March favourites

1. The Landmark Trust

I can’t remember how I heard of The Landmark Trust, to be honest I was probably Googling ‘holidays in a castle’ for when Huxley is a bit bigger! They offer short breaks in restored historic buildings. You can stay in castles, chateaus, water towers, gothic temples and disused train stations. Most of them are in the UK but there are a couple in France and Italy. They are also a bloomin’ bargain! Especially if you go in a group and split the cost. You can stay in a castle that sleeps 4 people for 4 nights for £551 which works out at £34.44 a night! You’d be hard pushed to find a decent hotel for that amount!

Kingswear Castle, Dartmouth, Devon, The Landmark Trust

2. Paige’s frosty photoshoot

How beautiful are these photos? And how amazing does Paige look?

Paige Joanna

3. Failure

I read this piece on the BBC News website about failure and why it’s good for us to fail sometimes. My favourite bit is the last two paragraphs:

“If failure can train us to be more courageous in life, we should also be just as brave at recognising and shouting about success.

The year after failure week, Wimbledon High School ran “blow your own trumpet” week. As Hanbury explains, it is not only time to take the “sting out of failure” but also the “embarrassment out of pride.”

4. Sarah’s perfect outfit

I love this outfit and Sarah has styled it so well. The plain black top and nude heels complement the beautiful skirt perfectly.

Smitten Studio

5. Gary Pepper

Yes, I know, Nicole again. I can’t help it. Her blog is just so good. These photos are from her snowy trip to New York at the beginning of the month and it really really does look like a wonderland.

snowy New York

6. The Daileigh

My new blog crush is The Daileigh by Ashleigh. I love her style and she’s totally gorgeous. You know those blogs that you have to read back through all the previous posts? Yeah, it’s one of those.

The Daileigh

7. The Freckled Fox’s transformation

I’m a sucker for an amazing weight loss transformation and my jaw literally dropped when I saw Emily’s post. We were pregnant at the same time and I remember back then looking at her maternity posts and thinking ‘my god, she still looks so slim and lovely’ so to see how incredible she looks now is just amazing – and to have achieved that in 10 short weeks!

8. Josey builds a bakery

Josey Baker lives in San Francisco. He bakes bread. He is awesome. We were lucky enough to sit down and have a coffee and a natter with Josey back in 2012 the last time we were in San Francisco and he excitedly told us about his plans to open his own place, The Mill. Now that place is open and up and running and looks amazing. There was a bit of a media storm surrounding their $4 toast (which I don’t think is unreasonable) and we can’t wait to go and try it out and show our support. He’s also got a book coming out very soon! This lovely video shows his journey and hopefully shows you what an epic human he is.

9. Small Potatoes

We’ve been watching a lot of CBeebies lately. Nick and Huxley’s favourite is Waybuloo. But I’m head over heels for Small Potatoes. It’s just adorable. (They are only 3 minutes long)

10. Grand Budapest Hotel

My mum and stepdad came to babysit Huxley so that Nick & I could go to the cinema to see Grand Budapest Hotel. We’re both huge Wes Anderson fans so were pretty excited. It was amazing. I cannot express how incredible Ralph Fiennes was in it. And the kid that plays Zero. It was just perfect (apart from Jude Law being in it. He was fine but I just don’t think he’s the right fit for a Wes Anderson film). Go see it!

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Thoughts on travelling*

We’re about to embark on our first ever family holiday together and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to share our experience with you. We chose San Francisco because we wanted to go somewhere English speaking so that if we needed a hospital then it would be easy to find and communicate with doctors and as this is our fourth trip there, we know the city well and know how safe it is and how easy it is to get around (despite all the hills!)

I know it seems weird to be daydreaming about our next trip before we’ve even been on our first but it’s something Nick & I have been talking about a lot lately. Nick turns the ripe old age of 30 in January. He’s not a big celebrator. He never does anything for his birthday but this time it’s different. We’re thinking about going away for an extended period of time, before things get too complicated with Huxley and school etc.

We’ve done a bit of research and read various reviews and articles about which areas are popular at the moment, like this one: http://news.freedomasia.co.uk/phuket-experiences-international-visitor-boom/3118/ and Asia keeps popping up. As long as we can spend day after day waking up in a little wooden hut on the beach, just swimming and eating and being, we’re not really fussy but Vietnam or Thailand seems like a winner at the moment.

(image from Pinterest)

Nick and I have never really been on a relaxing beach holiday. Our honeymoon was spent running around New York and our second honeymoon was again spent rushing around another crazy city, Beijing. The closest we’ve ever come is the couple of days we spent on a boat going around Halong Bay in Vietnam before being taken back to the hustle and bustle of the busy city.

Not only is it incredibly beautiful over there but it’s also amazingly cheap. When we went to Vietnam a few years ago, we couldn’t get over how little our holiday had cost us. We’ve done a little bit of research but if any of you have any advice on the best places to go or know of anywhere cool we can stay that won’t break the bank then I’d love to hear from you!

 

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A day out at Moors Valley

Last week we headed over to Verwood to spend some time with my sister. After a quick pit stop at my nan’s house for a cup of tea and a cheeky Bourbon, we drove to the park, unpacked the car and looked sheepishly at the grey and cloudy sky.

After dithering about it for 5 or so minutes, we decided to admit defeat and retreat to my sisters house to eat our picnic indoors. Blasted British weather!

However, after we’d finished stuffing our faces, there was a slight break in the clouds and after driving to the park for a second time and unpacking the car, we decided to brave it and go for it anyway.

We were rewarded for our bravery as the clouds parted and a wonderful blue filled the sky within five minutes of us setting off. Our first stop was the park at Potterne where Huxley was laid flat on one of those circular swing things and swung pretty high! He had a pretty big smile so I think he liked it.

Then we carried on walking for half an hour until we reached Moors Valley Country Park. Moors Valley is amazing. I never really appreciated how awesome it was when we were little but thinking about it now, we’re pretty lucky to have something so cool near us.

It’s a great big park in the middle of the forest all made of wood with a visitors centre, picnic area by a lake, noddy train, tree-top-trail and more recently, Go-Ape. My sister, Nick & I were like big kids at the sight of the big metal slide and zip line – I think we had more fun that Huxley.

Then Nick challenged Sarah to a race to the top of the rope mountain thing.

Nick won.

It was so much fun. Unfortunately thanks to the weather we didn’t have time to go round the Tree Top Trail but I can’t wait to take Huxley back in the summer.

I also got a brand new nephew this week! His name is Hadley and he was born on Thursday 20th March weighing 7lb 4oz. It’s going to be crazy this time next year when Huxley, Hadley and Elsie are all running around and causing trouble! (This picture is of Hux & Elsie watching In The Night Garden together – look at them holding hands – so cute!)

We also got the sad news that Nick’s lovely little doggie Milly passed away on Saturday morning. It was such a massive shock to us all. She was only 5 years old and hadn’t been ill. It’s so strange and quiet at their house now. I really miss her :(

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