When we have a free day at the weekend, our default family activity is to visit a National Trust property. We’re slowly working our way through the ones in Sussex and Bateman’s is our new favourite. It was the home of Rudyard Kipling, where you can view the house and a water-mill, and follow a lovely little fairy trail around the grounds. Normally when we venture out for an afternoon, the kids take it in turns to be tricky but we managed to escape any wobbles for a whole afternoon.
Not a day has gone by since we started this blog in 2013 when we haven’t taken a photo of something. Good or bad, our ‘big’ cameras are much like third children to us. They can be a pain and are a bit annoying to lug around but they bring us a lot of joy. It seems this love of photography has rubbed off on our Little Buttons.
Happy first week of January! This week has been a nice back-to-normal kinda week for us. I’ve been hanging out in the park and making crafty messes with my little one. I thought I’d feel really sad to take down the tree and say bye to Christmas, but it’s actually felt nice having our space again and getting back to routine. Our Christmas box is so rammed full that it no longer fits through the loft hatch – I need to stop buying decorations! So there’s a sad little festive mountain sitting on the landing where it will probably stay till March, going on previous experience.
And just like that, our Littlest Little Button, Grayson, turns two. Having his birthday straight after New Year means no sooner have the party poppers gone away, the party hats are back on and any New Year’s resolution to not eat cake goes out the window. Today, we’re celebrating with a little party and a big cake with our nearest and dearest.
We love Belle & Boo. The drawings make us feel all happy and nostalgic and every single thing that lovely little company produces is totally beautiful! So we are very happy (and a bit jealous!) to say that we have a very special treat for you. One lucky person gets to WIN a fantastic big bundle of goodies from Belle and Boo just in time for Christmas. This is quite possibly the best giveaway we’ve ever had!
Last year we thought we’d start a little Christmas tradition of taking the kids ice skating – and it was an utter disaster. The second Harper’s skates touched the ice, she wanted to get off, but we had to complete a lap as you can only go in one direction – and once you’re on, you’re on. She let go of her skating aid, Magnus the Penguin, within seconds, so we were left trying to simply keep her upright and not lose any fingers. So I was understandably apprehensive about trying again this year. Luckily, all she seemed to remember from last year was that she got a gingerbread man in the cafe at the end, so she was up for giving it another whirl.
I find it very hard to pull myself – and my kids – out into the cold at this time of year. It’s so easy to spend a day snuggled up with a duvet and hot chocolate and a whole heap of Disney. But we forced ourselves out this weekend to Wilderness Wood (near Uckfield) and I’m very happy we did because it turned into one of the loveliest days out. It’s such a beautiful place, full of fresh air, nature and wintry magic.
Back in the Spring, we had a trip out to Kew Gardens to see the cherry blossom trees, and vowed to go back to see what it looked like in Autumn. We made the trip recently and we were not disappointed.
The trip wasn’t wildly successful as both kids basically just wanted to have a snack or sit in the single buggy we took with us, so we didn’t get to explore as much as we were hoping to. We did see a little part of the grounds in-between mini meltdowns over ice creams, grapes and… well, you name it really!
So a while ago, before coat-wearing weather was truly upon us, we took a family trip to Bodiam Castle. We’ve been kinda busy of late with work and other commitments so it’s taken a little while to sort these photos out. When we’ve got a free weekend we seem to venture out to a National Trust place, at least while the weather was warm enough, and this one has to be a new favourite.
This week has been so busy! Usually our worky things get spread out a little bit but this week, er, nope. All whacked together in one jam-packed half term week. It’s been fun, hectic and tiring in equal measures.
We began the week doing a day of baking for our next craft book… the theme of which we won’t say but there might be a little clue in the pics if you’re clever enough to work it out :-). Luckily we only had Grayson around to help us out who spent the whole day trying to climb on the table (where the cake was) and say “ARRGH”. He wasn’t much of a help decorating biscuits.
As a family, we’ve not all been together for long enough to have many traditions, but a few are slowly emerging. Trying to get Harper on ice skates each winter is one (not too successful so far) and getting a photo of her on Santa’s knee is another (some attempts are better than others). But there is one tradition that’s been fixed in place since she was born – going to a pick-your-own farm at the start of the summer for strawberries, and then again at the start of autumn for pumpkins.
We quite often find ourselves venturing out to a National Trust place of a weekend when we’ve not got a swimming lesson, a birthday party or any work planned, and our favourite by far is Wakehurst Place. It’s a bit of a drive from Brighton, which inevitably means the kids are mega grumpy when we get there as they’ve napped in the car, but it’s well worth the moody mini ones.
Hoorah! Our 4th book is out to buy today. We’re so happy it’s out, we’ve been really excited about it for months. The Big Book of 100 Little Activities is jam packed with tons of little things for you to do and make with your kids. Rainy days, bored days, crafty days, sunny days… just lots of projects to keep fidgety fingers entertained. All of them simple and quick and most using things you’ll have round your house.
A couple of weekends ago, when we realised the sun would (probably) be shining, possibly for the last time all year, we decided to do a last minute camping trip in a bell tent in Dorset. We’ve never been in a bell tent before and, to be honest I’ve been put off in the past because they usually charge the same as a decent hotel. I still do kind of think that, but it was fun and the kids had a total blast.