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holiday

We’re On Holiday – Our Anniversary Week Begins Here

Ant and I have come to Hemsby in Norfolk for the week to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary which is on Monday. We always try to get away for our anniversary week, just the two of us 🙂

Anniversary Week

We left around 10 this morning and after stopping at Nanny’s then calling for a Costa coffee, we were off.

Costa Coffee - I'm now officially on holiday for our anniversay week

The chalet was available at 2 pm so we had time to stop off at McDonald’s for lunch. I really enjoyed it because it’s been over a year since I last had a McDonald’s!

McDonald's iced caramel frappe

After getting the keys to the chalet and unloading the car we went to Tesco to pick up our Click and Collect order. I’d ordered a meal deal so Ant didn’t have much cooking to do. For a tenner, it was a really good deal; we had potato dauphinoise, ham wellington and peas (not included in the deal) followed by salted caramel profiteroles. I think Ant enjoyed the bottle of red wine!

I’m not sure what we’re doing tomorrow yet. I saw a sign for some water gardens on the way here so I’m going to check it out.

I also want to find some charity shops and have a look at the books!

 

New Dresses For Our Anniversary Holiday

We’ll be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary at the end of April. Whenever possible, we like to go away for a week for our anniversary.

My mum usually comes to have the children while we’re away because they’re at school but this year their elder brother, Jervais, is coming to stay for the week. We’re going to stay in a chalet in Norfolk but a different place to where we went last year. We went to Mundesley last year; this year we’re going to Hemsby.

New Dresses

The recent wonderful weather looks set to continue so I was delighted when Fashion World got in touch and asked if I’d like some new dresses 🙂

I’m usually a t-shirt and leggings kind of gal but I figured I could get some dresses that I could wear with leggings! I’m not very adventurous when it comes to buying new clothes. I stick to black, grey and navy blue usually and clothes that will cover my belly and arms.

When I saw all the gorgeous dresses I decided to be brave and pick things I wouldn’t normally choose.

Colour!

I admit I did pick a grey dress for my first choice but not just because it was grey. The style is nice and it looks so comfortable.

new dress - grey ruffle

I was a bit more adventurous with my next choices; I actually moved away from black and grey!

New red dress new dresses - pink floral

Even though the colour of the next dress is more me, the style is not something I would usually choose. Also, it’s not really a dress you can wear leggings with so I’ll have to be brave when I wear this. It’s been years since I showed my legs!

New dresses - light blue and white

My final choice is more my usual colour and style. I love this one the most. It’s really comfortable, looks good with leggings and was perfect to wear when we went for Sunday lunch at a local pub today to celebrate Aiden’s upcoming 18th birthday and my step-daughter, Kellyann’s birthday. They both have their birthday in Tuesday but Kellyann lives in Sheffield and won’t be here so we celebrated today 🙂

I can’t wait for our holiday next week, I’m so excited!

 

Please note: I was sent these lovely dresses in return for this blog post

KayCee’s in Greece

Our gorgeous girl has gone to Greece with her best friend, Emma 🙂 They look like they’re having a wonderful time, although KayCee is suffering from burnt shoulders. She’s been putting sunblock on, but I fear she’s not been reapplying it often enough.

At The Airport

KayCee and Emma at the airport going to Greece

Greece

KayCee on the beach at Greece

 

KayCee and Emma on the beach at Greece

 

KayCee and Emma in the car - Greece holiday

She’s due back on Wednesday and I think Ella will be the most pleased to see her! They fight like cat and dog when they’re here, but Ella is really missing her.
She’s been getting tearful at bedtime because KayCee isn’t there and she said she’s been there for all of her life.

She’s slept at friend’s houses twice this holiday because she doesn’t like sleeping in her room without KayCee!

More Disneyland Paris Photos!

More Disneyland Paris Photos

I know I bombarded you with photos the other day but they have so many lovely photos I wanted to share a few more. Kaycee and Ella are going to love looking back at the blog and seeing all these photos when they’re older.

Kaycee has started reading my old blog posts now and she loves seeing photos and reading about the things she got up to with Ella when they were little.
That was the whole purpose of starting the blog for me so it’s lovely seeing her reading a post and enjoying the memories 🙂

I hope we get the chance to take them to Disneyland Paris one year. It looks amazing and I’d love to experience it with them sometime.

Mickey and Donald on parade - Disneyland Paris Photos Kellyann, Kaycee and Ella with Minnie Mouse - Disneyland Paris Photos The castle lit up at night - Disneyland Paris Photos Ella - Disneyland Paris Photos Ian, Kellyann, Kaycee and Ella - Disneyland Paris Photos Donald Duck signing Ella's autograph book - Disneyland Paris Photos Kaycee and Donald Duck - Disneyland Paris Photos Donald Duck playing with Ella's hair - Disneyland Paris Photos Ella with Donald Duck - Disneyland Paris Photos Kaycee, Ella and Donald Duck - Disneyland Paris Photos Kellyann, Kaycee and Ella in front of the castle - Disneyland Paris Photos Kaycee and Ella trying to pull the sword from the stone - Disneyland Paris Photos Kaycee and Ella - Disneyland Paris Photos Ella posing in Mickey hands - - Disneyland Paris Photos Kaycee and Ella - Disneyland Paris Photos Kellyann, Kaycee and Ella - Disneyland Paris Photos Kaycee and Ella - Disneyland Paris Photos Ian, Kellyann, Kaycee and Ella Kellyann, Kaycee and Ella - Disneyland Paris PhotosThese are the Christmas decorations they bought me. I can’t wait to hang them on the tree 🙂

Minnie and Mickey Christmas tree ornament - Disneyland Paris Photos

Minnie and Mickey Christmas Tree Ornament - Disneyland Paris Photos

 

More Mundesley Photos – Sand, Sea and a lovely church

Mundesley Photos

 

I took my Nikon camera with me to Mundesley, Norfolk. It’s been ages since I used it because I’ve not needed it since getting my Samsung phone.

I do like the macro setting on it, though, so figured I’d take it to the beach and see what I could find to photograph.
I have to say, the best photo that was taken at the beach while we were on holiday was taken using a Samsung S5. The super wonderful husband took it using his phone. It’s the one in the header image above.

Unlike me, he’s able to get right down to the ground. Well, I can get down but I’d not be able to get back up again!. I think it’s an excellent photo 🙂

Mundesley photos

Mundesley photos

Mundesley photos

Mundesley photos

Mundesley photos

Mundesley photos

Mundesley photos

Mundesley photos - beach and sea

Mundesley photos - Ant

 

Skegness Aquarium – Great day out

Skegness Aquarium

We spent the week in a caravan at Mablethorpe for half term last week. We’ve been quite a few times and usually, visit either the Seal Sanctuary or Hardy’s Animal Farm.
While Googling for prices to Hardy’s, I saw a link to the Skegness Aquarium. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the animal farm. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really great family day out but I wasn’t in the mood for another farm visit.

I talked to Ant and we decided to give the aquarium a go seeing as we’d never been.

Very Impressed

We were really very impressed with the whole experience. I booked a family ticket online for £27 which was for 2 adults and 2 children.
If you buy a family ticket, you can then get a pass which entitles you to visit again in the same week for only £2 per person, per visit.

We enjoyed it so much, we went back again for a second visit!

Skegness aquarium

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We found Nemo! Dory was spotted as well but I didn’t manage to get a photo!

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I adore seahorses. I spent ages just watching them while the girls were in The Stockade

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When Ella saw the diver with the sign below, she got very excited. She wanted to book a dive there and then. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit in with our budget so we couldn’t book it but she’s now determined to save her Christmas, birthday and any other money she gets so she can have a dive with Nudge, a shark who she now loves! I did try to get a photo of Nudge but he was too fast for me and they all ended up blurry!

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The Stockade

Below is The Stockade. The lovely girls (sorry if any guys work in the stockade, we didn’t see any when we visited but some might work there in other days!) do face painting, arts and crafts and games with the children. All of it is included in the ticket price which I thought was absolutely brilliant. Most places like this charge for extras and the day ends up costing a fortune.

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The girls got glitter tattoos when we went on Friday because they were doing a special Halloween weekend. Here’s Ella taking part in musical statues.

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Wet Labs

Below is Judith who we think is the absolute star of the aquarium. She does the talk when the divers are feeding the fish and she gets the children to ask the divers questions and writes them down for them to read. They then write back their answers and Judith reads them out.

Here she is doing her other job which is the Wet Labs Touch Pool Session. She spent around half an hour, at least, talking to Kaycee and Ella and answering their many, many questions! She was wonderful with them, so patient and knowledgeable.  We really were very impressed with her.

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I learnt something from her that I previously didn’t know. In the photo below you can see a mermaid’s purse. I’d never heard of these. She told us that a mermaid’s purse is the egg casing that surrounds the fertilised eggs of some sharks, skates and chimaeras.

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You not only find fish here, they also have other things like scorpions, millipedes and spiders amongst others.

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Solve a quiz, get some treasure

When you arrive, the kids are given a quiz to do on their way round the aquarium. You have to find the answers to the questions by reading the info boards.
At the end, they’ll get some treasure.

Coffee time

When we were ready for a coffee, we headed up to The Bistro. We were expecting to have to buy expensive cups of coffee but again we pleasantly surprised. The mugs of coffee were massive! Ant had an americano, I had a hot chocolate, also massive, and the girls had a slushy each. It came to about £8 which we thought was a great price. We’d already eaten but if we hadn’t, we’d have eaten there because the food prices were great as well.

While we relaxed with our coffee, the girls went in the soft play area, which again, was included in the ticket price.

In conclusion, we’ve never been as impressed with a family day out as we were with Skegness Aquarium. It was well worth the money, we spent around 3 hours there and could have stayed longer if it had stayed open later!

You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

I wasn’t asked to write this review. We had such a great time, we just wanted to share it with everyone 🙂

Donna Nook Nature Reserve

We went to see the seals at Donna Nook Nature Reserve today and I’m pleased to say we had a better experience than the last time we went!

Here’s a bit about the seals from the Donna Nook website:

Grey seals

For much of the year, grey seals at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts’ Donna Nook National Nature Reserve are at sea or hauled out on distant sandbanks. Every November and December, the seals give birth to their pups near the sand dunes: a wildlife spectacle which attracts visitors from across the UK.

The Viewing Area – open late October to December

For your own safety and to reduce disturbance to the seals all visitors should stay in the designated viewing area and follow the Visitor Guidelines.

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Seal

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Seal

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Anthony and Ella having a cuddle

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Close up of orange berries

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - RAF warning sign

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Seal in the sea

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Seal in the sea

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Seals on the beach and in the sea

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Kaycee and Ella walking on the path

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Evening sky

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Evening sky

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Ella

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Kaycee

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Flock of birds

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Kaycee and Ella

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Anthony

 

Donna Nook Nature Reserve - Evening sky

 

Featherdown Farm Holiday

We’re all getting pretty excited here and no it’s not another Christmas post, (‘cos let’s face it, I’m a bit of a Christmas nut and the excitement for that time of year is slowly creeping up on me!) it’s a Featherdown Farm post because our holiday starts tomorrow :o)

I really can’t wait to get away for the week with Ant and the kids and the thought of cooking all our food on a wood burner in the tent or on a fire outside fills me with happiness!

I normally plan a full menu for the week when we go on holiday which usually includes a complete shopping list to accompany it, although we’re not that good at sticking to lists when it comes to holiday food shopping.
It seems to have become a tradition with us that whenever we go on holiday we spend half of the first day in Tesco, stocking up for the week and we usually spend more than double our weekly shop because we buy treats for everyone; things we’d normally say no to on a regular shopping trip get put into the trolley because, ‘hey, we’re on holiday, we might as well enjoy it’, syndrome steps in!

This year however, I aim to stick to my slimming world diet, so I won’t be buying too many goodies! I’m pleased we’ve chosen this holiday and not one where I’ll be tempted by fish and chips and hot doughnuts!
I haven’t planned the food though and I’m running out of time so I’d best get some ideas down for cooking on a wood burning stove!

This will be my last post for the week. I was going to schedule some for next week but again I’m running out of time so you all get a break from me for one whole week!

See you in November :o)

Sooooo excited – Feather Down Farm

Today, we booked our annual family holiday. We’re going on a Feather Down Farms holiday to Howbeck Lodge Farm in Cumbria and I’m so excited!
We’ve never been on this kind of holiday before; we’ve always opted for a week on the coast, playing on the beach, funfair and going in the arcades. It’s the kind of holiday I’m used to as it’s what we did as family when I was little but this year we decided a change of pace was needed.

We wanted a holiday that didn’t include bright flashing lights, noise and having to spend, spend, spend because everything is aimed at getting the children to ask for this, that and the other.
We wanted to spend time as a family, playing board games, reading, exploring the countryside and relaxing.

We’re going in October for the half term week so we’re going to be taking extra warm clothes and bedding!

I love streams/rivers/waterfalls etc so when I saw this photo, I was hooked! We did consider going to the one in Northern Ireland as Ant raised his children there with his first wife and we wanted to go and see where he used to live but the ferry prices were too expensive.
We will go to Northern Ireland one day, maybe on a romantic holiday, just the two of us 🙂

Anyway, I now have lots of plans and lists to make (I LOVE list making) so Excel, here I come!

Wonderful week at Butlins, Skegness – Friday

Related Posts: Saturday ~ Sunday ~ Monday ~ Tuesday ~ Wednesday ~ Thursday

As the title says, our half term week at Butlins, Skegness was wonderful.
We arrived some time after 4pm last Friday and went to check in. Ant does the check in while I wait in the car with the kids and unlike last year, (we went to Haven) we were only waiting a few minutes. It was excellent!

We found our apartment quite easily and were pleasantly surprised when we went inside. We were in a standard second floor apartment and expected it to be a lot smaller than what it was.
It was very clean and and had lovely, comfy, squashy sofas! Every place we’ve stayed in before, be it caravan or cottage, have always had hard, uncomfortable sofas but not this time!
There was a lake out the front and loads of ducks roamed around.

There were a few little niggles in the apartment, like the sink in the bathroom wasn’t fitted properly and moved about a bit, as did one of taps on the sink but it didn’t detract from our overall experience.
In the kitchen, there were adequate utensils, pots and pans and something even more impressive, it had a tin opener that actually worked better than ours at home! (You can probably tell from this statement that tin openers are usually old and useless in holiday homes/caravans in our experience!).

We decided to have fish and chips for dinner on our first night. Ant fetched our order from Finnigan’s.
The chips were lovely but I can’t say the same for the fish. The batter was soggy and I ended up scraping it off and just eating the fish, as did Aiden.
The girls had a child’s meal with chips and fish fingers and Ant had Sausage, chips and gravy. It came to £23 and we’ve decided we’re going to a chippie on the sea front next time we want chips!

The kids all wanted to sleep in the same room on the first night so we put KayCee’s mattress on the floor in the middle of the 2 beds in one of the twin rooms and they all slept well.
Ant and I on the other hand had a terrible first nights sleep. The double bed was very hard and I was awake more than I was a sleep. I ended up trying the sofa in the middle of the night but although it’s great to sit on, it really isn’t very good to sleep on. I ended up propped up with pillows trying to ease the pain in my back.
Ant said he woke every hour because the bed was too hard and we were both shattered on Saturday.

To be continued……

Please note: None of these posts have been sponsored by Butlins. We haven’t had any payment/free gifts from Butlins and paid for our holiday/food/entertainment in full.

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