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Articles tagged with: Photography

A Wet and Windy Trip To Scarborough...

on Tuesday, 18 November 2014.

When LL was just a few months old, we went on our first family holiday to Scarborough in North Yorkshire.  I randomly found via google a gorgeous cottage just outside of the little seaside town at a place called Humble Bee Farm.  We booked and paid for it before LL was born and when we eventually did visit we had a great time-  I have such fond memories of our first little break away as a family of four.  Humble Bee Farm is a working farm with lots of animals to see, it's perfect for little ones- you can even collect an egg for breakfast each morning from the hens which we did the first time we were there.  It's home to three amazing cottages, some pretty cool wigwams which our friend's have stayed in before, and also camping pitches too.  We really loved our adventure there back in May 2013.

Therefore a few weeks ago I was really excited to receive an email asking if we would like to go back to stay at Humble Bee Farm for a couple of nights.  We jumped at the chance to go back there but sadly due to Mr E having to work he wasn't able to come with us.  Still we got my second favourite big person in the form of my little sister Anna, who kindly said she would come along.  We were all really looking forward to our sisterly break.

We set off on Wednesday morning and didn't arrive in Scarborough until late afternoon as we unfortunately had car trouble- my car decided to break down on the side of the A1 in the pouring rain which was quite a scary experience.  Luckily a knight in shining armour (in the form of the RAC man) came to our rescue, and although the car wasn't completely better, he said it was ok to go on our merry way as long as we took it slow.  

Our cottage 'Merry Dale' was as gorgeous as I remembered- cosy, warm and inviting with a rather fabulous hot tub in the garden.  The girls were so excited to be there with their Auntie Anna and Mummy and after a dinner out at ASK, we all settled down in front of the fire for the evening.  We didn't actually end up doing all that much during our stay, it was just so wet and windy, so we spent a lot of time snuggling in the cottage and taking advantage of the 'bubbly swimming pool.'  In actual fact it was just what I needed- just to chill out for a bit and not rush around.

As usual, I thought because we didn't do that much, I hadn't taken that many photos but it turns out I still have a fair few that I love.

Here is our trip to Scarborough in photos and a little video...

 

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As soon as they woke up on our first morning they were straight in the hot tub- they loved splashing around- such a great idea for families as a little extra bonus to your stay at the cottage.

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There is nothing better than watching them giggle.

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They absolutely loved the bubbles.

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Funnily enough when we were here last time I got a photo of Mads in the hot tub that is one of my favourites of her ever, and this one is also now one of my all time favourites too- I think it's the fact she is completely happy and natural.  

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She was telling the duck off for splashing.

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LL is growing up so quickly all of a sudden- she still isn't talking much but is now saying about ten words.  I am willing time to slow down a little.

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Even though it was really cold we had to go out and visit these amazing rainbow beach huts again.

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I love this one of my girlies- I think I may get it framed for somewhere, although we are running out of space on our walls!

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Also looking rather grown up- and very, very cheeky!

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They had so much fun running up and down, playing games and being silly.  

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They are really playing with each other a lot at the moment, it's very sweet to see.

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 We went down on to the beach for a bit as quite frankly you can't go to the seaside without going and having a little paddle in the water.

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She always has a look of mischief on her face.

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It got so cold so quickly, our hands and fingers went so numb.  Why is the seaside in Winter always so cold?

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Writing their names in the sand.

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We had to go and warm up in a little tea room- and of course cake was compulsory too.

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We went back and had a snuggly afternoon back at our cottage- we got these cute little gingerbread snowmen to decorate as a little rainy day activity to do while away.

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Our creations.

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It was such a treat having the hot tub in the evenings when the girls were in bed- that really is the beauty of a cottage and the fact you don't have to hide out in the bathroom or go to bed at 8.30pm like you so often have to do in hotels.  One night we shared a bottle of bubbles in the bubbles. ;) 

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One great thing about Humble Bee Farm is how child friendly it is- they had a big box full of toys and books to keep them amused. 

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My children are like little magpies and are attracted to anything sparkly and bright- they love going to the 2p slot machines when we go to the seaside and to be fair I love it too, it reminds me of being little.

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Having fun even though it was pouring down outside.

 

Here is a little video of our adventures in Scarborough...

 

 

NB: We were invited back to stay at Humble Bee Farm free of charge for two nights after paying full price for a seven night stay the previous year.  Thanks so much to Humble Bee for inviting us- we loved our stay and will definitely be back again in the future.  Check out their website as they have some amazing winter rates if you fancy a little break away., especially in their wigwams.

 

Amsterdam in iPhone Photos...

on Wednesday, 12 November 2014.

I'm aware I have already posted so many photos (and a video!) of our Amsterdam adventures, but I had so many lovely, colourful photos of this beautiful city that I took on my phone camera, that it just seemed a shame not to share them.  Amsterdam is full of inspiration, colour, prettiness and exciting things around every corner, and I could have taken photos all day long.

Here is Amsterdam as through the eyes of my iPhone...

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Our flight with KLM left at 6am meaning that we were in the air for the most beautiful sunrise.

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Everywhere you looked there were beautiful crooked buildings and quaint little streets, we could have walked around for hours just looking in the shop windows and waving at the boats.

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Love this photo of myself and LL- she was in her element exploring and running about.

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We went to Pancakes! Amsterdam for some pancakes (obviously) and the waiter very kindly took a photo of us all.

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As a family we all have a little bit of a thing for pancakes so queued for an hour to get in- they were definitely worth the wait.

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My little lady checking out the tulips.

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 A cuddle with my big girl in Dam Square.

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Waiting for the ferry on the second day of our adventures.

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We went for lunch at Pllek, a cool bar/restaurant made out of old shipping containers.  The girls loved the fact that we weren't sat at a table, instead we snuggled up on cushions. 

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I had falafal, Mr E had a burger and Mads and LL had this weird sandwich which the waiter translated as 'brown sugar.'  We still aren't quite sure what they were eating but needless to say it went down well!

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After lunch we checked out some of the colourful street art, the girls loved running about in the big open space. 

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Posing.  We just loved the colours of all the graffitii and art.

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We hired bikes and had fun exploring the city.  I would love to say I had the bike with the girls in front, but in reality I did it for about two seconds before deciding it was far too scary, and letting Mr E take over.

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Another colourful street, honestly it was just such a family friendly place and we could have walked around for days without getting bored.

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We love you too Amsterdam.  We are definitely planning on coming back very soon.

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You can definitely tell they are not the milkman's.  How alike do they look? ;)

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Another cute little street.

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Is it acceptable to take your children down to breakfast in their pj's?  Probably not, but that's what we did.  It was delicious and Mads became obsessed with these weird chocolate sprinkle things that you put on bread and toast- nice and healthy.  We *may* have smuggled a few home in my bag.

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Taking a photo by the canals on our third day.  Our girls certainly aren't angels all the time, but they were so well behaved all weekend.

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Eating a waffle in Dam Square and watching the world go by.

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Bye Bye Amsterdam, thank you for all the adventures!

 

(Check out the #KLMFlyLocal campaign!) 

 

Check out my other Amsterdam posts-

A Child Friendly Weekend In Amsterdam Part One.

A Child Friendly Weekend In Amsterdam Part Two.

 

My Sisters In November.

on Monday, 10 November 2014.

As Mads and LL grow together I often find myself blinking back tears.  When I was pregnant with LL, I couldn't even imagine the bond that my girls would share. From the second that Mads ran down that hospital corridor shouting 'Baby', I couldn't be prouder of her.  Sometimes I will look at her and she will be staring at LL with what I can only describe as pure love in her eyes.  She protects her, loves her and is so proud of her little sister.

It's not all plain sailing though.  They argue and bicker non stop, at the moment a lot of the time it is because LL wants what Mads has and hasn't quite grasped the whole concept of sharing.  I will be tidying up the kitchen, or putting the washing away upstairs and will hear a commotion coming from the living room.  I can always guarantee the scene I will find- LL lying on the floor in mid tantrum, while Mads is usually holding something high above her head so her little sister can't reach it.  

But for all the bickering, it's never malicious.  These girls of mine love each other and share a bond so deep already.  It's the little things- the way that LL will see Mads after being away from each other in separate rooms at nursery and will run and hug her in pure excitement, or the way that Mads will whisper in her ear that she loves her and does she want to have a sleepover in her room.  Or the way that they snuggle in close together on the sofa or hold hands in the back of the car. 

One thing we have noticed at the moment is just how much more they are playing with each other.  LL will follow Mads around and copy what she is doing.  They then dissolve into hysterical giggles as they run around together.  We have a new little routine in our house in the evenings recently, where Mr E gets back from work and we put some One Direction on the television and the girls will put on a 'show'.  They jump around, dance and do roly poly's and Mr E and I have to sit and watch.  I always get a lump in my throat as I watch them laughing together, I couldn't be prouder of the little people that they are becoming. 

Our photos this month are from our trip to Amsterdam (mainly as I didn't really have time to take anymore- how is it the 10th already?!) where we truly had an amazing time together.  These two sisters of mine especially, running around and exploring together.

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This month I am sending you over to have a look at Carie's gorgeous threesome, I love having a peek over at her world as she has two little girls around Mads and LL's age but has just added a newborn little man to the mix! 

A Child Friendly Weekend In Amsterdam- Part Two.

on Thursday, 06 November 2014.

Last weekend we were lucky enough to visit the beautiful city of Amsterdam.  We had the most amazing weekend as a family and were so surprised about just how child friendly and relaxed the culture is over there.  We loved exploring and making memories together, and we are already talking about booking another stay for the Spring of next year as I would love to visit and see the tulips- it is such a colourful city even in Autumn, I can only imagine what it is like when it is in bloom.

 If you missed it here is Part One of our adventures.  We packed so much in to our stay that I have had to split my posts into separate parts.


Day Two

 

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Our junior suite room at the Movenpick Amsterdam City was large, with a separate lounge area with a sofa bed.  The large windows meant that in the morning the room was flooded with the most beautiful light.

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My happy girl waiting for the ferry.

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Everywhere you look there are bikes in Amsterdam and I didn't see one person wearing a helmet the whole time we were there, it's a little crazy to cycle there yet apparently it's one of the safest places in Europe to cycle.

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When we go to a new place we don't always want to do typical tourist things, and prefer to go off the beaten track a little.  My husband and I love colourful street art so when I read about the Amsterdam Noord area online I knew we had to visit it.  It's a bizarre area, with derelict buildings, abandoned boats and a real urban gritty scene, yet it houses some of the city's most creative and artistic communities, even MTV have a headquarters here.  It was quiet and there were lots of graffiti artists working while we were there.  It was amazing and it was definitely the highlight of our trip.  To get to Amsterdam Noord you need to hop on a ferry going to NSDM behind Centraal Station, they run 24 hours a day and are free.

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While we were there there I got asked to have my photo taken and had a little interview with the Dutch newspaper NRC Hardelsblad because they thought what I was wearing was stylish.  Definitely the first time I have ever, ever been called that!  I had to get the girls to pose with me because I hate posing for photographs on my own, I am so unconfident in front of the camera and prefer to hide behind it.  These guys do it better than me! ;)

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The girls loved running around the big open space in Amsterdam Noord.

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It was so quiet and deserted bar the odd street artist. 

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We didn't want to eat in a touristy place so headed to Pllek, a crazy looking restaurant made out out of old shipping containers.  

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Pllek had a really cool vibe, we sat on wooden blocks and cushions which the girls thought was really fun and meant they weren't confined to the table so much.

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I had falafel, Mr E had a burger and the girls had a sandwich which the barman translated as 'brown sugar'- it arrived and literally was that, bread and butter with little cereal sugar biscuits on top.  Needless to say they loved it.

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We decided to hire bikes to really explore the city- the girls went on the front and it was so long and a little scary!  But we loved exploring the city this way and they giggled non stop the whole time.

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A quaint little open space we found while cycling- there was such a mix in Amsterdam of little parks, open green spaces, traditional old buildings and new urban zones.  And it was just so colourful and bright.

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We hired our bikes from Mac Bike, which we found to be excellent and they were great with the girls.  We were also pleased they had helmets in stock as because as mentioned above we hadn't seen anyone else wearing them.

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I love the way she is looking at her big sister.  She was so tired she fell asleep while we were cycling and Mads held her against her shoulder for the whole trip.  She really is the best big sister. 

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I feel so lucky to be able to give my girl's adventures and to experience them as a family. 

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Our hotel was about ten minutes walk from the centre which suited us perfectly as it meant we were out of the tourist hectic bit.  There was a nice walk back along the river.

 

Day Three

 

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After seeing the big I Amsterdam sign on our first day, we spotted this mini one from the ferry when we were heading over to Amsterdam Noord.  We therefore started our final day by jumping on another boat to check this one out out.

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We then headed over to Dam Square to do the tourist thing and people watch by eating delicious Nutella and whipped cream waffles outside.  We were so lucky with the weather, the sun shined our whole trip.

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Soon it was time to head back to our hotel ready to catch our plane home.  If you book a junior suite at the Movenpick Hotel you get 24 access to the executive lounge with complimentary snacks, drinks and newspapers. This actually saved us a fair bit of money, the mini bar in your room is complimentary as well.

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We headed back to Centraal station to catch our train to Schiphol airport, but not before having one last stroll by the canals.  I love this picture of this beautiful city.

 

All in all we had the most incredible weekend in Amsterdam and we have all fallen a little in love with this colourful, vibrant city.  We felt incredibly safe there which is important to us when travelling with the girls, and the Dutch were so friendly, indeed Mads and LL were in their element as whereever we went they got little gifts from locals, such as stickers, keyrings and a little toy car.  There's a really eclectic mix of traditional culture, mixed in with the bright colours and new modern structures associated with large cities.  The flight with KLM was so quick and easy, and to be in a European city within 35 minutes is just spectacular really, it's definitely opened our eyes to flying from our regional airports rather than going to the larger ones.  

My photos don't do this beautiful place justice, but if you are looking for a short weekend trip away with little ones, I can one hundred percent recommend it.  We have come away with lots of happy memories of our adventures and will definitely be going back soon.

My final post of our Amsterdam trip is coming tomorrow- photos captured by my iPhone.

(And in case you missed it here is a video of our adventures in Amsterdam)

 

NB: Thanks to KLM for flying us to Amsterdam as part of their #KLMFlyLocal campaign, we feel honoured and very lucky to be a part of it.  Be sure to check them out as they have some really brilliant deals from 16 local regional airports.  As always, all content and words are my own.  We love you Amsterdam!

 

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