Learning Curve

I feel as though I am constantly learning at the moment, and yet simultaneously am often left feeling like I don’t really know or understand much at all. This year has been full of surprises and difficulties; relationships have grown and changed. Some people have been there whenever I needed them whilst others have left me in no doubt that I am not as important to them as I may have once believed. Here are a few things I have discovered this year…

That really horrible things can happen to really lovely people. Also, that the opposite of this is true.

That wanting something is not enough to make it happen.

That wanting something really badly and not being able to make it happen is incredibly painful and frustrating.

That you cannot please everyone, no matter how hard you try.

That people you love can let you down, over and over again.

That family is not necessarily made up of relatives.

That the people who are there for you when it really matters are not always the people you think you can rely on.

That someone can reverse a vasectomy and make another baby before we can naturally conceive .

That being lied to and treated like an idiot is unacceptable and therefore must not be accepted.

That being loved is all I really want.

That I am not a fool.

That I can stand up for myself.

That I can cope, practically, though often struggle with my emotions.

That I am actually very sensitive and take things very personally.

That it is ok to be me.

I am learning all the time right now. There are things I need to sort through and get my head round and there are conversations I need to have. There are plans to be made and there are hugs to be had.

There are people who I am not sure have a significant place in my life anymore, which is a thought that floors me. But there are others who I know are there to help me climb through to the other side.

This is me.

Love me, accept me, support me, and I will be there for you, for always.

Our Top Five Staycation Destinations

We are big fans of holidaying in the UK, particularly by the coast. The sea and the sand and the surf more than make up for the lack of sun! Here are our top five places to stay:

5 – Isle of Wight

The children are always so excited about taking a trip to the “Island of Wight”, as the boy calls it. A proper holiday and yet a real staycation too. Visit for the beaches, stay for the landscapes and return for the charm. Excitingly, with Park Resorts, you can even buy your own static caravan and make this popular destination your own little bolt hole for a genuine home-from-home experience.

4 – Cornwall

James is into his water sports, particularly surfing, and Miss J certainly takes after him. Cornwall is perfect for body boarding, surfing and sea kayaking. There’s also plenty of ice cream and the sea air is sure to tire the little ones out in time for bed!

3 – Norfolk

I first visited Norfolk at the age of nine and stayed with family. I still remember the golden sand dunes now, and the warm sea. We returned with Miss J in 2009, this time in November, and introduced her to the delights that were on offer. I would love to visit again now that both children are a little older.

2 – North Wales

When Miss J was three months old, we took a trip to “the baby kangaroo’s armpit”, as James so eloquently put it; otherwise known as Pwhelli. Situated in stunning Snowdonia, we were spoilt by the views! Our caravan was right by the coast and we took trips to Aberdaron and Caernarfon. A truly beautiful area to stay and lots to keep the children amused. Again, I am looking forward to returning with both little ones.

1 – Bournemouth

Our absolute favourite place to be, Bournemouth (and Boscombe and Poole) combines gorgeous sandy coastline with bustling city life, and even throws in some great countryside with Hengistbury Head and Brownsea Island both nearby. We tend to visit at least once a year and are already planning our next trip back. We <3 Bournemouth!

As you can see, the humble staycation really does have a lot to offer. For more information on doing it in style, head to the Park Resorts website.

Cash For Christmas

Sorry to mention the C word in Seprember, but it really does pay to be organised! For a lot of people, Christmas is the most expensive time of the year, with presents and food and even clothes to buy.

There are a number of ways to make some extra cash in time for the holiday season though. One of my favourites is to have the children sort through their toys and clothes and sell whatever they have outgrown. This method creates space as well as making a few extra pennies. Try eBay for items that are worth over £10 and Facebook selling pages for anything else.

Alongside things you don’t need anymore, if you have a talent for making things, why not sell a few of these in the run up to Christmas as well? Anything that would make a nice gift, from baking jars to girls night in kits, would be likely to go down well. Of course, make sure you sell for a profit though!

Finally, if you’re really desperate for some extra cash over the Christmas period, you could head to your local pawnbrokers and try out a pawnbroking loan. I must admit we have pawned a few larger items in our time. Sometimes, you will do anything to see smiles like these…

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Birthday Season

We are fast approaching birthday season in our household with the boy’s around the corner and mine a few days later. Everything is in place to give little man the birthday of his dreams, and I am grateful that he is so easy to buy for! If your son, or partner, is more tricky when it comes to gift-buying, it may be worth thinking of something a little outside the box. Sporting goods often go down well; football is the sport of choice in our household, but rugby and cricket are also very popular. Talent Cricket have some great ideas to suit all budgets – I particularly love this Paceman bowling machine, which I should imagine would be an incredible gift for a small (or not so small) boy whose obsession is cricket.

Unfortunately, my family aren’t really into cricket as yet. Football gifts are more popular here; in the past, I have treated James to football match tickets, and Miss J to football kits and her first pair of boots.The boy is not really into organised sport at all right now though, and his presents reflect this. He has some Ice Age toys, Spider-Man shoes, the dragon and cat from Room on the Broom and, the thing he actually asked for, a new bike “with pedals and stabilisers”.

I am so excited about the boy’s birthday, even more so than he is, I suspect! I cannot believe that my baby will soon be four.

Happy birthday, boy x

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