of course there is the option to use your legs as well, oh and a bus service around the resort.
We were staying in a Dinas Lodge which sleeps eight people. My first impression was a good one. The lodge is huge. There is a living area where there is a TV and sofas which leads onto the kitchen/dining area. Again the kitchen/diner is massive with high ceilings and french doors that lead to a patio area. it’s decorated in natural tones with dark wood and leather sofas.
The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you would need to cook for a family of eight all week long. We have two fridges with a small freezer compartment in each fridge, a full sized oven and hob, a dishwasher and all the necessary kitchen gadgets such as toaster, kettle and cafetiere.
The bedrooms are all of a good size with plenty of space for our clothes. Most importantly we have two bathrooms which is always a bit of a deal breaker when there’s eight people all staying in the same space for a week.
Once we unpacked we went for a wander around the village which is just up the road from us. We found a lovely coffee place, the Pub (of course), the Orchard Restaurant, the park (the other of course), The Firehouse Grill and some shops all to explore in more depth.
Our first impression is very positive. I love the high ceilings and the open plan layout of the lodge. We really like that everything is on one level which isn’t as big a deal for us since our youngest is seven. Having the large dining table which seats all of us was great for our first night which was curry night.
Can’t wait to have a proper look around tomorrow. You can also keep up to date with what we’re up to by checking out our Instagram feed.
*disclaimer – we were given a mid-week stay at Bluestone in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
The teen getting a sprinkle of humour- for those of us with teenagers you will know all to well how they seem to have a serious lack of sense of humour. We saw a glimmer of return when my two had a pants fights. It started off with Ryan putting a pair of his pants on Isabelle’s head (clean of course). Isabelle grabbed a pair off the airer and the fight commenced. No shouting or ending in tears (Isabelle’s). It was silly but fun!
The ukulele – I was greeted the other day by a newly bought blue ukulele which Nanny had bought for Isabelle. She can’t play it for toffee but wholeheartedly gives it a go. She sang and played everything she said to me for the rest of the evening. Yey!
A lie-in – I had one! Until 9.30 and then breakfast in bed which I ate downstairs. My sleep pattern has been shot to pieces for a long while so I spend most of the time feeling exhausted. I woke up at 6.30 and nearly got up. I read but I must have dropped off as the next thing it was 9.30. Perfect!
Work Free Evenings – I work on my blog in the evenings every night. There is a lot to do and I get stressed if I have an evening off. Anyway, as I haven’t been sleeping that great again I thought that I would try and reduce the amount I did which wasn’t a lot as my brain was so fuzzled I was quite often sitting in front of my laptop but actually watching TV. Not productive at all. So this week I’ve had Friday and Saturday night off and it felt good. I think I’m going to try and do this on a regular basis. We watched the newest Purge film which was pretty rubbish.
Decluttering – I’ve been watching What Katy Said’s decluttering videos (which are awesome) and it’s got me motivated to do the same. My starting point is storage so I need to go and buy some boxes/baskets etc so that I can start to sort and have somewhere to put things. The amount of NEW pink plastic we have since Isabelle’s Birthday is ridiculous.
Baking – Isabelle and I with the help of one of her Brats dolls made Jam Heart Biscuits yesterday. The weather was pants as it kept bucketing down and Isabelle gets a bit stir crazy if you don’t give her something to do. They were really easy to make and it was something to show Daddy when he got home as well.
Walking – I love walking Charlie. It gives me time to think or not. Yesterday the little pain in the butt took himself off to the skate park to scav for food. There’s usually pizza boxes and McDonald’s wrappers so plenty to choose from. Every time I think he’s got over this he does it again. How he doesn’t get run over by a bike or skateboard (they don’t stop) I don’t know. This probably shouldn’t feature on my Happy List but after the fact I always find it funny. I do wonder if I’m going to end up on You Tube entitled ‘Crazy Dog Catcher Hits the Skate Park’. Charlie thinks it’s a great game to run up and down the ramp thing, usually with some stolen food hanging out of his mouth. Little sod!
Happy Days Linky – Celebrating the normal yet small wins in life.
Oops I missed the Happy Days Linky last week, mostly because I spent the most part of last week at home coughing, sniffing and sneezing.
Unfortunately I shared my germs with Isabelle and so she was struck down as well.
Come the weekend we felt a bit more human and headed off to one of the local pubs for some food and Pimms. We sat in the gardens (which are huge) and had a relaxed lunch and a jug of Pimms.
Running – Isabelle made up a game where we took turns in picking a tree in the gardens and she had to run as fast as she could whilst we timed her. A very simple thing but it kept her occupied for ages.
Family BBQ – Bank Holiday Monday was scorching hot so we spent the afternoon in the garden with the paddling pool out, bouncing on the trampoline and cooking and eating yummy food. Actually I should mention that I did absolutely no cooking at all. That was all down to Daddy. My actual contribution was chopping the salad and getting all the plates and cutlery out.
Tuesday – Tuesday marked the official return to work for both of us. Isabelle is back at school next week so I suppose our real return to routine starts next week.
Birthday Preparations – Birthday preparations for next week are steaming on ahead. After lots of thinking we’ve decided on a trampoline park party at the newly opened iBounce.
Birthday shopping – Again all going well. I even managed to find a site that sells the giant surprise eggs that you get surprise bags inside. Isabelle is obsessed with youtube kids so I know she’s going to LOVE this – I might just be a little bit excited about this.
Summer Fair – We spent Saturday at one of our local parks at their annual Summer Fair. We were joined by my mum, niece and nephew. We played drums, hooked ducks, won raffle prizes, ate yummy greek food, had snow cones and finished off with a play in the park.
Today we had our first roast dinner in a long time. As it was pouring down with rain we watched trolls whilst it cooked and then stuffed ourselves silly. Yummy.
Bring on this week when Monday we send Ryan off into the big bad world of adult work and Tuesday Isabelle is officially a year 2 girl.
Happy Days Linky – I’ve done it! My first day in my new job is done and dusted. I found it quite unnerving going from knowing my stuff to being the new girl not knowing who to pay the tea fund money to. It went fine. I was useless but it was fine!
Sharknado 5 – One of my guilty pleasures are cheesy films featuring monster sharks, huge crocs or such likes. Tonight is the premiere of Sharknado 5 so what better way to finish off my first day in the new job. If you haven’t watched them then you have to. My favourite film of all time has to be Lake Placid. Don’t judge me!
The funny things that Isabelle says – At six years old she comes out with some crackers in total innocence that have me snickering and face away laughing. On our dog walk, Charlie seems to like peeing in the river but he always cocks his leg towards long grass along the edges. Isabelle says “I think he does that because he likes the grass tickling his willy” whilst she eyerolls and sighs ‘boys’!
Holiday – We can finally say that we’re going on holiday ‘this week’. There are clothes all over the house in bags and ready but not quite packed for the final pack on Friday morning.
We made it to Spain. The flight was absolutely fine. I set off the beeper so had to go in the machine and then be frisked. Here’s to a week off.
Happy Days – Monday started off with a grey sad looking sky so I suggested a trip to the museum or the library. Isabelle fancied the museum with a Trip to the park on the way. We got ready in such a leisurely manner that it was almost lunch time before we left the house. I was going to make a little picnic but there’s a great chip shop near the park so I thought we would be naughty and get some chips and eat them in the park. This part went so well. We got the chips and found a picnic table at the park. Isabelle ran off to the play equipment whilst I went to the bin where I was mugged by a seagull who was determined to get the chip wrappers. The seagull won!
We had a play on the equipment for less than 10 minutes before the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. Parents and kids all ran off in different directions looking for shelter. We started off under the slide but big blobs of water started to drop through the gaps so we had to run to a big tree to camp under until it stopped. Isabelle thought it was hilarious! When it finally got to drizzling we decided to make a dash to the museum – which of course doesn’t open on a Monday. We ended up at home wet but happy!
Tuesday was a work day for me and Isabelle was at Nanny and Papa’s. I did the final bag check for Ryan. It’s the last time I’m going to see him before he sets off on a plane to Spain tomorrow. I’m going to miss him but on the plus side there will be snacks in the cupboard for the rest of us!
Thursday I was a bag of nerves as it was my last day in my current job. I’m going to miss my job! I’m going to miss my colleagues and I’m going to miss my desk. They made my last day lovely and I walked out with a smile on my face.
Friday Isabelle and I spent the day together. We took Charlie out for a walk and played games. It was my leaving do in the evening so I ate, drank and laughed the night away.
Saturday Isabelle went to the cinema kids club to watch Sing and later on we went to a reptile birthday party where we met all kinds of animals including a baby skunk, a tenrec and a tagu. The tagu was enormous but it was so so beautiful. We even touched a snake!
My Happy List – last week I didn’t post anything as it really was a week of slog at work and not much else.
However, this week has been a bit less stressful.
Sleep – I’ve slept a lot better than usual this past week which is always something to feel happy about. This was a big deal especially since Chris has an awful cough and he’s been hacking away most of the night.
New working hours – i was a bit worried about changing my hours at work as three days seems like the best work/life balance and my new job is four days a week. However, given that this is going to be a different job completely I’m up for the challenge (and I have been working full-time for the past year). I have also wangled a Friday off which fits in better for childcare.
Holiday Shopping – we’ve done a bit more holiday shopping this week and I’ve actually bought some swimwear that doesn’t make me want to throw-up!
Park Day – we went to my brothers yesterday and took the kids to the park. It was lovely just sitting in the sun whilst the kids played. Now that they’re eight, six and six you don’t have to chase them round the park and help them on and off stuff. It also meant I could have some baby cuddles from my nephew. ?
Dog walking – I love walking Charlie, preferably on my own. I can walk and think, or not. He has no expectations or demands, just walking. I can see my old age in front of me where flashes of 100 stray dogs and no people spring to mind. Ha ha!
This week has been pretty much a working kind of week with not so much in terms of having fun. However, we have managed to sneak in a couple of bits during the week.
Subscription Box – Isabelle received a Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Subscription box. These boxes are amazing so we spent a bit of time doing an unboxing video which I will share with you once I’ve done all the prettying up. Isabelle loves You Tube kids so she’s loving doing the little videos, but we have to try and tone down her Americanised barbie voice that she keeps putting on.
Dog Walking – With the lighter evenings it’s been much easier to get in an after dinner/before bed dog walk with Charlie. I’ve had to do a bit of bribing with Isabelle, but once she is out she really enjoys it especially if she takes her scooter.
New job – With all the excitement of getting a new job, this week has been a bit of a comedown as since being offered the job I’ve heard nothing more. Every time I think about it my stomach does a little flip of excitement……
Holiday – 5 weeks and 6 days to go…..
Sleep – I’ve slept slightly better this week since the stress of last week with my interview prep. In the last week I’ve probably on average only woken about twice a night which is good for me, and I’ve managed to drop back off straight away. I need to do a bit of research on insomnia as it’s become my norm for over a year now. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Blogger Night Out at Revolution Torquay– I met with some fellow bloggers in Revolution, Torquay for some scrummy cocktails and yummy food. The cocktail menu was awesome. It’s great getting together for a natter about all things bloggy, as I’m sure for most or us our regular non-blogger friends have no idea what I’m talking about. I had a burger with cheesy wotsits (actual wotsit crisps) in it which was very nice.
A new beach – We thought we’d try a new beach this weekend so today we went to Anstey’s cove in Torquay. It’s not a sandy beach its pebbly but it was a total treasure. We had Charlie with us so we had a bit of a paddle, but next time I’d love to take out a Kayak and go and explore the other coves which you can only access by swimming, sailing or climbing over the rocks to get to. We’re really looking forward to going back.
That’s it from me this week. Having said that I would still consider it to have been a good week.
#whatwedidthisweek – Yey Bank Holiday Monday means that it is officially still part of the weekend. We haven’t really gone very far this weekend, as we’ve been busy working so are knackered and we’re also preparing for Ryan’s 18th Birthday on the 29th April which I can’t possibly talk about on the remote off chance that Ryan might read it. We decided to pop down to the Quay for a nice walk with the dog and Isabelle on her scooter. As usual we tried to coax Charlie into the water, but this Labradoodle unusual for his breed does not like water! We ended the afternoon with a bit of lunch at Bar Venezia. The pizza was so scrummy!
You can’t possibly go to the quay without getting an icecream. Clearly Isabelle has Daddy wrapped around her finger when she came back to the table with this whopper of an icecream!
Back to work, school and college on Tuesday for all of us. What a shocker when the alarm went off at 05.35. That’s Tuesday and Wednesday whizzing by in a work/school/college blur.
Look Good Feel Better
Thursday was another long day at work, but I had the Debenhams Look Good Feel Better event to go to. When we arrived we had a little mooch around with Isabelle heading straight for the lovely brownies and other mini desserts on offer. I had a sneaky glass of prosecco which felt a bit odd standing in the middle of the make-up counter. My favourite counter is Estee Lauder so I bagged myself a few freebies including their lovely primer which I’m using at the moment.
After speaking to Jennie from the Charity I was really intrigued by what they do for women who have had or are undergoing cancer treatment. So much so that I thought I would write a separate post about it. Another highlight of going was meeting Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks. I’m so in awe of her blog and blogging achievements so it was awesome to meet her.
Friday was a normal working day again but an early finish for me which was much needed. Don’t you think it’s odd that a four day week can feel much longer than the usual five day week.
Saturday (big sigh of relief) we slowly started the day with a boiled egg brekkie and staying in our pyjamas for a bit. We had arranged to meet the ‘dog-lady’ today who will hopefully look after Charlie when we go away in August. I felt quite nervous and really hoped that I liked her as she would potentially be looking after our precious boy. Chris laughs at me, but I feel quite (a lot) nervous about handing over Charlie whilst we go away.
I know that I’ve had two kids and have used childcare (that was an ordeal to start with) but with children you can at least reassure them that you’re coming back. A dog won’t understand that and might think that you’re never coming back. You may laugh (the dogless amongst us) but it’s really important to me that whilst we’re away he gets love, comfort and strokes from someone in our absence. Thankfully she was lovely with an amazing garden which Charlie christened! Our holiday isn’t until August but he’s going for a sleepover to see how Charlie gets on with her own dog, Betsy. Ha ha, this will feature next week!
Sunday we had another lazy start to the day with a scrambled egg brekkie followed by a dog walk and a bit of bike riding practice. Now that Isabelle has mastered her bike we’re thinking that she needs a slightly bigger and lighter bike. Why do kids bikes weigh a ton!
#whatwedidthisweek – I’ve missed doing this for a couple of week’s as I lost my whole entire blog for just over a week which was so unbelievably stressful, and then it took me about a week to catch up and get over the whole debacle (not sure why I added that word as I’ve never verbally used it before).
This week I’ve been off work with the little miss as it’s the Easter Holiday’s so we’ve had our fair share of much needed lazy mornings and yummy weekend style breakfasts.
Monday we didn’t have anything planned so we decided to take a road trip with Daddy as he’s a top sales dude. We ended up in Burnham-on-Sea where I don’t think I’ve visited before. It was so windy but that’s never stopped a trip to the beach for us. The sea was so far out that you couldn’t actually see it, but we had a nice walk along the seafront and Isabelle wrote our names in the sand. We found a cafe come chip-shop as I was really hungry and fancied some chips. How disappointed was I when we didn’t get ‘chip-shop chips’ but were served a plate of chunky home-fries style chips. However all was not lost as we had ice-cream on the beach and won a teddy in the arcade that came had a velcro stick-on tear that Isabelle named Max.
We were treated to Isabelle singing us all the way home which she video’d for prosperity. The videos gave us quite a chuckle as you can hear Chris and I almost screaming over the top of her to shut-up!
Isabelle had a sleepover at Nanny and Papa’s (of her choosing) which she has only done a couple of times since she was born, but she was really excited and looking forward to it. Sleep and Isabelle are not two words that fit together in a sentence so this was as exciting for us as it was her.
Off she went with no problems, and we should have made the most of being in a child-free situation, but instead we had takeaway and vegged in front of the TV.
Tuesday, again being child-free should have been used a bit better but Daddy set off for work, and after a lovely walk with the dog I sat and updated blog post SEO and other tedious jobs.
Wednesday was definitely a stay at home day, as we had a catch up with the washing and other housey stuff so none too exciting.
On the plus side, or scary side we have confirmed the booking for Ryan’s 18th Birthday meal. His impending 18th birthday is really scaring the Shizzazzle out of me and making me feel about as old as can be. I hate having a teenage son!
Ha ha I need to rephrase that. Having Ryan as a son is great, but ME being a mum to an 18 year old makes me feel old and decrepit!
Wednesday did give me a little, actually BIG ‘fist pump’ moment. We have been accepted to be a Rainbow Awards Toy Tester. I love that Isabelle plays a part in my blog and her being given the opportunity to review toys is so cool. My kid is cool!
Thursday we had a park day with one of Isabelle’s friends, so I had the chance to have some adult conversation whilst the littles played. Following this I met with a friend whilst Daddy took both kids for their dental check-up. The dentist trip for the kids has to be done by Chris as I’m such a baby when it comes to the dentist. Just sitting in the waiting room sets my teeth on edge. It’s not great when you’re trying to coax a six year old into thinking that the dentists is a fun place to go ‘and you get a sticker’!
My friend and I sat and had a coffee and carrot cake in peace and quiet and had a much needed catch-up. She’s definitely one of those friends that I might not see for ages, but when we do it only feels like yesterday!
The kids came back from the dentist check-up with the good old thumbs up for the next six months. Isabelle had to have something removed from her teeth which got me worried, but it was just a piece of popcorn that I fed her before her check-up. Oops!
Friday we played on the trampoline and then Daddy took Isabelle out on her bike for a little de-rusting practice as she hasn’t been on it for a little while. We hadn’t realised how long her legs had got, but she definitely needs an upgrade.
Yesterday we started the day by making up chocolate truffle mixture for our Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles. We were sent some rather unusual ingredients by Yutaka along with some recipe ideas to make. Once this was in the fridge setting we went off out for a lovely dog walk along the river. Charlie went for a little paddle, only up to mid-leg though as we have a bit of a fradey-cat when it comes to water. We ended up at the Double Locks pub. It’s a great place to go when the weather is good, and it seems to have changed quite a bit since we last went with the addition of an outside bar and toilet block and it looks as if more work is being done as well.
Easter Sunday started off with CHOCOLATE. The Easter Bunny had left a great easter treasure hunt for Isabelle which she found and loaded into her easter bucket at lightening speed. We’ve been waiting for Easter Sunday for about three weeks now, or should I say Isabelle has been waiting for Easter Sunday and we’ve been suffering along the way.
You see my MIL had her for the day about three weeks ago and they popped into Sainsbury’s where Isabelle spotted a DC Superhero Batgirl Doll and Nanny bought it for her – For Easter. Realising that she wasn’t getting the doll on the spot she had the mother of all temper tantrums which lasted from Sainsbury’s to The Range and then carried on at home.
This Barbie Doll has been the topic of conversation since then with her even going as far as making a Barbie Day countdown calendar, a Lego Batgirl house, and an every day question of ‘How many day’s is it til I get my Barbie Doll?’
This morning we were on hourly countdown until we got to Nanny’s house, where at last she got the much wanted Barbie Doll and of course loads of chocolate!