Wednesday, July 31

30/52 Weekly Portraits

Since she's turned 4, Molly is a very reluctant photo subject.

 Wilf looking like a little lost elf in the woods.

I caught Gwen mid-jump.

Joining in with Jodi at Che and Fidel.

Friday, July 26

The Summer List

Last year, there was a summer list, and this year there is another summer list, and there will always, always be a summer list from now on. 

One week into the school holidays and we've already had oodles of adventures. We scootered from Penarth to Cardiff Bay then got the boat back, made zingy lemonade (the girls weren't that keen but I loved it), been swimming, visited Dare Valley Country Park, done lots of walks around the village and playing in streams and other wholesome-type activities, been to a circus cabaret and splashed about in the paddling pool at the pop-up beach

Four very hot and tired scooter girls waiting for the boat
I'm on a mission to spend as little cash as possible on outings this holidays. This week, I've spent £36.35 - most of which was today when I spent £14 on tickets for the circus show and a fiver on tea for the girls as we were out late, they were starving and we'd eaten all the picnic food I'd packed. I may also have treated myself to an almond latte, but hey, I have a teething baby, I had three hours sleep last night, and I had to look after three kiddos all day after a 5am start. Cripes.

Messing about in streams in the sunshine
More frugal fun next week, but as the weather is going to change, will the lure of over-priced soft play places be too much resist?

Thursday, July 25

A Tale of Three Parties

Phew, it's been a busy few months in Shepherd Towers, as we have not one, not two, but three - three! - birthdays within six weeks. This means that every spare minute seems to be taken up with party planning, and no time to blog about the lovely times we've had.

First up, Gwen turned six with a bouncy castle and a BBQ in our garden. Thank goodness the weather was on our side because we had 18 six-year-olds say 'Yes' to the invites (being the first Saturday of half term, we thought not many would come) and I didn't really have a contingency plan. There was face-painting, lots of bouncing, veggie hot dogs (converting the meat-eaters one sausage at a time - mwah, ha, ha) and ice creams with flakes, sprinkles and popping candy, a lollipop tree, and a Lego brick cake which was made at midnight the night before, involved a lot of swearing and was a bit wonky but Gwen seemed delighted with. The children on Class 4 were an absolutely delightful lot - what a lucky teacher hanging out with them all day.

Three weeks later, it was Miss Molly's turn with a wicked witch and wizard party. It was all indoors with lots of our favourite friends, and involved more face painting, a witchy chocolate cake and an epic game of pass the parcel. I also introduced some small children to Black Lace's kids party album (thank you, Spotify) with some kitchen disco dancing to Superman.

Three weeks later, another party as the mister turned 40. We had lots of friends over for afternoon tea with tea, scones and lots of cakes. It was hot, hot, hot and the adults chatted in the garden, while the tiniest tots played in the paddling pool and the bigger kids made dens upstairs. It was relaxed, informal and totally stress-free. It started at three and was still going on at 9pm so I guess people must have been enjoying themselves.

On Monday our beloved hairy hound turns eight, but we'll keep the celebrations simple with the now traditional (and slightly gross) tuna, cheese, garlic and spaghetti cake with hot dog sausage candles.

And after all that lot, I am totally partied out.

Monday, July 15

Summer: A Manifesto

Just one week to go until the school summer holidays, where we get six whole weeks to fill with a mixture of magical adventures and chilling out. I can not wait.

So, inspired by fellow list-lover Hula Seventy, here's my summer manifesto.

I will pick strawberries (and sneakily eat a few along the way)

I will go on early morning walks with the dog

I will always say yes to a beach trip

I will take photos on colour themes - one colour every week

I will make lemonade

I will make a fairy garden with the girls

I will invent new flavours of ice lolly

I will drink my morning coffee in the garden

I will ride my lovely yellow bike

I will watch Tinkerbell films with Molly

I will read chapter books with Gwen

I will enjoy every minute of Wilf being a baby

I will have date nights in the garden with Dave, good food and Hoegaarden

I will swim in the sea as often as I can

I will spend as little money as I can

I will celebrate my Nan's 90th birthday

I will organise a neighbours day out

I will not cry every time I think about going back to work when the six weeks is over (sob)

Tuesday, July 2

June in Pictures

June started with a lovely short break visiting the in-laws in Harrogate - with a blissful morning in the Victorian Baths just for me. There were blue sky days with long evening dog walks and playing outside after school, a big massive Father's Day brunch, and a date with my big girl to watch Hairspray. One of my oldest friends got married and we spent a lovely morning eating croissants and making bouquets. And best of all was our trip to Legoland, which we all absolutely adored.

All images from my 365 project.