mummy-daddy-me-header

Articles tagged with: Video

A Weekend in Bristol- Part One....

on Thursday, 02 April 2015.

Before we had small people in our lives, I worked in the travel industry for many years as a Marketing Account Manager for the biggest online hotel website.  Basically to cut a really long and boring story short, this meant I was responsible for all the hotels within a designated area.  My area was the South West of the country and as part of my contract I was contracted to work away a week of the month and visit some of my hotels.  One of the areas I looked after was Bristol and so I often went down there for a visit.

It was always one of those places I really enjoyed visiting- it's a really diverse and cultural city, plus it's ridiculously colourful and stylish.  I hadn't been in a few years so when Visit Bristol invited us to stay for the weekend to see what the city had to offer for famillies, I couldn't wait to start planning.  

On Friday afternoon we excitedly packed up our Subaru XV (perfect boot space for all our bags!) and headed off with two hyper little ladies. Unfortunately we couldn't have picked a worse weekend to go- from the second we arrived it basically rained non stop.  It wasn't just rain however, it was full on gale force winds too.  I wouldn't say it put a dampner on our weekend as we still had an amazing time, but it definitely meant we didn't see as much of Bristol as we liked.  What we did find however, were some fantastic indoor activities for familiies- there is literally so much to do in all kinds of weather.

We actually started our weekend off on Friday evening when Mr E finished work (his last ever day at his job- eek!) and headed to Oxford which is half way between us and Bristol, just to stay in a Premier Inn for the evening.  We did that usual parent thing of hiding out in the bathroom eating chocolate while the girls slept!  Then it was up and off to Bristol first thing on Saturday morning.

I didn't think I had taken many photos due to the aforementioned weather, but in actual fact on inspection of my memory cards I found quite a few.  Here is the first part of our weekend in Bristol in photos and a little video...

 

SATURDAY

Bristol-for-families-28

On arrival in Bristol we headed over to Clifton, a cute little suburb, to have some brunch.  We found a cute little cafe called The Farm. (which just happened to be in front of us when it was torrential rain)

Bristol-for-families-29

We have a tradition of having pancakes when we eat breakfast out so we all shared this stack of pancakes with maple syrup, fresh fruit and natural yoghurt- they were delicious.

Bristol-for-families-30

While I had the chorizo eggs.  

Bristol-for-families-1

We checked into our room at the Marriott City Centre Hotel (where I actually had been to before as I had to give a presentation to over 70 people in my previous job- it bought back scary memories!) and the girls were really excited to be given some bags of popcorn by the hotel staff as there was a traditional old machine in the foyer.  The Saturday afternoon was mainly spent dodging the rain and mooching round the shops.

Bristol-for-families-2

After a quick change we headed out to dinner.

Bristol-for-families-3

We headed to Glassboat for dinner, which is exactly that- a glassboat serving European cuisine offering panoramic views of the river.  It was absolutely stunning inside and the girls were so excited to be eating dinner on a boat.

Bristol-for-families-4

Posing outside the restaurant.

Bristol-for-families-31

We had an early reservation meaning that we were able to watch the sun go down, which was gorgeous.  The restaurant was lovely, but I wouldn't say it was massively child focused- they didn't have a separate children's menu but they did kindly do us a smaller plate of the butternut squash risotto for the girls.  As it got later it became quite a romantic venue being that it was Saturday night, and they were the only little people in there.  It didn't bother us as our girls are used to eating out and don't get up from the table but it's worth bearing in mind.

Bristol-for-families-32

For my main I had the butternut squash en croute, roast chicory with a roquefort sauce, which was delicious.

 

SUNDAY

Bristol-for-families-6

On Sunday as the weather was dreadful we decided to head to At Bristol- an interactive science museum.  We weren't sure whether it was going to be too old for the girls, but it turns out they absolutely loved it. There's so many hands on things for them to do and they loved playing with all the experiments.  I love this photo of the wonder on their faces as they took turns in building a parachute and letting it fall to the ground.  Their other favourites were the giant bubbles and the way you could milk a cow.  You easily could spend a whole day there- it was brilliant. 

Bristol-for-families-7

After a morning at At Bristol we headed to a restaurant called Bordeaux Quay for lunch, which was a lovely deli, restaurant, bakery and cookery school on the harbourside.  I love this photo of LL and Mr E doing a spot of colouring!

Bristol-for-families-8

Bristol-for-families-9

Testing her knowledge of all the Mr Men characters!

Bristol-for-families-10

I had the pulled pork bun which was so yummy.  

Bristol-for-families-34

Followed by the creme brulee for pudding.  I have this obsession for creme brulee at the moment which doesn't appear to be doing my fitness mission much good!

Bristol-for-families-11

After lunch we headed to the Bristol Aquarium to check out some fishies!

Bristol-for-families-35

LL was fascinated by the fish and learnt two new words while we there- 'fishies' and 'turtle'.  Her speech is still taking a while to come along but when she does say things it's the cutest thing ever.

Bristol-for-families-12

After a busy day we headed back to the hotel.  The girls and Mr E got room service while I went out for dinner with two of my favourite blogging friends Fritha and Lori, who live in Bristol.  It was lovely to be able to get the chance to see them while we were down here, and we laughed all night long.

 

Here is a little video of our time in Bristol....

Part Two of our weekend coming soon!

 

 

NB:  Visit Bristol invited us to stay for the weekend and gave us a media pass to enter some of the attractions.  Although they gave us lots of information about Bristol, what we chose to do was up to us, and all thoughts and opinions are our own.  

 

 

 

A Week In Our Lives...

on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.

As a family there is nothing more we love than having adventures.  I tweeted the other day that my eighty year old Grandparents were off to Thailand for a month, and lots of people commented saying wow and good on them.  It's nothing new, they often head off to far flung places and have done a few times a year since I was small.  But I think that's just it, I have grown up in a family where travelling and experiencing new things is just something we love to do, and I definitely get my passion for travel from my Grandparents.  There's that word 'wanderlust' which is classed as a desire to wander or travel and explore the world and I think I have always had that.  

That being said though, I am still always so happy to return home.  While I do love to go away, I love to be at home even more.  I thrive on routine and structure, so do my girls, and I love just going about our ordinary life.  I get stressed and on edge if we are too busy, I definitely like being at home and just experiencing the simplest moments.  I know that my girls will remember the holidays and the weekends away, but I also know that the things they will remember the most are the smallest and most ordinary of moments.  Just being together as a family.  An adventure doesn't have to be in a far flung place or away from home- we have mini adventures on a day to day basis.  When you are four and two, a carpet picnic on the living room floor, or a trip to the garden centre to look at the rabbits, is just as much of an adventure as going away.

Last week we decided we would film our ordinary lives.  It actually ended up being slightly more hectic than an average week.  Monday I was in London for meetings with my fellow Space In Your Case ladies (spot the cameo from Alison!), Tuesday was a all day session at nursery for the girls and a day of work for me, (with a sneaky drink on my 'lunch break') Wednesday was LL's birthday, Thursday was a seven hour round trip up to Manchester for an all day meeting (plus a sneaky and delicious meal of tapas and chats with Charlotte), Friday was a quiet day with the girls and Saturday was a special trip out for LL's birthday.  We wanted to document it all the same so in years to come we can look back and look at what a week in our day to day life looked like.  Plus we wanted to show how much we use our Subaru XV on a daily basis too.

I only ever really film our days out or trips away, so this is a slightly different kind of video for me, and is a lot longer than my usual ones.  But I know that one day we will look back and smile on what a random week in our lives looked like....

 

 

Three Christmases- Our Christmas 2014.

on Monday, 05 January 2015.

I know, I know it's January and people are sick of Christmas by now.  The tree has been taken down, the new toys have all their found new places in the home, and people are thinking about Easter, at least they are if the Easter egg adverts that are already on television will have you believe.  But I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our Christmas 2014.  

We ended up having three Christmases this year- one with my Mum and that side of the family, one with Mr E's side and one with my Dad and his side.  We aren't a large family by any means- although different members of the family popped in to say hello, but I am lucky enough to have all four of my Grandparents still around.  This, coupled with the fact that my parents are divorced, means that we end up having a lot of different celebrations which of course is most welcome.  The girls don't actually receive a lot of gifts from any one person, but inevitably with three sets of Grandparents, an Aunt, an Uncle, two step Aunties, two sets of Great Grandparents and some very close family friends, it does end up that they receive some truly lovely gifts.

As we have Mads birthday on Christmas Eve, it does end up that the girls are pretty hyper and tired on Christmas Day, but all in all we had a lovely time with my Mum's side of the family.  We started off the celebrations with a Christmas Eve party at my Mum and Stepdad's house, where our close family friends came over.  This has become a annual tradition and is pretty much my favourite part due to the anticipation. We stayed at my Mum's house for the night, before heading to my Grandparents house after a lazy Christmas morning in our PJ's.  This year we came home to our house to sleep and had a quiet evening just myself and Mr E, which was actually quite welcome after the madness of tired, hyper children all day.  Then we headed off to Manchester early on Boxing Day morning.  We had a great, relaxing time up there, having another 'Christmas' on Boxing Day itself and a quiet lunch out on the 27th, before it was back home on the 28th for our third and final Christmas at my Dads.

We have really enjoyed some quality family time, after all that is exactly what it's all about for me, and we have all thoroughly switched off which was exactly what was needed.  No one checked their emails, phones or social media for a good few days (apart from the odd instagram photo- you can't just abandon instagram!) and Mr E didn't go back to work until the 5th which was just lovely.  We relaxed and enjoyed each other's company and I actually prefer the period between Christmas and New Year the most- the pace of life just slows down a little yet you are still in the throes of the holiday season.

Here is our Christmas in photos and a little video...

 

christmas14-a

Hooray he has been.  We put their main presents they have asked for from Father Christmas in their stocking, plus a couple of little bits too, which I know is a little different to others, it's just the way my Mum always used to do it.  It does mean Father Christmas gets all the glory though- this year he bought Mads a big Buzz which she was after for absolutely ages.

christmas 2014 b

Emptying their stockings.  LL didn't really know what was going on and was most interested in the Peppa Pig bubbles that came in hers.

christmas 2014 c

Matching Christmas PJ's with my sister and a cringey staged photo.  Awkward.  Sorry for putting this on the internet Anna.

christmas14-d

I loved the girls beautiful Poppy England dresses they were wearing- here they are having a little dance while we were waiting for everyone to come outside to go to my Grandmas.

christmas14-e

Such a pretty light- we were so lucky with the weather over Christmas as the sun shined the whole time even though it was freezing.

christmas14-f

Still dancing.

christmas14-g

Curly, mop heads.  Their hair is so frustrating to brush as it gets so tangled but I couldn't bear to cut it.

christmas14-h

When I was younger, even as young as about 12, I was always allowed one Babycham only on Christmas Day.  I wouldn't allow my girls to drink alcohol at that age but it was different then.  My Grandpa got me some babycham to relive the good old days- I love it still!

christmas14-i

I love a good brussel sprout and it's the rules that even though Mr E doesn't like them he has to have two- my Grandma checks to make sure he has them on his plate. ;) 

christmas14-j

Most of us don't like Christmas pudding so my Mum always gets this amazing Malteaser cheesecake from a local deli- it's absolutely delicious.

christmas14-k

Christmas tree lights.

christmas14-l

Boxing Day was spent at Mr E's Mum's with his side of the family.  I love this photo of LL and her Baa as she really does take him everywhere with her.

christmas14-m

All of a sudden she is just looking so grown up.

christmas14-n

Our third and final Christmas was back in Cambridgeshire with my Dad.  

christmas14-o

I love this photo of my terrible twosome.

christmas14-p

We always take (and treasure) some photos with my Grandparents- my Grandpa is 92 and my Nana is 89.

 

Here is a little video of our 'three Christmases'...

 

Reflecting on 2014 and Looking Forward to 2015...

on Thursday, 01 January 2015.

On the 2nd January 2014 I sat down and wrote this post.  In it I outlined what I hoped 2014 would bring our little family.  That week I had handed in my notice to work, something which was scary and exciting in equal measures and I had no idea how it would work me working freelance and for myself.  I also wrote about how I was determined to try and lose weight and to change my lifestyle, something which I have never been able to stick to before.  It's now the 1st January 2015, the start of a New Year and time to say goodbye to 2014.

What can I say about 2014?  It was a truly special year.  We had no significant milestones or events, but we have grown as a family and it has been really exciting.  I feel like I have learnt so much about myself and where and who I want to be.  About the balance between being the best Mummy I can be but yet finding an identity that isn't utterly defined by my children.  When I handed in my notice I had no idea what to expect but it turns out it was one of the best things I ever did.  I work harder than I ever have before, way more so than in my old job where I could more often than not switch off at the end of the day.  I have to fit in work around my girls, with them going to nursery two long mornings a week, but other than that I do things whenever I can- mainly at nap times and during the evenings.  

I have to sacrifice occasionally- I often go to a local hotel to sit in the bar and use their wifi on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when I really want to be at home or having fun with my little family and some evenings Mr E and I don't talk a word to each other hardly, but for the most part working for myself is more than I could ever have hoped for.  It's flexible, I love the clients I have, and coupled with blog opportunities means that I am helping support our family and bring money in each month.  I say it a lot but I genuinely feel thankful every single day for what my blog has brought into our lives. 

I turned 30 in March and this definitely made me reflect on life.  I started running back in January last year and if you had told me a year ago I would still be doing it I would most definitely not have believed it.  I have never stuck at fitness fads for more than a couple of weeks before this year, but I have two half marathons under my belt and plans to do lots more in 2015.  I have a whole post on a year of my fitness mission coming up in a few days but I most certainly have stuck at it, I have lost two stone and although I have periods where I don't exercise (hello Christmas) and my weight fluctulates a little, overall its become a way of life for me now.  

This year we finally became a little more comfortable with money.  Don't get me wrong, we certainly aren't flash but our ridiculously high five year fixed mortgage rate ended and so we have a little bit more than we are used to.  It had been a tough few years, especially with Mr E basically being made redundant when I was on maternity leave with Mads, so while we still are very careful with money, the pressure has eased off a little.  

As such we have had done some updating to our home this year- we had our living room redone in a yellow and purple theme, we completely gutted and redid our bathroom (I love it so much!) and we also had our bedroom redecorated in a pink, white and gold theme too.  We have plans in 2015 to put the girls in a joint room so we can get our study back so expect a few more interior posts coming up!  

We have had some amazing adventures this year, I feel so lucky to have made some incredible memories as a family.  Travelling has always been a passion of mine (I worked in the travel industry for six years) and so I love that we are taking our girls on adventures.  We went on some really love mini breaks in 2014-  a magical weekend away to a treehouse in Wales, a weekend glamping adventure, a trip to Center Parcs with our Besties and a trip to Brighton with my sister.  I've also been honoured to work with some great travel brands this year, including being chosen to be a Mark Warner Ambassador and work on a campaign with KLM where we went to the beautiful city of Amsterdam.   I hope that we will continue to travel and make adventures in 2015- already we have a holiday booked, a hopeful trip to Disneyland Paris and a potential trip away with our besties again, as well as my first girls weekend since I was at uni bar hen do's!   In November I became part of an exciting project- Space In Your Case is a website dedicated to family travel that I am part of with three other bloggers and I am excited to hopefully see that grow over the next year- I am honoured to be a part of it.

It's been an amazing year but it's not been perfect.  I am well aware that with a blog you only see a very small part of someones life.  While I will always be honest and talk about the not so good times as well as the fabulous ones, inevitably when you post about adventures and memories, they generally will paint a picture perfect document of family life.  And sometimes I feel like people may think it's a little nauseating- but this is our life and for the moment we are happy.  We are lucky, we are blessed and life is good.  Of course life is mundane and sometimes stressful- we argue, we have family dramas, we have life worries or money worries, but for the most part it is good.  

This year I have struggled with my health a fair bit- I have touched on it here and there on my blog but in January I started getting sick and having tummy pains- they go away for a while and then come back with avengence.  This hasn't been easy and I have had some tough times this year, but luckily I am under consultant care now and hopefully they will get to the bottom of it soon.  At the moment I am having a good stage so let's hope it continues for a while.  After all your health is by far the most important thing of all and we will never take it for granted.

 

So what do I want from 2015?

 

 

It sounds a cliche to say it but I just want my family to be safe and happy.  Ultimately that is all that matters to me.  You take away the opportunities, the fun days out and the material posessions and all that matters is our family.  As I get older, I inevitably reflect even more.  Becoming a mother has made me realise how quickly life can change for both the better and for the worse and I just want to enjoy the little things and the ordinary moments with my family.  I am not one for particularly making resolutions, but I do make goals.  My main one for 2015 is to enjoy every minute, I have done that this year, but I want to put my phone down a little more, to really play with my girls and to try and switch off as much as I can.  Myself and Mr E work so hard and I wouldn't have it any other way, but I want to try and find a balance so I can enjoy the evenings with him more.  

Blog wise, I want my blog to grow of course I do, however in 2014 I decided just to blog when I felt I had something to say and I am sticking to that in 2015.  Sometimes I feel like I should write about more topical things, or do more posts that people may find interesting- like gift guides, blogging related things, style posts, recipes or things like that, but if I am honest I just can't get to grips with them.  I often worry my blog content is pretty boring if you aren't a long term reader- I just write about our life nowadays, but I find it hard to think about what else to write about.  I sometimes think I should be blogging every day or writing more reviews (some of my favourite bloggers post most days), as I really admire the people who do, but I can't seem to do it.  Therefore I shall continue just writing about our adventures and slightly boring, mundane life and hope that people want to continue to read them.   

I would like to improve my photography and also learn more about video.  I am loving taking videos of our adventures and learning more about it, although I am a complete beginner.  I wish I had started sooner as while photography will always be my number one passion, there is something so lovely about looking back on our videos.  I would love to grow my You Tube channel, but I really have no clue what I am doing.  I am still going to be recording our Ordinary Moments each week as I love that I am documenting things I might otherwise forget, and I am still going to be taking part in Me and Mine and Living Arrows too.

Fitness wise I want to continue the way I have been, although I have been a bit lazy the last couple of weeks.  I started off the year doing quite a few tummy exercises with my kettlebells, but I got lazy towards the latter part of the year.  I want to try and get abs as they were starting to peek through but have now got hidden behind an over excess of cheesecake and Quality street at Christmas time.  I have a few more races that I have signed up for, including two more half marathons.  I started off the year drinking lots of water but the last few months I have become awful, I hardly even drink a glass a day.  I am going to really make an effort to drink more water and less Diet Coke- of course I won't be able to give up my number one vice totally, but I do need to cut down a little.

I want to make more time for my friends, for my husband and for my girls.  I know I am a pretty good wife, Mummy and friend, but I want to be better.  I need to take more time to call friends I haven't seen in a while, to touch base and tell them I am thinking of them.  I have a husband in a million who supports me every single day, and sometimes I need to look after him a little more- even just little things like cooking more, letting him sneak off for a bath in the evening or sending him a little card to tell him how much I love him.  Just little things to show I care.

And that's it.  Like I said, the main thing I want to do is enjoy life with my little family, to continue making memories and having adventures, and to make the most of every minute.  They may be simple goals but they are the ones that mean the most.  If I succeed these things in 2015, then I couldn't be happier.  

Thanks for the memories 2014...

 

Here are a few of my favourite posts and photos from the last year...

 

Just click on each photo to read the post.

 

5 years 

alittlephotoshootbeaut 

dec sisters fav pst 

christmas favourite post 

a scarborough trip

child friendly amsterdam1 

autumntitle 

a bathroom renovation

a motherhood

atriptobrightontitle1

aug-fav-camping

aug-fav-post

aweekendatwedfest

a colour

a before and after pic

these kind of days

a magic adventure

and it was all yellow

pink white gold bedroom 

intense fav post

sometimes you just need to forget

ourlovelylongeasterweekend

atriptotheseaside

retro inspired living room makeover

30th Birthday Weekend

arainydayfavouriteposts

alittlebirthdayphotoshootfavouriteposts

abugpartyfavouriteposts

itsthemiddleofthenightfavouriteposts 

abouttimefavouritepost

 Happy New Year everyone...

xxxx

[12 3 4 5  >>  
Wikio - Top Blogs - Parenting Wikio - Top Blogs
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100
 PHOTO-BLOGS
Tots100 UK parent blogs