Friday, 28 April 2017

Birthday Season, Rabbits & Station Eleven... ǀ Little Loves

We have officially survived the first week back at school!  It has been touch and go a little bit, especially with the weather being all kinds of crazy (on one day we seriously had just about every weather type except for snow!) but now it's on to another long weekend.  Let's just hope the sun shines for a little part of it...

This week I have been reading Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.  It is a book which had been recommended to me a number of times but my goodness.  I LOVE it.  I'm actually only 50 pages or so from the end and I don't want to pick it up because I don't want the book to finish.  It's post-apocalyptic with flashbacks to before a virus wipes out 99% of the world's population and then to the aftermath of it.  We follow a band of musicians and actors known as the Travelling Symphony and I have just adored everything about this book from the setting to the characters to the writing.  Definitely a favourite of this year and I can say that without even knowing how it wraps up!

I watched The Imitation Game this week and really enjoyed it.  I did go and look up the accuracy of the film afterwards (and wasn't surprised to learn there were a number of liberties taken) but I liked the overall premise and I thought that Benedict Cumberbatch did exceptionally well as Alan Turing.  The movie is basically about the man who broke Enigma during the Second World War and that's all I knew going into it so I won't spoil it for anyone else.

I'm not usually one for self-promotion but I made a vlog of our Easter break this week and I'm actually really proud of it.  Plus I'm almost at 1k subscribers on Youtube so I'm just throwing my channel out wide although for me it isn't about the numbers; I love being able to look back and see the things that we have got up to, and to share that with family and friends as well! 

I actually ordered this shirt to wear at Easter but it was coming from overseas and got delayed so it only turned up this week.  I don't know whether I can legitimately get away with wearing rabbits without it being a tongue in cheek nod to the Easter festivities but I'm going to give it a go anyway.

Also I am in love with these sparkly trainers I picked up from Primark.  Rose gold and glitter...what's not to love?!

I know this post is supposed to be about the things that we have loved but the only thing I really heard this week was the sad news that the house we were going to make an offer on has been withdrawn from the market.  And I certainly didn't love that.  So we are back to the drawing board!  I suppose the thing that I 'love' is still that we are making some exciting decisions and hopefully one day soon I'll be able to share that we have found somewhere new to live.

And Lastly...
We are just heading into birthday season here, otherwise known as the time of year when I look a little bit manic with each passing day.  We celebrated James' birthday on Tuesday and then it is Eli's birthday next week, Meg's the following week and mine the week after.  If you've ever wanted to know what too much cake looks like then keep your eyes peeled over on my IG because you'll soon know!!

I'm just kidding...I absolutely love birthdays and I love being able to share and celebrate with family and friends.  Some might have suggested that I love it a little too  much but there's no such thing really is there?!

Have a great week all!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Robin Hood at Speke Hall ǀ Day Out

Over the Easter holidays we were thrilled to discover that Speke Hall, which is just a short distance from us, was hosting a special outdoor adventure with Robin Hood.  We have visited Speke Hall a couple of times now since we became National Trust members but hadn't yet attended one of their special events.

On arrival, Meg and Eli were encouraged to pick up a free trail and a leaflet which told us what was on throughout the day.  The trail had a map which showed the location of different activities all across the gardens, woodlands and maze plus a walk with Robin Hood himself.

Luckily for us, it was one of the few days over the holiday when the sun deigned to shine which made being outside bearable, although I'm sure the kids would have enjoyed it just as much even if it had been chucking it down!

We headed to the maze first as this is the kids favourite part.  I usually take myself up onto one of the bridges so I can look down and keep an eye out for them.  The activity here required them to find some items which Robin Hood had misplaced.

Then we spotted Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham: it was time for the walk!  We quickly made our way out of the maze and joined in with the fun.  The walk took us around some of the grounds of the house and ended with a rather amusing dance routine which children and adults alike were required to join in with (I opted for simply taking pictures instead!)

After a restorative cup of tea and a cake, we followed the map we had been given and completed the rest of the Robin Hood related activities; most of these had just been added into the existing areas which Speke Hall has including the new Childe of Hale play trail.  One of our favourite things about Speke Hall is the variety of outdoor areas.  You have the maze and a playground but also a woodland playground, the chance to build shelters and play giant musical instruments as well as the opportunity to wander through the woodlands and the formal gardens.

The house was closed on the day of our visit but this didn't matter too much as Meg and Eli were kept more than occupied with the Robin Hood trail and it easily took us the best part of the afternoon to get everything done.

We finished our day off with some face painting which looked amazing.  It was one of those moments when you wished that it would last a little longer than a day as it was just fantastic.

Overall, we really enjoyed the activities at Speke Hall and the fact that it was all included with the entrance price (aside from the face painting).  It certainly makes me want to keep an eye on future upcoming events, especially as we move towards summer and can really make the most of being outdoors again.

This particular event has now finished but they run plenty of exciting and family friendly events throughout the year which you can find out more about here.

For more of our adventures over Easter (including footage from Speke Hall), you can check out our vlog:-