Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Looking back at 2014.

It's nearly 2015! I can't believe how fast this year has gone. In this post I really wanted to look back through my favourite moments of 2014. It's been a year of ups and downs, mainly downs so I am really looking forward to saying goodbye to 2014 and a big hello to 2015. I can feel 2015 is going to be an amazing year for the boys and myself!

Last christmas I didn't have the children as it was their dad's turn to have them for the big day. It meant I had to throw another christmas when they returned right at the beginning of January. I did my best to decorate the house, cook a roast dinner and laid out a good spread of presents under the tree. It was a lovely day. Also in January, we had an amazing weekend with family in Cornwall. It's so nice when we are all together. We took the dogs for a long walk along the beaches and ate a ton of amazing food. I have so many nice memories from that weekend. 


There are no events for us in february, only the disaster that was the Valentine's day storms. Devon and Cornwall was battered. Our train line in and out of the county was destroyed and people were forced to evacuate their homes. Our local village, Cawsand pictured left was damaged by the storms. People's homes were flooded and they nearly lost their beloved clock tower to the sea. Thankfully the council have now begun work to restore the building. 


The February storms seemed to blow away winter and I remember March being a beautiful sunny month. We managed to get out and about a lot in march including visiting Newquay Zoo for the first time. The zoo is lovely and we also managed to take a trip into Newquay town for ice cream. March also saw our first beach trip without having to wear our coats. It was such a warm day that the boys even braved dipping their toes in the water. The big events in March were pancake day followed by lent and we managed to take part in both. We had great fun with cooking and flipping the pancakes. The boys gave up sugar for lent and I gave up something I can't live without, Caffeine and fizzy drinks. I didn't think I would be able to do it as it was all I was drinking at the time. I was so proud of myself when I went the full run without them. 


April marked the end of lent and the children's favourite holiday, Easter. This month was filled with many adventures including a train trip to Paignton, Devon to see their fun fair and to walk along the sea front. Also in April was our Easter family get together. We met for lunch at the Barbican, Plymouth and exchanged chocolate gifts with the children followed by fun at the huge easter fair on Plymouth hoe. 


May is mine and Alfie's birthday month. We were truly spoilt by family and had two very lovely parties. Alfie is pictured right at his favourite place to go, Frankie and Bennies. He loves that the waiters make the entire restaurant sing happy birthday to him. 


June was the month of Armed Forces Day, a day close to our hearts due to being a military family.  The Hoe was extremely busy with people coming out to honour all the services and to see the military vehicles, Ships,  demonstrations/displays, aircraft and the many fun activities for the children. The sun shone for the whole day and we gained so many fantastic memories. 


July is the month of Tom's birthday. He is lucky to be have been born in the summer because the weather is always so beautiful. He had an Angry birds cake which is his favourite game, and we visited a local summer fair with some of his friends. They had donkey rides and plenty of turns on the bouncy castle. We also spent most of July on the beach where we had some of our favourite days out/memories of the summer. 

I only had the boys for half of august as they spent two weeks with their dad over the holidays. I made up for lost time with some amazing days out. We visited Paignton Zoo for the first time as Thomas was so desperate to see the elephants. It is a lovely zoo with all the animals you expect to see and a fun train ride around the grounds. August also saw our family camping trip to St. Austell, Cornwall. This was our first time camping and we enjoyed every minute of it. We did have to cut the weekend short though as it was very cold at night and my sister, being pregnant, found it too uncomfortable. 


September marked the end of summer. The children went back to school and I headed back to work. We didn't stop with our adventures though. We went back to Paignton zoo as we loved it so much the first time and we had missed out some animals due to lack of time in August. That day also saw our very first vlog which you can see here.  We also visited the theatre to see Horrible Histories which the boys very much enjoyed. One great memory for us from september would be having the Queens horses come to stay on holiday in our local town. They gave the locals a display to say thank you for welcoming them. They were absolutely stunning horses. The weather was still warm in September so we also had more beach trips and time eating ice creams along the Plymouth coast line. 


October began to get cold but I was still determined to make the most of the month. My family came down to visit for one weekend. We visited our usual favourite fishing town Looe in Cornwall and ate pasties on the beach. October is one of my favourite months because of Halloween. I tend to go crazy over it, however, the boys were away again for Halloween this year but they tell me they had an amazing time. October is also special because it is the month I started blogging again! Check out my first post here if you would like. I wasn't having a good time and was feeling quite low at the time. I needed something to keep my mind of things and I remembered how blogging used to make me happy, especially the supportive people I met along the way. I started up again and I am so glad I did. 


November was a busy month for us. It started with Remembrance day which is so important to my family. Also we actually made it to a fireworks display this year. We had failed to see any fireworks the year before due to moving house so we made sure we went to the best one this year. Tom won a leopard at the display which he was so excited about. November saw another Zoo visit, this time to Dartmoor Zoo. I am obsessed with this place. I came here a lot as a child and loved that they made a Hollywood movie from it. We had a fantastic day and we are planning to go back in January because they have just got a new male lion. 

Finally on to December. Our favourite month of the year! This month was amazing and we loved every day. It felt like it went by so quickly and thats probably because we didn't stop with all the christmas activities. Our favourite moments are visiting the Mount Edgcumbe Christmas fair, Visiting Father christmas at the garden centre and of course the boys Christmas naivety play (yes, I cried). The big day itself was one of the best Christmas we have had in a very long time. Everyone I cared about was with me and thats all I wanted this year. The children were spoilt and their smiles made all the stresses melt away. It was a very special day. 

Well that was our year. It was full of ups and downs as is every year. I haven't included the downs as I plan to forget them and leave them behind in 2014. I only want to bring the happy memories shown above with me into 2015. 

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year and see you in 2015!

The List

Monday, 29 December 2014

Sunday Diary: A walk on the beach when the sun is setting.

Sunday started off very slow and we were still sat in our pyjamas at 2pm. This has been us pretty much all this week except for Christmas Day which was extremely busy for us. Today we had to do something at least as it is our last day together for a week. The boys are off up north to have a second christmas with their Dad. I miss them terribly when they are away and it is so hard waving them off even if it is only seven days. I asked the boys what they wanted to do and they really wanted to take their scooters down to our local beach. We left at the perfect time as the sun was close to setting so made for some stunning views.

The children spent an hour searching through the rock pools for shells and hoped to find a crab but unfortunately had no luck. There was some people today collecting cockles along the shore and we tried to find some too. We collected a couple but left them at the beach because neither of us are brave enough to try them. 

I sat and watch the boys play for a while and enjoyed their excitement every time they found a strange shaped stone or shell. They soon joined me to watch the sunset and to take a few selfies too.

I love this photo I snapped above of the boys holding hands. It shows the special bold they have together. Alfie was helping Tom to walk over a few slippery parts of the beach. 

When the sun was finally disappearing over the hills and we could no longer stand the cold, we headed home for a final scooter ride along the coast path. We definitely worked off the mince pies today.

The boys cheeks were so rosy when we got home, so we made some hot chocolates to warm us up. It really was a perfect sunday afternoon. 

Gem x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, 28 December 2014

#MySundayPhoto and The Black and White Photo Project

This is one of my favourite shots I took during our Christmas day walk. I wonder what Thomas was thinking while looking out to sea.

Gem x


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Testing out the new Christmas scooter.


Today has been yet another quiet day, thats what the holidays are about aren't they? Another reason is the horrible weather we have been having. Unlike the north of the country who have had their white christmas, we have had very heavy wind and rain. Thomas was very lucky to receive a brand new sporty scooter from Santa this year and has been so desperate to try it out. We have been peaking outside today every ten minutes hoping for a break in the rain so we can get out and about on his new toy. 

About 3pm we noticed a bit of blue sky so off we went to the park for some scooter fun. 

Tom received a special speeder scooter from Amazon which he has been asking for since the summer. Every time we visit the city he always ask me to go to toys r us so he can play on them. He also got a top of the range helmet but he hated it. He found it very uncomfortable and being a protective mum I had forced him to wear it. Of course then he refused to go out. I let him get his own way in the end but told him he couldn't go fast on the new scooter. If any one has any recommendations on helmets, please let me know. 

Tom was very good to allow his brother to have a go on the new scooter. Alfie struggled at first to get the hang of it but soon picked it up and was speeding around the park.

 We had about half an hour of outdoor time in the end. The grey clouds came back very quickly which upset me because after three days of being stuck in the house, I was so desperate for the fresh air. We ended our park visit with a race which you can see the winner below.

Gem x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 26 December 2014

Our Christmas Day


So Christmas has now been and gone. What an amazing day it was. It started a little bit later than I expected at 8 am. With the boys still being young I was expecting a 5am wake up call, the time my sister and I would wake up on Christmas morning. I was very grateful for the small lay in. Thomas was the first to come into my bedroom shouting 'mummy Santa has been' holding his stocking high up in the air. Alfie quickly followed with his little eyes half open and his legs all wobbly. They threw their stockings onto my bed and began to rip open the wrapping paper excitingly. Santa brought them  lots of chocolate, cowboy guns and bouncy balls.

The stockings were quickly forgotten about and they begged me to go down stairs to see what Santa has put under the tree. I made them wait behind the door so I could be there to see their reactions as they walked in. I love seeing their excited faces. As you can see below Santa was very kind to them this year.

The living room was ripped apart in record time. It took them ten minutes to destroy the wrapping paper and probably about an hour for me to clean it up. Thats part of christmas though so I didn't mind. The boys loved all of their presents and happily played together (which is rare) while I cooked them a breakfast of toast, eggs and fresh orange juice. After breakfast we had a surprise guest, my dad who I only get to see once or twice a month. This was a lovely surprise as we haven't spent christmas together for a very long time for various reasons. The boys were so excited and began to show their granddad everything they got for christmas. 

After getting all dressed up, we headed out to a village called Cawsand in Cornwall where my sister lives. It is a gorgeous seaside, victorian village looking out to the Plymouth sound. I love the cottages, the stoney beaches and narrow little streets here. We had a quick bite to eat at her beautiful home and exchanged our gifts for each other. The boys and I were very spoilt by my dad and sister and I really hoped they liked their presents too. After all the excitement, we decided to take my sisters cockapoo for a pre-christmas dinner walk along the seafront. It was so nice to get out into the fresh cold air to wake us up a little. 

My sisters in laws had very kindly invited us to their beautiful home for Christmas dinner. It was so nice to have everyone around us. The boys love spending time with their cousins and the grown ups had a big catch up over bottles of wine. The turkey was the biggest bird I had every seen, I am so sad I didn't get a picture for you but believe me when I say it was huge! We enjoyed every bite but i think the family are going to be enjoying turkey sandwiches and curry for at least the next two weeks. 

After dinner we exchanged more gifts over more bottles of wine. I received a beautiful scarf and yummy chocolates from my sister's in-laws and the boys received some lego which I will more than likely be building throughout boxing day. By about 8pm, the children were clearly exhausted so we headed home to bed. We had a very wonderful day with family and were truly spoilt. We don't get many days like this and I'm already looking forward to the next event together. 

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for all your support this year.

Gem, Alfie, and Thomas.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sunday walk

Even though it was raining today, I decided to get out of the house for a relaxing Sunday walk. Saturday was extremely stressful with having to brave the shops for the last minute Christmas gifts so I definitely needed the peace and quiet of our local park today. Walking clears my mind especially when I am stressing over wrapping, card writing, the presents I haven't brought yet and that dreaded food shop. 

We headed to our local park which over looks Plymouth's naval base. It has a small stoney beach which is not the cleanest in the world but its still fun for the boys to play on. The park itself is lovely though with plenty of trees to climb and room to have a game of football or races up and down the hill.

The walk ended quite quickly unfortunately as Thomas slipped over on a tree trunk and refused to walk any more. The half an hour that we spent in the fresh air was enough though to make us feel refreshed, so we headed back for some lunch and to watch The Grinch for the fifteenth time this week. I hope you like the photos from today as they were taken by my youngest Thomas who wanted to be a photographer for the day. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


My Sunday Photo


Friday, 19 December 2014

Our review of The Dinosaur that pooped series


This morning we received the amazing Dinosaur that pooped series to review. They were written by Dougie Poynter and Tom Fletcher from Mcbusted, one of my favourite bands. We already have The dinosaur that pooped Christmas as Santa placed it under the tree for the boys last year. Alfie and Thomas absolutely loved it and must have read it at least twenty times. They are typical boys who love dinosaurs and grossness so these books are perfect.

The boys sat in my bed this morning for ages reading and laughing at each story. Alfie especially loved The dinosaur that pooped the past. It sees Danny and his dinosaur friend take a trip back through history on a time travelling swing.  They meet new dinosaur friends along the way and stumble across an active volcano.
Thomas is reading The dinosaur that pooped a planet below. The back of the book reads: In space, No one can smell your poop... One boy. One space rocket. One very hungry dinosaur. And NO sandwiches. The ingredients for an explosive adventure. But how will Danny get home when his dinosaur eats their rocket? Thomas verdict on the book was that it was very funny and he loved the page where it just says 'POO'. He shouts it out very loud so not the best idea to read this book out in public. 
The next book is The Dinosaur that pooped Christmas. The back reads: Season's Eatings. Danny wants everything for christmas. But what he gets is a dinosaur, a very hungry dinosaur. Danny's new dino eats up all of Christmas, but as we all know, what goes in must come out. Danny is about to have the most explosive christmas of his life! There's poop, presents and prehistoric creatures in this festive feast. The book is extremely funny and I guess has the hidden message, don't to be so spoilt at Christmas! 

Overall, the boys found these books very fun to read and will happily read them over and over again. The words within the book rhyme which makes for an even more interesting read. Also the illustrations are gorgeous and tell the stories well, especially if your child is still finding reading a little difficult. We would definitely recommend the Dinosaur that pooped series to any child with a good sense of humour and who finds reading boring. These will make you chuckle and is completely different to anything we have seen before. 
Also Random house was kind enough to send the boys some dinosaur themed activity sheets which they have had great fun completing today. You can download your activity sheets through the Random house website here. There is also a fun game on their website which we have become very competitive at.

 Gem, Alfie and Tom x

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