Thursday, 31 July 2014

Holidays: The UK, Our Way

A family holiday abroad during the Summer holidays can be really expensive so it's not surprising to hear that more and more families are opting to stay in the UK for their Summer break. And why not? There are some pretty fantastic places to visit right on our doorstep. Beautiful beaches, luscious green parks and history trips a-plenty.

With so many places to visit, you definitely want to make sure you've planned ahead to make the most of your family time together. Once you know where you want to stay, you'll want to start planning your trip. Where to go? What to see? Where to eat? What is there for the kids? These are questions that you research before your holiday so you can have a great time! 

Parkdean have put together a fun-filled guide to visiting and staying around the UK, with the help of 1269 children, who all voted for their favourite things to do, places to go and things to see in the UK. The guide, The UK, Our Way, is available to view online or to print off. 

Inside the guide you'll find page after page of useful information including where some of the best beaches are, the best places to get fish and chips or ice cream and even the best places to fly a kite! When you view the guide online, if you are unsure exactly where a recommended place is, you simply click on the place and it will take you to Google maps.

It is great to see some of my favourite places in Scotland featured. Edinurgh Zoo is listed as one of the top zoos to visit and there are some excellent photo opportunities on the Isle of Bute or the Isle of Skye.

One of the places featured heavily in the guide is Cornwall, a place I'd really love to visit. Polzeath Beach sounds gorgeous and perfect for crab hunting. I've also heard that The Rainforest at the Eden Project is a really great place to visit with the kids. 

Family holidays are about getting the most out of your time together, away from work and school but also about being able to chill out, enjoy yourselves and make lasting memories. If you can't manage a holiday abroad then definitely have a look at "The UK, Our Way" guide to get some inspiration for your next UK holiday. 

Where are some of your favourite places to visit? Are any of them mentioned in the guide?

In association with Parkdean Holidays. 

Me & Mine #7

This month has been about spending time together as a family on holiday! I took this photo when we went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We saw the mirror and I thought, what a cool place to take our picture! The kids were excited as they'd just won their Sponge Bob toys!

Not happy with just one photo from our holidays, I had my Sister take a picture of us all with my phone.

I've been loving the sunshine and lying outside whilst the kids splash about in the pool. It's been hard trying to get myself to work after a day in the sun mind you!

Husband enjoyed his time off work and he loved watching 24 on TV again!

Z enjoyed watching the World Cup. He got really in to the football and knows more about the players than Husband does!

Miss C loved being on holiday and meeting Bella and Pops' new dog. She's also been loving her horse riding, as always. 

I can't believe we've only got five more monthly pictures to go for the year!

dear beautiful

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Year My Blog Turned Five

It was five years ago, on July 23rd, that I sat down at my computer and decided to start my blog. I've always loved writing and I used to write story after story when I was younger. With family living all over the world, and my own story with my own family beginning, I thought a blog would be a great way to keep track of our adventures and for my family and friends to keep up to date with the family.

I came up with the name Yummy Mummy Flabby Tummy on the spot. I'd been reading an article in a magazine about how celebrity mothers seemed to bounce back in to shape after having a baby and they were labelled the "Yummy Mummies". Personally, I still had a baby pouch after having Miss C only 2 months before (and that has never gone away despite many a workout sessions with Insanity and T25) and couldn't grasp how these women got their figures back so quickly. The only Yummy thing around me was all the yummy cake I kept eating whilst feeding Miss C. But it came to me straight away, the perfect contradiction, and it always makes me smile. I love that it rhymes too since I'm partial to a poem or two.

At first, I would post once or twice within a fortnightly period. As the years have passed, I've posted more and more. I enjoy joining in with a few link-ups every week, especially those photography based ones. I've developed a real passion for photography since I started blogging.

Blogging has opened up lots of opportunities for me which I am so grateful for. We've worked with some fantastic brands and had amazing trips and holidays. Of course, this isn't why I blog, but it is amazing to have these opportunities as part of my blog. Our favourite trip was when we visited Auchrannie on the Isle of Arran. It was beautiful and well worth a visit if you are ever in Scotland.

Over the years, my babies have grown up and I love sharing their stories and adventures. The things that make me laugh and the things that get me frustrated. We've shared triumphs and achievements. We've shared love and joy. We've shared heartache and devastation. Stories that we will be able to read together when they are older and laugh as we remember the times we had. The memories we made. As we continue to make more memories, I'm excited and inspired to keep recording them on my blog.

How long have you been blogging for? What's your inspiration for blogging?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Our Anniversary Date

Two weekends ago, Husband and I went out on a date for our anniversary. My MIL had taken the kids in the morning so we had the full day to ourselves. We lazed about, watched TV and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

The kids were going to stay over at friend's house and my MIL was dropping them off there after dinner so we didn't even need to get them ready for bed.

Husband had booked a table at a fantastic restaurant in town. We went there for Husband's birthday in January and the food was delicious. I'm surprised Husband remembered how good the food was as he'd had a full bottle of champagne before he left the house. He didn't make that mistake before our date, even with a bottle of Tattinger chilling in the fridge.

I decided to wear a leather-look skirt from Miss Selfridge, a red vest top from New Look and my favourite black shoes from New Look. I had treated myself to a new Dior lipstick in a gorgeous red colour. It's called Dior Rouge Blossom. Red is one of my favourite lipstick shades but you do have to be careful as some shades can be a bit too red! But this shade was just perfect and well worth the £26 it cost.

Husband looked very handsome in his suit and purple shirt.

We headed out for our meal at 8pm. We'd had a few drinks before we left the house and we were starving for our dinner. We ordered scallops to start and for mains I had a cajun chicken dish whilst Husband had a seafood pasta dish. For pudding, Husband had sticky toffee pudding and I had a cheesecake which was really yummy but really indulgent too and I couldn't eat it all. We chatted about lots of things and had a really lovely time.

We decided to head home after dinner and watched TV in our jammies. We were up early for the Next sale and ended up going back to bed until 12pm! It was so good not having to worry about getting up for the kids and being able to laze about for 24 hours and enjoy having some time just for us.

The perfect anniversary date.

Monday, 28 July 2014

First School Shoes

"Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world." - Marilyn Monroe

That's what I'll be hoping Miss C does when she starts school in just three weeks time, wearing her beautiful red patent Lelli Kelly shoes. Well, maybe not the world, but at least Primary 1.

Shoe shopping is one of my favourite things to do and whilst I am itching for a pair of the famous red soled shoes (aka Louboutins), Miss C was adamant she wanted red patent (glittery) shoes for school. Luckily the shoe shop had a pair in her size and, whilst not totally glittery, they come with interchangeable straps that do have a bit of sparkle in them. Miss C was so excited to get them, she immediately wanted to wear them and show them to her best friend...pretty much what I like to do with new shoes too.

Aside from the first school shoes, the most important pair of shoes in a girl's life are her first shoes. Here is Miss C sporting her first pair of Clarks shoes when she was 15 months old. 

I can't believe she's about to start Primary 1 in just three weeks!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Week That Was #28

Last Sunday, I took Miss C to horse riding for her lesson. Her horse, Jocky, had been a bit naughty that morning so Miss C got to ride a horse called Jack. He was a bit more sprightly than Jocky so she needed some help with guiding him round the school. The kids also had swimming lessons and then it was home for tea of homemade chili. It was delicious.

On Monday, it was back to work for me and back to club for the kids. In the afternoon, the kids played outside until Bello arrived. He arrived to stay for a few days. The kids were very excited to see him as they haven't seen him in over a year. They played outside with Z's new putting machine.

On Tuesday, I picked the kids up after work from their club and it was a really hot day. I was sweating by the time I got to the club and was ready to jump in a cold shower by the time I got home. We enjoyed a chilled out day at home. Miss C was loving her Soreen chocolate loaf that we, finally, found at our local Tesco.

On Wednesday, I picked the kids up from club and we went to town to pick up Miss C's school shoes. She was really excited and delighted with her red patent Lelli Kelly shoes. Their patent shoes wear really, really well and Miss C loved the look of the interchangeable straps. After town, we headed home to relax in the coolness of the house. It was another scorching day! Perfect weather for the Commonwealth opening ceremony!

On Thursday, Miss C went to play at her friend's house for the day so Z and I had a day together with Bello. We went in to town to get some shopping and then went for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant that was really yummy. Miss C had a brilliant day with her friend and wasn't too impressed when I came to pick her up!

On Friday, we went to the shops in the morning to get our food shopping. We had lunch with Bello before he had to go to the airport to fly back home. The kids enjoyed playing Minecraft together whilst I got on with some housework. After dinner, we all settled down to watch The Golden Compass.

On Saturday, I had to work in the morning. In the afternoon, we went in to town to get Miss C some new shoes and to get Z a haircut. After dinner, the kids watched Home Alone and were in hysterics!

My Sunday Photo / The Black and White Photo Project #3

Another one of my favourite Black and White photos which I'm linking up to the Black and White Photo Project.

I love this picture of Z and I. Apart from my roots. Black and white is clearly not a good look when it comes to needing your roots done!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 201 - 207

Day 201 - A spot of putting practise
Day 202 - Krispy Kremes...enough said
Day 203 - Enjoying some chocolate Soreen
Day 204 - New school shoes
Day 205 - A spot of math 
Day 206 - Rocking the Ray-Bans
Day 207 - Happy new hair

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Summer Week 3 #CountryKids

It started off nice and sunny
We had fun times at our club
We played lots of sporty games
We had yummy packed lunch grub

As the week went on
And on Mum's day off
It started to rain a lot
And we were all in a huff

We couldn't visit the park
As much as we wanted to
We had to stay indoors
And read a book or two

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 25 July 2014

Flashback Friday - A First Trip to the Farm Park

Miss C's first trip to our local farm park was just a few days after her first birthday. We went along with friends and their kids and had a really fun day out.

Miss C wasn't walking yet so she spent most of her time in her buggy but did enjoy coming out for a shot on the swings.

She loved seeing all the animals and was in fits of giggles watching the monkeys jump around in the enclosure.

After an afternoon outside in the sun, we headed to the indoor soft play area and Miss C enjoyed cruising around and sitting on the cool mats inside the soft play.

Z had been to the farm park before. In fact, his first visit was for his 2nd birthday, four days after Miss C was born so it was almost to the day that we took Miss C for her first visit a year later.

mummy mishaps

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Playmobil Police Truck with Speedboat - Review

Our second set from our Playmobil Playologist delivery was the Police Truck with Speedboat. This set is from the City Action range. It is aimed at ages 4 and over and, because the speedboat has a motor to make it go in water, it does require 1AA battery , which is not included. This is a great set for encouraging imagination and role play.

Z and Miss C started to assemble the Police truck first. They found it fairly easy to do themselves until they got to the wheels and fitting them over the alloys. I had to do this bit for them. I had to do the same with the wheels for the trailer that the speedboat sits on and also the string parts that hold the speedboat on to the trailer. It took us about 30 minutes to complete.

The trailer can be attached to the back of the Police Truck and removed again easily. The doors on the Police Truck open and the roof comes off so the kids were able to pop their Police Officers in to the truck and help them get on with their high speed chase. The set comes with two Police Officers so there was no arguing over who got to be who, just who got to have the big gun.

The accessories that come with the set include binoculars, a camera, a torch, 3 guns and a box to keep everything in in the back of the truck. There are some very small pieces hence the recommended age is from age 4 and up.

The extra fun part of this set is the motor which attaches to the bottom of the speedboat so children can play with the speedboat in the bath or in the paddling pool (if this weather continues!) We haven't tried it yet however, if it's anything like the submarine we reviewed previously, the kids might prefer to have it off and move it around at their own pace. Still, it is fun to watch it move in the water itself.

The Police Truck with Speedboat is currently priced at £39.99 on the Playmobil website. For this price, you get a very well made toy that would last really well. There are additional sets available in the City Action range which would make great add-ons to this toy or bigger sets that can make up a whole lot of action fun.

We received the Police Truck with Speedboat to review as part of the Playmobil Playologist programme. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Animals #TheGallery

Miss C LOVES animals. Her love for animals is so strong, I think she may prefer them to people sometimes. When we went to meet our new nephew a few months ago, Miss C was more interested in the guinea pig called Thomas. The new baby didn't get as much as a glance from Miss C!

The new love in Miss C's life are horses. She loves going horse riding and absolutely adores her regular horse, Jocky. Isn't he a handsome boy? He has the loveliest white marking on his face and his forelock is so long, you have to pull it to the side to see his eyes. He has a funky purple headband which I think makes him look very cool.

I love horses and it makes me so happy to see Miss C enjoying horse riding. I'm sure she's going to be a vet or a farmer when she's older. She's like a Dr Dolittle in waiting. 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Fish With the Deep Sea Smile - Book Review

We received The Fish With the Deep Sea Smile from Parragon Books to review. This story is written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Henry Fisher.

A family set off on a boat in search of the fish with the deep sea smile. They come across lots of different kinds of fish in their search, including a fish with terrible claws! In the end, they manage to find the fish with the deep sea smile and find that he was definitely worth searching for.

This is a really lovely book, with colourful pictures throughout. It's quite a short book so it would hold the attention of a young toddler right up to the age where children are starting to read for themselves.

The Fish With the Deep Sea Smile is available to buy from Amazon.

We received this book for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Me & You #7

Z took this photo of Husband and I when were on holiday a few weeks ago. It was late at night (9pm!) after a long day of activities and an early rise from the kids so we both look shattered. Miss C's balloon decided to join in on the photo too. They love taking photos of Husband and I together.

Both of our parents got divorced after only a few years of marriage. Because of this, Husband and I work hard at our marriage. Not that I see our marriage as hard work. There are times we drive each other crazy and there are definitely things that we don't agree upon. We are both pretty stubborn too! But those moments are monumentally outweighed by the good times we have together. We are the best of friends and we laugh a lot. We made the two most amazing little people together, who we adore. We show them every day just how much they mean to us by being there for them and showing them how much we love them and how much we love each other. How much we respect each other.

Earlier this week, Husband and I celebrated our eight year anniversary. Those eight years have brought us laughter, love, family, sad times, hard times, times we didn't think we'd get through and it's made us even closer and stronger.

dear beautiful

The Week That Was #27

Last Sunday, Z had a Harry Potter themed birthday party to attend. He was very excited as he's loving reading the books and watching the films just now. The parents of the birthday child had done a great job with party games and food and there was a magician to entertain the kids too. Z had a brilliant time. After the party, we headed home to get ready for swimming lessons.

On Monday, it was back to day shift for me which meant the kids got to go to their Summer club. Husband dropped them off at 10am and I picked them up from work when I finished. They'd played dodge ball, football and got to do some drawings. They had a brilliant time. The weather was miserable so when we came home, Z and I did some more Math whilst Miss C coloured in a picture of a horse. We then watched some of the fourth Harry Potter movie.

On Tuesday, it was a nicer day so after work I walked down to the club to pick the kids up. They'd had a brilliant time playing football. Miss C almost scored a goal! We spent the rest of the afternoon drawing, doing some more Math with Z and playing outside.

On Wednesday, I picked the kids up from their club and we headed in to town to pick up a few things. It started to rain so we made a quick dash back to the car. By the time we got home, it was sunny again! We spent the rest of the afternoon playing football outside.

On Thursday, the kids wanted to stay at their club until 4pm. A few hours peace for me? Why not! I picked them up at 4pm and they were shattered. We walked home and enjoyed some relaxing time watching TV and playing. After dinner, energy restored, they headed outside to play in the sunshine.

On Friday, my MIL picked the kids up at 10am and took them to her farm for the day. Husband and I enjoyed a full day and night together as the kids were having a sleepover at Miss C's God Father's house. They were very excited. Husband and I went out for dinner and enjoyed a few drinks.

On Saturday, Husband and I were up early to go to the Next sale. We did quite well! The kids came home at 1pm, we had lunch and then headed in to town to pick up Miss C's school jacket. It's a gorgeous red Mayoyal jacket and she looks so cute wearing it. We then headed to the shoe shop to get school shoes but they didn't have any in Miss C's size. Z got a lovely pair of Startrite shoes. He had those shoes for last year and they lasted him the full school year. We ordered a Chinese for dinner and enjoyed a picnic in the living room together.

My Sunday Photo / Black and White Project #2

I went back in time with my black and white photo project this week but with very good reason.

This week was our wedding anniversary and this is one of my favourite photos from our wedding.

It was actually changed to black and white by the photographer. It makes it such a timeless photo. The only thing that would date the photo would be the dress and hairstyle I have.

I love how Husband and I are just smiling at our guests and not directly at the camera. The photographer captured the moment so perfectly.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 194 - 200

Day 194 - All set for a Harry Potter Party
Day 195 - Chicken Tikka for dinner
Day 196 - Happy Anniversary present
Day 197 - A fancy treat
Day 198 - Can't believe she didn't fall off
Day 199 - Date night 
Day 200 - A Chinese picnic

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Summer Week Two #CountryKids

Summer week two
What did we do?

We lay around a lot
Enjoying the sun
The pool was filled with water
As were the water guns

Trips to the park
Monkeying around
Sunbathing on 
The merry-go-round

Summer week two
We did enjoy you!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 18 July 2014

Check in to the Playmobil Suite

If you are a huge Playmobil fan, then a visit to the Playmobil Suite at the very prestigious The Waldorf Hilton, London should be on your list of things to do this Summer.

The Playmobil Suite is open for bookings right up until the 20th of August. Children will be able to immerse themselves in all things Playmobil, including toys from the Pirates, Dragons, Princess and Zoo range whilst parents can enjoy room service and some time to relax...or join in with playing with the toys!

The collaboration with Playmobil and The Waldorf Hilton is to mark Playmobil's 40th anniversary since the toys were launched back in 1974. It also launches the start of the impending "Birthday Tour" where 40 fans’ favourite characters from 1974 through to the present day will be popping up over the coming months across the UK to inspire kids’ imaginations for this milestone year.  Keep an eye on the Playmobil UK Facebook page to find out when and where!

We'd love to be able to visit the Playmobil Suite but it's a bit far for us to travel. Is it somewhere you could see yourself going with your kids?

This post is written as part of our role as Playmobil Playologists.

Flashback Friday - A First Trip to the Fair

Miss C's first proper Summer was back in 2010, just after she turned one. We were really lucky that year to go on some fun days out and the first one we went on was a trip to the funfair.

Miss C was still too small to go on most things however, we did take her on the lazy river ride. A much gentler and drier version of the river rapids. She wasn't too bothered with it.

Z had a great time on his first trip to the fair. He got on quite a few things and he really enjoyed the mini rollercoaster.

I'm not sure what he is pointing to here, but this photo always makes me smile. His face is so funny!

We had a lovely day at the fair and we had taken a picnic with us for lunch. We were able to sit on benches and enjoy the sunshine. After lunch, we took a stroll through the forest to the other side of the funfair. Then it was time for more rides.

mummy mishaps

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