Getting Festive at Avon Valley adventure and wildlife park!


Last weekend we decided to start the festive season early (actually is it even considered early? Things seem to start before then now anyway!) Anyway, we were invited to visit Father Christmas in the North Pole (actually Avon Valley adventure park!) and go on a Christmas adventure!

We always try and fit in a little visit to Father Christmas over December and with Theo turning 8 in January I'm pretty conscious of how long he's still going to believe in it all, as well as that Rohan is becoming so much more aware of his wider surroundings and really enjoying activities too, so we thought it would be the perfect place for them to visit and both enjoy!

We arrived just in the nick of time (a warning, if you're going then make sure you read the ticket properly and arrive ten minutes before unlike us!!) but even though we were there slightly on the late side everyone was really accommodating and waited for us before it all started. First of all we entered into a small cave like room filled with foliage and lights to meet two very enthusiastic elves! It was a great introduction and really set the tone for how the whole experience would go. We had to use magic to get through the door and walk through a wintery tree lined path to meet the other Elves, in the toy making workshop. The children then had to help the elves make some teddy bears (and then give them back again which I was surprised none of the children complained about!!) as well as use some Christmas spirit to get the machines all working. It was so well done and all the children were completely captivated! Rohan loved watching the Elves as they jumped around lots and just giggled with delight every time they came near, they made sure they said hello and interacted with every child which was lovely.

Next we travelled on to the gingerbread workshop where the children could decorate their own biscuit (and thankfully keep!!) and had a story read to them by the three Elves; Snap, Crackle and Pop. Rohan pretty much just sat and ate most of his chocolate whilst we helped him decorate and Theo got properly stuck in to the decorating, including wearing the sweet chefs hat!


Once we'd finished the last workshop we entered into the Yuletide Square and the Enchanted village with about an hour to spare before taking the magic portal to Santas Grotto. It just felt so magical with dozens of snowy Christmas trees lining the square, rides and Christmas music! We entered into the dark and cosy village full of tiny Elf houses, decorated trees and reindeers and visited the mail room where Theo wrote a little letter to Father Christmas before it being whizzed off. He liked the mail room so much that he volunteered his services to help out! We had our photo taken with some snowmen and showed Rohan all the lights and the (fake) snow before heading back outside for our free hot chocolate and enjoyed some doughnuts too (because it's totally ok to have just sugar for lunch in the North Pole right?) 


After we'd finished up our snack we visited two real Reindeer (Donna and Blitzen if I remember correctly!) and the boys were able to feed them themselves which I think Rohan was very intrigued by! The whole feel of the village and square was really magical and I'm pretty sure Theo believed that we were actually in a different place to where we started and I just thought the scale and detail of the event was brilliant. We managed to a little go on the rides just before we had to go on to the next part of the experience to meet Father Christmas. I liked how we didn't feel rushed though and had the full hour in the village to be able to explore properly.


The last stop was upon the virtual reality shuttle which took us on a long journey around the world to see the sights before arriving at Santas secret location. Rohan loved the ride so much and again giggled through the whole thing! We were taken in a small group into his cabin filled with trinkets and pictures where Santa Claus and Mrs Claus greeted us and asked what the children wanted as gifts, it was all pretty magical and very believable! Next the children were given presents with their names on (a really lovely touch I think!) before having a photo opportunity. Non of it felt rushed at all and there was none of that panic to try and get your photo in quick and move off again.

Finally our experience was drawing to a close, and we took a little train ride out of the village and arrived back in the park where we could spend the rest of the day to enjoy the grounds, animals and indoor play area. We honestly had the most magical experience and it was such a great way to kick off the festive season! I thought that the level of detail and entertainment that you get for your money (considering it includes entry to the park also) was brilliant and it really was a whole days experience, compared to paying a tenner at the local shopping centre for 5 minutes! I know the tickets have all pretty much sold out as I speak, so if you can't make it this year I highly recommend getting in early and booking next year!





We were gifted the experience in exchange for a review but all words and images are my own! x

Getting Festive at Avon Valley adventure and wildlife park!


Last weekend we decided to start the festive season early (actually is it even considered early? Things seem to start before then now anyway!) Anyway, we were invited to visit Father Christmas in the North Pole (actually Avon Valley adventure park!) and go on a Christmas adventure!

We always try and fit in a little visit to Father Christmas over December and with Theo turning 8 in January I'm pretty conscious of how long he's still going to believe in it all, as well as that Rohan is becoming so much more aware of his wider surroundings and really enjoying activities too, so we thought it would be the perfect place for them to visit and both enjoy!

We arrived just in the nick of time (a warning, if you're going then make sure you read the ticket properly and arrive ten minutes before unlike us!!) but even though we were there slightly on the late side everyone was really accommodating and waited for us before it all started. First of all we entered into a small cave like room filled with foliage and lights to meet two very enthusiastic elves! It was a great introduction and really set the tone for how the whole experience would go. We had to use magic to get through the door and walk through a wintery tree lined path to meet the other Elves, in the toy making workshop. The children then had to help the elves make some teddy bears (and then give them back again which I was surprised none of the children complained about!!) as well as use some Christmas spirit to get the machines all working. It was so well done and all the children were completely captivated! Rohan loved watching the Elves as they jumped around lots and just giggled with delight every time they came near, they made sure they said hello and interacted with every child which was lovely.

Next we travelled on to the gingerbread workshop where the children could decorate their own biscuit (and thankfully keep!!) and had a story read to them by the three Elves; Snap, Crackle and Pop. Rohan pretty much just sat and ate most of his chocolate whilst we helped him decorate and Theo got properly stuck in to the decorating, including wearing the sweet chefs hat!


Once we'd finished the last workshop we entered into the Yuletide Square and the Enchanted village with about an hour to spare before taking the magic portal to Santas Grotto. It just felt so magical with dozens of snowy Christmas trees lining the square, rides and Christmas music! We entered into the dark and cosy village full of tiny Elf houses, decorated trees and reindeers and visited the mail room where Theo wrote a little letter to Father Christmas before it being whizzed off. He liked the mail room so much that he volunteered his services to help out! We had our photo taken with some snowmen and showed Rohan all the lights and the (fake) snow before heading back outside for our free hot chocolate and enjoyed some doughnuts too (because it's totally ok to have just sugar for lunch in the North Pole right?) 


After we'd finished up our snack we visited two real Reindeer (Donna and Blitzen if I remember correctly!) and the boys were able to feed them themselves which I think Rohan was very intrigued by! The whole feel of the village and square was really magical and I'm pretty sure Theo believed that we were actually in a different place to where we started and I just thought the scale and detail of the event was brilliant. We managed to a little go on the rides just before we had to go on to the next part of the experience to meet Father Christmas. I liked how we didn't feel rushed though and had the full hour in the village to be able to explore properly.


The last stop was upon the virtual reality shuttle which took us on a long journey around the world to see the sights before arriving at Santas secret location. Rohan loved the ride so much and again giggled through the whole thing! We were taken in a small group into his cabin filled with trinkets and pictures where Santa Claus and Mrs Claus greeted us and asked what the children wanted as gifts, it was all pretty magical and very believable! Next the children were given presents with their names on (a really lovely touch I think!) before having a photo opportunity. Non of it felt rushed at all and there was none of that panic to try and get your photo in quick and move off again.

Finally our experience was drawing to a close, and we took a little train ride out of the village and arrived back in the park where we could spend the rest of the day to enjoy the grounds, animals and indoor play area. We honestly had the most magical experience and it was such a great way to kick off the festive season! I thought that the level of detail and entertainment that you get for your money (considering it includes entry to the park also) was brilliant and it really was a whole days experience, compared to paying a tenner at the local shopping centre for 5 minutes! I know the tickets have all pretty much sold out as I speak, so if you can't make it this year I highly recommend getting in early and booking next year!





We were gifted the experience in exchange for a review but all words and images are my own! x

December in photographs


So December. What a full on month hey? I do love this time of year and the build up to Christmas, there's that sort of excitement in the air and everyone is a little bit jollier. Until it all becomes too much, and the stress of it all breaks out, so as our weekends quickly filled up with trips, visits and tasks we took the opportunities to take it slow whenever they arose.

I had surgery at the beginning of the month, and to be honest it knocked me harder than I anticipated. I was exhausted. Add that to the rising amount of things I needed to do and remember, for school, Christmas and general life that I was so happy when school finally broke up. We had a few days of just the three of us, Theo saw a friend a few afternoons which gave me a little more time too. But anything compared to the craziness of moving house five days before Christmas as we did last year was better, so I reminded myself daily that at least we weren't unpacking boxes and building furniture!

We saw snow twice, the first time for Rohan, and Theo got his wish that he'd been hoping for for so long. We didn't get much at all, but a few days after Christmas we did get enough to do a little sledging up the big hill behind our village and gave Theo and I the chance to spend time together and blow out those cobwebs that being stuck inside over a rainy Christmas gives you!

I'm trying so hard to remember what else happened over the past month, but it all sort of blurs into a haze of business, visitors, eating too much, wintery walks, evenings at the pub, celebrating my birthday and staying inside being cosy. It's taken me quite a while to get back into the swing of things to be honest. I know that I want to put a bit more effort into this blog this year, as I feel what with starting my business, editing photo sessions and general life that this place became a little neglected. Fingers crossed I can keep up with it!



Here's a little video I made too, you can check out more of December on my youtube channel, as we attempted vlogmas (and made it up to day twelve! hah!)

December in photographs


So December. What a full on month hey? I do love this time of year and the build up to Christmas, there's that sort of excitement in the air and everyone is a little bit jollier. Until it all becomes too much, and the stress of it all breaks out, so as our weekends quickly filled up with trips, visits and tasks we took the opportunities to take it slow whenever they arose.

I had surgery at the beginning of the month, and to be honest it knocked me harder than I anticipated. I was exhausted. Add that to the rising amount of things I needed to do and remember, for school, Christmas and general life that I was so happy when school finally broke up. We had a few days of just the three of us, Theo saw a friend a few afternoons which gave me a little more time too. But anything compared to the craziness of moving house five days before Christmas as we did last year was better, so I reminded myself daily that at least we weren't unpacking boxes and building furniture!

We saw snow twice, the first time for Rohan, and Theo got his wish that he'd been hoping for for so long. We didn't get much at all, but a few days after Christmas we did get enough to do a little sledging up the big hill behind our village and gave Theo and I the chance to spend time together and blow out those cobwebs that being stuck inside over a rainy Christmas gives you!

I'm trying so hard to remember what else happened over the past month, but it all sort of blurs into a haze of business, visitors, eating too much, wintery walks, evenings at the pub, celebrating my birthday and staying inside being cosy. It's taken me quite a while to get back into the swing of things to be honest. I know that I want to put a bit more effort into this blog this year, as I feel what with starting my business, editing photo sessions and general life that this place became a little neglected. Fingers crossed I can keep up with it!



Here's a little video I made too, you can check out more of December on my youtube channel, as we attempted vlogmas (and made it up to day twelve! hah!)

A Christmassy Weekend: Choosing our tree and decorating!


So in a bid to keep this little blog a bit more up to date I thought I would share a few photos from last weekend. We decided (well I) that since we didn't put up a tree until Christmas Eve last year due to moving three days before we didn't have chance, so I wanted to get it up as reasonably early as possible! So the first weekend of December we found ourselves with only a few plans so we decided to go out on a Christmas Tree hunt.

Since it's our first proper Christmas in our new house (last year doesn't really count as we weren't there on Christmas day really!) I wanted to make it really festive this year, and I love a bit of glitz and cosy Christmas lights and decorations. We wanted to also find the best place to get a tree locally too so we had a morning of driving round a few places. We were on the hunt for a smaller tree, so whilst the first place we went to had lovely trees, they were all way too big for our front room (and we wanted to put it up higher as there are little grabby toddler hands around this year too!) so we moved on. The second place is a local farm shop which had a few outside but were wrapped in their netting so we couldn't see how they looked, so our third and final place, a local garden centre was the one. Whilst it might not have been the picturesque cut your own tree farm (there seems to be a distinct lack of these and pumpkin patches around me, so I basically fail as an instagrammer...) anyway, we found the perfect tree and then headed to our local Italian for pizza. We were supposed to be going to a light turn on at another place that evening, but we decided staying home and decorating would be more relaxing...it was to a degree!

The next day we joined some of Rohan's nursery friends for a special Santa train journey, where we travelled up to Wiltshire on the train and back again, and met Father Christmas on board. We've not been on one of these before, and whilst I don't really think Rohan had any idea what was going on, he seemed pretty happy with the whole thing, and Theo of course was excited about going on the train and getting a present from Father Christmas. It's also pretty clear to see that Rohan loves the camera, this bodes well for him in this family!


I made a little video too, for our Vlogmas over on my Dear Sister channel, I'd love it if you went and checked it out and subscribed!

A Christmassy Weekend: Choosing our tree and decorating!


So in a bid to keep this little blog a bit more up to date I thought I would share a few photos from last weekend. We decided (well I) that since we didn't put up a tree until Christmas Eve last year due to moving three days before we didn't have chance, so I wanted to get it up as reasonably early as possible! So the first weekend of December we found ourselves with only a few plans so we decided to go out on a Christmas Tree hunt.

Since it's our first proper Christmas in our new house (last year doesn't really count as we weren't there on Christmas day really!) I wanted to make it really festive this year, and I love a bit of glitz and cosy Christmas lights and decorations. We wanted to also find the best place to get a tree locally too so we had a morning of driving round a few places. We were on the hunt for a smaller tree, so whilst the first place we went to had lovely trees, they were all way too big for our front room (and we wanted to put it up higher as there are little grabby toddler hands around this year too!) so we moved on. The second place is a local farm shop which had a few outside but were wrapped in their netting so we couldn't see how they looked, so our third and final place, a local garden centre was the one. Whilst it might not have been the picturesque cut your own tree farm (there seems to be a distinct lack of these and pumpkin patches around me, so I basically fail as an instagrammer...) anyway, we found the perfect tree and then headed to our local Italian for pizza. We were supposed to be going to a light turn on at another place that evening, but we decided staying home and decorating would be more relaxing...it was to a degree!

The next day we joined some of Rohan's nursery friends for a special Santa train journey, where we travelled up to Wiltshire on the train and back again, and met Father Christmas on board. We've not been on one of these before, and whilst I don't really think Rohan had any idea what was going on, he seemed pretty happy with the whole thing, and Theo of course was excited about going on the train and getting a present from Father Christmas. It's also pretty clear to see that Rohan loves the camera, this bodes well for him in this family!


I made a little video too, for our Vlogmas over on my Dear Sister channel, I'd love it if you went and checked it out and subscribed!

Recently around here: A Festive Noah's Ark Zoo


 So we're gearing ourselves up for the start of Christmas and I had that moment when you're planning your diary and you count how many weekends there are actually left until Christmas and it takes you back a bit! Suddenly things get a lot busier and harder to fit everything in, so when Noah's Ark Zoo invited us for a day out we thought that would be a great way to start our Christmas activities and see what they had in store.

We've not been to this zoo, or any zoo for a long time even though Theo has been asking to go, so it was a great chance to have a day out together and do something that we all enjoy. We've not been here since the addition of the elephants so it was great to see them, as well as their new Christmas tree forest (which they seemed to enjoy destroying!) We were shown around in a group with the park leader, which was great to get an insight into all that was going on, then we really enjoyed being able to explore and take our time afterwards. They currently have a 'History and mystery' Christmas trail which takes you around the (huge!) grounds for you to spot Christmas trees and answer some quiz questions, all lit by 100's of fairy lights which makes it lovely and magical. Whilst Noah's Ark does have a Christian background it's easy to enjoy it from whatever religion you believe or don't believe in, and just enjoy the zoo for what it is, a great place to observe and learn about the animals, and get into the festive spirit. Theo loved feeding the birds with his own feed bag, petting the animals in the farm area and discovering the giant Tortoises.

We stopped for pizza and hot chocolate in the cafe to warm up which was really good, and then carried on our exploring afterwards, but not without a play in the massive play barn. Noah's Ark certainly doesn't disappoint with the amount of playgrounds dotted around the place which makes it a great place to spend the whole day. Theo loved climbing the lookout platforms and taking in the view and getting a good look at the animals, and particularly enjoyed his close encounter with the Tiger!

They have a number of fun things coming up over the next few weekends, which would be great to check out:


Saturday 9th December: Ark Angel choir performance at 2pm in the Ark Arena. Come along and join in with some festive favourites as our Zoo Keepers sing some tunes to fundraise for the Crisis Centre.
Saturday 16th December: Come and watch a festive performance of the Christmas story with real animals. The Portishead Brownie group is kindly putting on a Christmas Nativity for you all at 2pm in the Ark Arena. The nativity showing is included in the entry price.
Saturday 23rd December: Come along and get involved with your very own Christmas Nativity with real live animals. At 2pm in the Ark Arena we're inviting you to get involved and tell the Christmas Story. All props and script will be provided just turn up on the day and get involved.
So we had a great day, it wasn't too busy either which is great when you're not a fan of the Christmas crowds and I loved seeing Theo being able to explore and run around in all the space.


Here's a little video of our day:



Recently around here: A Festive Noah's Ark Zoo


 So we're gearing ourselves up for the start of Christmas and I had that moment when you're planning your diary and you count how many weekends there are actually left until Christmas and it takes you back a bit! Suddenly things get a lot busier and harder to fit everything in, so when Noah's Ark Zoo invited us for a day out we thought that would be a great way to start our Christmas activities and see what they had in store.

We've not been to this zoo, or any zoo for a long time even though Theo has been asking to go, so it was a great chance to have a day out together and do something that we all enjoy. We've not been here since the addition of the elephants so it was great to see them, as well as their new Christmas tree forest (which they seemed to enjoy destroying!) We were shown around in a group with the park leader, which was great to get an insight into all that was going on, then we really enjoyed being able to explore and take our time afterwards. They currently have a 'History and mystery' Christmas trail which takes you around the (huge!) grounds for you to spot Christmas trees and answer some quiz questions, all lit by 100's of fairy lights which makes it lovely and magical. Whilst Noah's Ark does have a Christian background it's easy to enjoy it from whatever religion you believe or don't believe in, and just enjoy the zoo for what it is, a great place to observe and learn about the animals, and get into the festive spirit. Theo loved feeding the birds with his own feed bag, petting the animals in the farm area and discovering the giant Tortoises.

We stopped for pizza and hot chocolate in the cafe to warm up which was really good, and then carried on our exploring afterwards, but not without a play in the massive play barn. Noah's Ark certainly doesn't disappoint with the amount of playgrounds dotted around the place which makes it a great place to spend the whole day. Theo loved climbing the lookout platforms and taking in the view and getting a good look at the animals, and particularly enjoyed his close encounter with the Tiger!

They have a number of fun things coming up over the next few weekends, which would be great to check out:


Saturday 9th December: Ark Angel choir performance at 2pm in the Ark Arena. Come along and join in with some festive favourites as our Zoo Keepers sing some tunes to fundraise for the Crisis Centre.
Saturday 16th December: Come and watch a festive performance of the Christmas story with real animals. The Portishead Brownie group is kindly putting on a Christmas Nativity for you all at 2pm in the Ark Arena. The nativity showing is included in the entry price.
Saturday 23rd December: Come along and get involved with your very own Christmas Nativity with real live animals. At 2pm in the Ark Arena we're inviting you to get involved and tell the Christmas Story. All props and script will be provided just turn up on the day and get involved.
So we had a great day, it wasn't too busy either which is great when you're not a fan of the Christmas crowds and I loved seeing Theo being able to explore and run around in all the space.


Here's a little video of our day:



December in Devon


The week before Christmas we took Theo down to Devon for a few days whilst we moved house. It was a little bit of calm before the crazy storm that was to come. I think visiting Rob's grandparents is always my place to go to for a little sanctuary. I'm not sure if it's the sea being so close but I always find it so therapeutic, plus Rob's grandparents always treat us so well that it's so hard not to enjoy it!

We only stayed for a day or two but I wanted make sure we did something a little special with Theo for Christmas before we left him for a few days, so we took him to a little zoo to visit Father Christmas. It's such a funny one, as now that he's getting older I wonder how long he'll believe in it all. This year I feel like he really believed it, but I'm sad to think that the magic won't last that long. I do really want to up our emphasis on that Christmas should be about giving and helping others as much as possible, and hopefully as the run up to Christmas won't be so hectic next year we can really try and do more.

We woke up to the valley being clouded in thick mist that refused the lift for the day which made it feel even more wintry and magical. The little zoo in Shaldon was quiet and we spent a bit of time looking at the monkeys before visiting the little grotto, where Santa spent ages chatting to Theo.

Afterwards we made our way down to the beach through the smugglers tunnel and marvelled at the fog covered beach, where I may have gone a little crazy with taking photographs, because you know, it just looks so beautiful!



December in Devon


The week before Christmas we took Theo down to Devon for a few days whilst we moved house. It was a little bit of calm before the crazy storm that was to come. I think visiting Rob's grandparents is always my place to go to for a little sanctuary. I'm not sure if it's the sea being so close but I always find it so therapeutic, plus Rob's grandparents always treat us so well that it's so hard not to enjoy it!

We only stayed for a day or two but I wanted make sure we did something a little special with Theo for Christmas before we left him for a few days, so we took him to a little zoo to visit Father Christmas. It's such a funny one, as now that he's getting older I wonder how long he'll believe in it all. This year I feel like he really believed it, but I'm sad to think that the magic won't last that long. I do really want to up our emphasis on that Christmas should be about giving and helping others as much as possible, and hopefully as the run up to Christmas won't be so hectic next year we can really try and do more.

We woke up to the valley being clouded in thick mist that refused the lift for the day which made it feel even more wintry and magical. The little zoo in Shaldon was quiet and we spent a bit of time looking at the monkeys before visiting the little grotto, where Santa spent ages chatting to Theo.

Afterwards we made our way down to the beach through the smugglers tunnel and marvelled at the fog covered beach, where I may have gone a little crazy with taking photographs, because you know, it just looks so beautiful!



So that was Christmas


 So it's all over, I don't think it ever really fully arrived at our house. I tried my hardest to still make it Christmassy for Theo, despite moving five days before. We did a few Christmas activities such as ice skating and taking Theo to see Father Christmas and I'm sure he was excited, but the whole thing just felt distracted. The actual run up to the big weekend saw us deep in boxes, Theo returning from Devon and my birthday. It was the busiest I think we've ever been, I barely ate a proper meal and I finally got round to putting up the tree and wrapping presents on Christmas eve. But it all more or less came together in the end. I managed to stop for long enough to soak up the excitement in Theo's face as we put out the food and drink for Father Christmas and him opening his Christmas eve presents.

He woke up early on the day, and we had to persuade him to just open one present from his stocking to let us sleep until at least 6.30am before he came into our bed and opened the rest of it. We then spent the rest of the morning trying to stop him opening ALL the presents before setting off to my mums for the night. The day itself was good, we ate, we played games, went for a walk and watched telly. What more could you want?

We spent the next few days fully relaxing. It was good to be home, to have a little space from lots of people and just spend time as a family of four. I felt for the first time in a while we were able to relax. The house was getting more sorted, we sat down for longer than five minutes and just breathed. That's what this holiday is all about right, slowing down for a few days, taking time to enjoy each other's company and just switching off. So that's what we did for the next few days, and it couldn't have been better.

Hope you all had a great time too!




So that was Christmas


 So it's all over, I don't think it ever really fully arrived at our house. I tried my hardest to still make it Christmassy for Theo, despite moving five days before. We did a few Christmas activities such as ice skating and taking Theo to see Father Christmas and I'm sure he was excited, but the whole thing just felt distracted. The actual run up to the big weekend saw us deep in boxes, Theo returning from Devon and my birthday. It was the busiest I think we've ever been, I barely ate a proper meal and I finally got round to putting up the tree and wrapping presents on Christmas eve. But it all more or less came together in the end. I managed to stop for long enough to soak up the excitement in Theo's face as we put out the food and drink for Father Christmas and him opening his Christmas eve presents.

He woke up early on the day, and we had to persuade him to just open one present from his stocking to let us sleep until at least 6.30am before he came into our bed and opened the rest of it. We then spent the rest of the morning trying to stop him opening ALL the presents before setting off to my mums for the night. The day itself was good, we ate, we played games, went for a walk and watched telly. What more could you want?

We spent the next few days fully relaxing. It was good to be home, to have a little space from lots of people and just spend time as a family of four. I felt for the first time in a while we were able to relax. The house was getting more sorted, we sat down for longer than five minutes and just breathed. That's what this holiday is all about right, slowing down for a few days, taking time to enjoy each other's company and just switching off. So that's what we did for the next few days, and it couldn't have been better.

Hope you all had a great time too!




So that was Christmas

So it's over, yesterday we took down the tree and cleared out the house ready for the new year that is so suddenly upon us. For some reason this year I just didn't feel all that Christmassy. It may have been the weather has been unusually warm and there were none of those crisp bustley days with hands wrapped round steaming cups of hot chocolate. Perhaps because Theo was in school and the weeks and weekends whizzed by until Christmas week was suddenly upon us, or perhaps it was because we had too many other things to actually think about, post Christmas. 

I tried to make an effort to make this year extra magical for Theo though, as it will be his last as just him and I wanted to make it one he would hopefully remember. For the first time ever I made him an advent calendar, which as well as little treats had Christmas activities in too. We went ice skating, visited Father Christmas, went to the local pantomime for the first time and did a few other festive activities. I hope that he enjoyed them all! 

All in all we stayed pretty close to home over the holidays, missing out on our usual trip across the country to see family and friends as I was a little scared about going into labour and being so far away from home and hospital. But it was actually good to have a break, it forever feels like I'm the one travelling all over the place to see friends, but sometimes you just need to realise your limitations and say no. If it means missing out on seeing people just because I didn't travel then that will have to be. Anyway, so it was different this year, we spent our weekends with little outings and tried to go on a few walks without the weather being totally rubbish, but it did mean that once again I rarely took any photographs. Sometimes though, it all passes in such a blur that you just need to be present to soak it all up. But here are the ones that I did manage - enjoy!


So that was Christmas

So it's over, yesterday we took down the tree and cleared out the house ready for the new year that is so suddenly upon us. For some reason this year I just didn't feel all that Christmassy. It may have been the weather has been unusually warm and there were none of those crisp bustley days with hands wrapped round steaming cups of hot chocolate. Perhaps because Theo was in school and the weeks and weekends whizzed by until Christmas week was suddenly upon us, or perhaps it was because we had too many other things to actually think about, post Christmas. 

I tried to make an effort to make this year extra magical for Theo though, as it will be his last as just him and I wanted to make it one he would hopefully remember. For the first time ever I made him an advent calendar, which as well as little treats had Christmas activities in too. We went ice skating, visited Father Christmas, went to the local pantomime for the first time and did a few other festive activities. I hope that he enjoyed them all! 

All in all we stayed pretty close to home over the holidays, missing out on our usual trip across the country to see family and friends as I was a little scared about going into labour and being so far away from home and hospital. But it was actually good to have a break, it forever feels like I'm the one travelling all over the place to see friends, but sometimes you just need to realise your limitations and say no. If it means missing out on seeing people just because I didn't travel then that will have to be. Anyway, so it was different this year, we spent our weekends with little outings and tried to go on a few walks without the weather being totally rubbish, but it did mean that once again I rarely took any photographs. Sometimes though, it all passes in such a blur that you just need to be present to soak it all up. But here are the ones that I did manage - enjoy!


A Christmas day family walk


Over the Christmas holidays we seemed to be blessed with the perfect winter weather. Clear skies, frosty mornings and bitingly cold at some points. Which with the exception of snow, its the perfect weather for Christmas. On Christmas day itself we made sure we scheduled in a walk between all the face stuffing, to you know, make extra room and it was lovely to get out.

After some breakfast and present opening (we can't wait in our house!) we left Rob at home in charge of cooking the feast and set out to a firm favourite for a shortish walk, Snuff Mills. We were last here in the late Autumn when the trees were alive with colour, so it was interesting to go back in the winter to see the differences. We let the boy and the pup let off steam and have a proper run around, chasing with big sticks and climbing over the fallen trees. Everyone was jolly and wished you merry christmas as you passed, before being eventually drawn back home to get cosy and full. 

Our day was quiet, but lovely not to have to travel and still filled with family. I know it's a bit late, but how about you? Was it busy/quiet full of travel or close to home? 

A Christmas day family walk


Over the Christmas holidays we seemed to be blessed with the perfect winter weather. Clear skies, frosty mornings and bitingly cold at some points. Which with the exception of snow, its the perfect weather for Christmas. On Christmas day itself we made sure we scheduled in a walk between all the face stuffing, to you know, make extra room and it was lovely to get out.

After some breakfast and present opening (we can't wait in our house!) we left Rob at home in charge of cooking the feast and set out to a firm favourite for a shortish walk, Snuff Mills. We were last here in the late Autumn when the trees were alive with colour, so it was interesting to go back in the winter to see the differences. We let the boy and the pup let off steam and have a proper run around, chasing with big sticks and climbing over the fallen trees. Everyone was jolly and wished you merry christmas as you passed, before being eventually drawn back home to get cosy and full. 

Our day was quiet, but lovely not to have to travel and still filled with family. I know it's a bit late, but how about you? Was it busy/quiet full of travel or close to home? 

A wintery weekend


Last weekend we had the pleasure of having my dear cousins visiting for the weekend. Every year we see each other at Christmas and vow to make it a more than once a year occasion, but more likely than not months go by and our busy lives take over and we all never quite manage those visits! I feel pretty lucky to have cousins who I feel like if I met them in real life (outside of being my family) then I would definitely be friends with them. So when they asked me to take a few photographs of them for presents and of course come and visit, I was delighted! 

On Sunday we decided to fit in a Christmassy activity with Theo and all try ice skating, it seemed like a good idea in theory, but in reality I'd forgotten how much I don't really enjoy it (I think it's the fear of falling and having my fingers sliced off!) but it was actually really fun! Theo had a go with one of the push along penguins, and despite not being for under 5s did really well and really enjoyed himself. Then Rob and Sam showed off with their confident skating whilst the rest of us clung to the edge for dear life! 

We walked around the docks, stopping for pizza at the Stable, warming ourselves with mulled cider. It was lovely catching up properly before the craziness of Christmas and made me realise how good it is to make the effort to see each other more often. 

A wintery weekend


Last weekend we had the pleasure of having my dear cousins visiting for the weekend. Every year we see each other at Christmas and vow to make it a more than once a year occasion, but more likely than not months go by and our busy lives take over and we all never quite manage those visits! I feel pretty lucky to have cousins who I feel like if I met them in real life (outside of being my family) then I would definitely be friends with them. So when they asked me to take a few photographs of them for presents and of course come and visit, I was delighted! 

On Sunday we decided to fit in a Christmassy activity with Theo and all try ice skating, it seemed like a good idea in theory, but in reality I'd forgotten how much I don't really enjoy it (I think it's the fear of falling and having my fingers sliced off!) but it was actually really fun! Theo had a go with one of the push along penguins, and despite not being for under 5s did really well and really enjoyed himself. Then Rob and Sam showed off with their confident skating whilst the rest of us clung to the edge for dear life! 

We walked around the docks, stopping for pizza at the Stable, warming ourselves with mulled cider. It was lovely catching up properly before the craziness of Christmas and made me realise how good it is to make the effort to see each other more often. 

twas the night before Christmas


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap



I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope that your day is filled with family and friends, laughter and warmth. It will be quiet over here for the next few days as I, and you all enjoy this time away from distraction and with the people we care most about! A certain little boy will fall asleep tonight excited and with his dreams filled with thoughts of Father Christmas flying around the world. 

twas the night before Christmas


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap



I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope that your day is filled with family and friends, laughter and warmth. It will be quiet over here for the next few days as I, and you all enjoy this time away from distraction and with the people we care most about! A certain little boy will fall asleep tonight excited and with his dreams filled with thoughts of Father Christmas flying around the world.