Ideas for future fun

Whilst in lockdown, we started to think of ideas of where we want to visit when lockdown is over. We love to travel and go on exciting adventures as a family. So check out our ideas below of places we want to visit below.

Endo wall in Cardiff

I would love street art, so I would really like to take the kids and the camper van and maybe do a little camping holidays checking out stree art. I would love to visit the Endo wall in Cardiff, it was a couple of years ago now, so I don’t know if it still there but as I suffer from endo I would love to go get a photo in front of the wall. The owner of the house is also a suffer and she painted the wall yellow and decorated it with endo related art to raise awareness and I think it looks amazing.

Obviously high up in our agenda is a trip to London, it really is like our second home and we still have so many places to explore. First stop, National History Museum and The National Gallery and Tate Modern. We also want to picnic in Green Park and stay at our favourite hotel in Wembley.

I want to go on a river cruise on the Thames as I missed out last time.

For a family holiday in the camper, I’d quite like to head up to the highlands of Scotland and show the kids places I visited as a child. Scotland is a beautiful place and I really want the kids to see and enjoy it as I did growing up. We would visit every year and these were some of my favourite family holidays.

I also plan on tackling my fear of flying head on. My best friend is gonna take me across to Ireland for a short plane trip as she is my comfort blanket and makes me feel at ease when I am scared. Which I know sounds daft but I just have so much more confidence and I feel braver with her, and once I know I can do something with her, then I feel better attempting it on my own. I know it might not be that easy with a panic attack inducing, phobia but I am willing to try anything. Speaking off, my other friends son has also offered to take me up in his small plane to see if this will help, and I am going to be brave and have a go.

Monkey wants to go exploring in the wild some more and find some hidden places to climb trees and build dens, and we love a good walk and outside play. Poppet would like to go to some adventure parks and petting zoos as she is a bit more adventurous and wants to ride a horse again.

We would like to experience a bit more of Europe and although it won’t be any time soon, we are also discussing where we could go for -our next trip abroad. I would like to visit a Seoul with my friends when they go, but I really need to work on my fear before that will be possible.

So far, that is all we have discussed but we cannot wait to start getting out and about soon. Although it won’t be for a little while for us still just yet. Although, England is opening up a little bit, my mum is of the older variety and we wouldn’t want to bring anything back to make her poorly. So for now, we are still limiting ourselves to walks with the dogs and going to shops only when necessary still. I am working from home and the kids are still homeschooling. We know we could go out but we just want to see how things are working out as lockdown is lifted before we start thinking of our next adventure. And for now, we are enjoying bring the adventures to us.

What have you guys been up to during lockdown? Have you found exciting ways to keep you entertained? What will be the first adventure you all go on?

Bye for now, Butterfly Child 🌞💜

Lockdown boredom… inspires new adventures!☀️

Hi Guys! Lockdown has been a bit tough on the Butterfly family. Well, me actually… 😂 The kids have been amazing, they have taken it all in their stride and have been doing so well with school work, playing nicely together and staying active with Jo Wicks every day.

I, on the other hand, have struggled a little bit, and it’s ok to admit that. I am absolutely fine, and overall we have all done amazing well in this weird situation we found our selves in, but juggling work/homeschooling/life has been tricky and I miss people more than anything. I am lucky I live with my husband and my mum so I do have conversations and people around me, but I am a true extrovert and love the hustle and bustle of groups of people, and busy shops and mostly going out and gaining energy by meeting new people and visiting new places.

Dinosaur world at Torbay (2018)

For us as a family, we love to go out exploring, visiting places, exploring our little part of the world, and further afield when we can. So being restricted to home and the odd dog walks, has been the saddest part for us. I am happy to do it though, as I want my whole family and the rest of the world to be safe and happy but we did still miss adventures.

But rather than be super sad, instead we bought the adventures home and started planning what we might do when we feel safe to start venturing out into the world in this new “normal”.

You know we all love a trip to London. In fact, it’s almost our second home. London is one of my favourite places in the world.

We had planned to go to London in June to celebrate BTS festa and debut weekend, obviously this didn’t happen so we decorated our house and bought London to us. It was a super fun and exciting weekend, spend playing games, listening to music and eating yummy foods.

We did take a really quick to Bournemouth to buy a bubble tea, as it is one of my favourites drinks ever and we had really missed bubble tea. Bournemouth has been hectic and crazy busy so we went on a weekday rather than the weekend to avoid the crowds. We nipped to the bubble tea shop and returned home, but it was oh so worth it.

Over the weekend, we had BTS quizzes, games, our own run BTS style fun times, we had our own birthday cafe event with a BTS purple themed “purple you” mocktail and free gifts designed and made by my wonderful friend Dot’s daughter.

And at the end of the weekend , we even had a “visit” to a kpop store where the kids could choose their (pre-chosen) album I had treated them too. Me and mum had treated ourselves to the 5th muster magic shop and that also arrived in time! 💜💜💜

The weekend ended with a very exciting BTS concert live in our living room, in the form of Bangbang con which we enjoyed with our friends. The whole weekend was amazing! The children had a wonderful time, I had a brilliant time and the whole time spent together as a family being silly and doing fun things was wonderful. It still did make me miss our real adventures but the whole thing was just awesome!

What did you guys do to celebrate BTS weekend? Anything exciting or interesting to share? Let me know in the comments, I’d love or hear what you guys have been doing or buying.

See you soon,

Butterfly child xxx☀️💜

**Book Review**Cherringham – A cosy crime series

Cherringham – Book 1 – 3

by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

On my quest to balance my love for books and reading with work/kids/life, I once again turned to Audible. I am absolutely loving my audible monthly credit, where I can choose one book to listen to.

So this week was Cherringham – A cosy crime series compilation. The first three books in a cosy crime drama series: Murder on Thames, Mystery at the Manor and Murder by Moonlight.

"Jack's a retired ex-cop from New York, seeking the simple life in 
Cherringham. Sarah's a Web designer who's moved back to the village 
to find herself. But their lives are anything but quiet as the two 
team up to solve Cherringham's criminal mysteries."

The two main characters although from two very different backgrounds form an unlikely alliance to dig through murder mysteries in the very “Midsomer” village of Cherringham.  It’s a very stereotypical view of an English village and the character portrayal are also somewhat stereotypical, Jack is a hardened retired ex New York policeman whose wife has died and he has retired to the English Village for some peace. Sarah has returned to her home village after a messy divorce where her husband cheated on her, and she has to return to her hometown to mend her broken heart with two kids in tow.

However, this does not distract from the storyline, I really enjoyed the Midsomer vibe, the mysteries were not too easy that I could guess straight away and neither were they so far out of the ordinary genre of murder mystery that I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The writing style is somewhat peculiar as it is written by dual authors, an Englishman and an American, so the language can sometimes swap and change depending on the author I guess, but as there is an English and American character, I rather enjoyed this reflection of the characters in the writing. I think it gives it a quirky feel o the story and really helps you bond with the characters and the story.

All three stories, are independent. You don’t need to read them in order, as each mystery is a stand alone murder mystery our crime solving duo have to work on. However, the personal life of the characters is somewhat fluid throughout the series. SO if like me you love to find about characters and fall in love with them, then reading in order is probably for the best.

I have only heard the first three in this series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be carrying on with the series. It was a quick and entertaining read, a good length for a cosy crime thriller. I could curl up and listen in the evenings and still have time to make tea and fit in some work if I needed. I didn’t get bored and I couldn’t wait to start the next one. All of these things for me are signs of a good book.

The first in the series is possibly the least enjoyable if I had to pick one, but I feel its because it has to fit quite a lot in a short story. The authors had to introduce us to the characters and Cherringham, and the murder plot and tie it all up in a neat bow, which meant the first book maybe wasn’t as exciting or as enjoyable as the others. I still really liked it and I couldn’t wait to hear the rest of the books in this first edition.

My one and only question I have from this whole series: Whilst Jack and Sarah are out finding all this evidence and solving the crimes? What are the police doing to miss some huge plot points in the murders? Obviously, we need the police to miss somethings to give Jack and Sarah something to do, but seriously, sometimes makes me wonder. lol!

Overall, I really enjoyed the first three books and I cannot wait to listen to the rest. The narrator audible chose also is a pleasure to listen to which makes the experience even better. I would post certainly recommend it too.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5/5 stars. Thoroughly enjoyable especially if you like your cosy English crime dramas as I do.

If you want to have a read, why not check it out for yourself over on Amazon.

****This blog post has a affiliated link in it, if you click through on it and make any purchases, I may receive a small fee.**

 

**Book Review** Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair

Sleigh rides and silver bells at the Christmas Fair by Heidi Swain

I am on a roll with books and the minute. I have this book in real life and on audible so it was a mix of reading and listening for this one, which was a journey I tell you.

When Anna takes on the role of companion to the owner of Wynthorpe Hall, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, she has no idea that her life is set to change beyond all recognition.

A confirmed ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, Anna is amazed to find herself quickly immersed in the eccentric household, and when youngest son Jamie unexpectedly arrives home it soon becomes obvious that her personal feelings are going all out to compromise her professional persona.

Jamie, struggling to come to terms with life back in the Fens, makes a pact with Anna – she has to teach him to fall back in love with Wynthorpe Hall, while he helps her fall back in love with Christmas. But will it all prove too much for Anna, or can the family of Wynthorpe Hall warm her heart once and for all…?

I love a Christmas story, you know I do! I especially love one when I am feeling a little down or sad as I remember to carry Christmas spirit with me always, and to funnel my energy into making people smile, positive energy and being kind and considerate to others. I remember these things and it reminds me how lucky I am and I start feeling a little better. So a Christmas story will always be welcome on my books shelf.

Heidi Swain is one of my favourite authors, I have read her other books and I have truly enjoyed them. This book was no exception, I liked reading about Wynthorpe Hall and all the excitement of Christmas. I didn’t fall in love with the main characters Anna and Jamie like I usually would. I am not sure why, I guess I didn’t connect them. I think maybe I didn’t fully engage with their stories or history. Jamies character felt somewhat flat, without any spoilers there is a section of the story where I really didn’t like him very much at all. Which is unusual for me with a male lead. I am usually very forgiving. I didn’t really fall for the love story either, it seemed a little forced and somewhat pretentious. The relationships between the main characters and the secondary characters were much more interesting and exciting than the romance story. However, the secondary characters made this book oh so worth it. I loved all the characters from Angus’ larger than life, loveable father figure to the local villages Anna meets on her travels around the village.

Heidis description of Wynthorpe did make me fall in love with the fictional hall and village and it made me long for our family visits to National Trusts. The warmth and love she described was adorable and I absolutely would recommend this to anyone who needs a little festive cheer up.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️★ 4/5 stars I would definitely recommend.

This blog has affiliated links, if you click on the links below in this blog and buy any products, I may receive a small fee.

**Book Review** Murder at the Smithsonian

Murder at the Smithsonian by Margaret Truman

Hi Everyone!

So I managed to find time to read an actual real life book. It made me so happy to hold a book in my hand and smell its pages. I am loving audible and the freedom it is giving me to hear a story and continue with other stuff, but there isn’t anything quite like holding a real life book and immersing yourself on a reading adventure. However, my excitement may have peaked with just holding this book as I can’t say it will become one of my favourites.

Murder at the Smithsonian isn’t a bad book, it just didn’t keep my interest all the way through. I feel like a book needs to have dips, twists and turns and a healthy dose of “normal” descriptive writing to keep the story going, and I feel like this book maybe fell a little short.

Dr. Lewis Tunney, a brilliant historian who had stumbled onto an international art scandal, was brutally murdered in front of two hundred guests at an elegant party at the Smithsonian. When his fiancee, Heather McBea, flies in from Scotland to learn more, Mac Hanrahan, the captain in charge of the case, takes a heated interest in her. And when two more murders are committed, Hanrahan has reason to worry about Heather’s sleuthing. But Heather is stubborn and insists on going her own way–right into the arms of a killer….

From this blurb, the story itself sounds like it was going to be right up my street, an engaging tale of murder, mystery and intrigue. What I got was a soft version of a hard-boiled egg tale of murder and not a lot of mystery!

I feel like maybe I am being too harsh, the story itself could have been amazing, it had so much potential. But I feel like the story dragged when it should have galloped and came to a screeching halt just as it started to get good. If a story is like a heart monitor, you want the dips and mountains to come evenly and throughout the book to keep your interest, not peak at the beginning, then nothing for a while with the odd potential for a good plot point to come to nothing, and then everything happen all at once at the end which made the rest of the book a little bit pointless.

I guessed early on who the culprits were, and I even pretty much had how and why down too, which in my opinion isn’t necessarily always a good thing. Sometimes you want the reader to have some ideas, but then with red herrings and the rest of the story developing, you still want them to question their own minds. In this case, I did not. I had pretty much guessed and confirmed a few chapters in.

It was a good book to pass an afternoon, it wasn’t great but I am glad I read it, I just think it had so much potential to be a great book. The characters were easily the second best part of this book for me. The leading characters didn’t draw me in as much as a book usually would, but the secondary characters were incredible. It was still fairly predictable guessing every ones motives and storylines, but they were at least enjoyable to read about.

My favourite part of the story was the scenery and exploring the varying museums. I have yet to travel to America, so for me discovering places in books is my favourite part of reading. I love hearing about the different museums and parts of Washington.

Overall, it was a good afternoon read and was enjoyable to a point. My mum read it after me, and she enjoyed it much more than I did. So, it just goes to show every book is a special journey but different for all of us. I would recommend it and I am going to find another of Margaret Trumans books to try.

⭐️⭐️★★★ 2/5 stars

*Book Review* Six Degrees of Assassination (audible version)

Six Degrees of Assassination by M.J. Arlidge

Evening folks! Long time no see guys! Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I lost my Blog mojo but I am hoping to jump right back in with my first review in a while.

I haven’t had chance to read much lately, between working from home, home-schooling and just general life; finding time to pick up a book has not been the top of my priorities. I love a real life book, the smell, the touch and just reading one I slip into my imagination… but as I say its not always easy pick one up and concentrate, enter audible. And what a life saver, now if I’m cleaning, cooking or writing reports, I can listen to a book to my hearts content.

So onto my review of the Audible Original Six Degrees of Assassination by M.J.Arlidge. A five hour political thriller written specifically for audible starring Andrew Scott, Freema Agyeman and Hermione Norris.

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From the blurb “On a sullen, cloudy July day ten years after 7/7, the happy, confident and optimistic British Prime Minister is visiting a charity in East London. Just two months after the general election which saw his government returned to power with a clear majority, the economy is on the mend and the coalition is fast becoming a bad memory.
Suddenly, a man appears out of the crowd and shoots him three times in the chest. Step forward Alex Cartwright, MI5 Chief Counter Terrorism Officer (Andrew Scott) who must find out the truth. But it’s easier said than done, as he discovers that whoever ordered the assassination has covered their tracks very well indeed…”

Excitement from the get go, the action is intense, exciting and fast paced from the start. This is much more than a book, it was a drama for your ears. I love an action packed, political thriller and the voice actors and sound effects really had the imagination whirling on this one.

The plot was possibly a tad over the top but isn’t that the point of an action story, to take you on a journey from real life to larger to than life. With twists and turns, a talented cast and a radio like drama story being told, what more could I ask for from an audible original? Granted it might have been a little predictable but aren’t all dramas.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and cannot wait to sink my teeth into my next thriller.

Overall, this was a good listen and I would probably have enjoyed it just as much in a book format, however the sound effects and voice actors really did give the story something extra, so on the whole I really enjoyed it and would recommend it for any one who enjoys a good action packed thriller.

4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️★

This blog has affiliated links, if you click on the links contained in this blog and buy any products, I may receive a small fee.

Would you like to have a listen for yourself – click here to head on over to Amazon?

Top 10 Tips for trips to Legoland

I wanted to write a quick post on some pitfalls to avoid on your trip to Legoland and some good ideas for the day too.

helpful-tips

Top Ten Tips

1. I know its hard to do but avoiding really busy holidays are best. Next time I am going to plan to go on an INSET day as not every school has the same days off, so hopefully won’t be as busy. If you do have to go in busier times, as much as it is expensive the queue jumping Q-bot is worth it, otherwise you won’t fit many rides in and will not get a full days worth of exploring.

2.Eat a good breakfast at home and take a picnic to cover at least one of your meals. Some of the food is not great, and not worth the extraordinary amount of money it costs.

3. Refillable Bottle for fizzy drinks/pop etc is good to get at the start of the day. We got two for the kids at £10 each which yes again, more money but you can refillable drinks all day and we just shared the two bottles between 4 of us! We also had water bottles which you can fill around the park too for water stops. (Wonderfully modelled by monkey and poppet below).

**Extra Tip – keep the receipt! They sometimes ask to see it to check you paid for it that day! Sneak people at Legoland. Want you to buy one each visit 🙄**

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4. To make the most of your visit – if you can afford it – its worth looking at a weekend visit. As you get the second day free so don’t have to rush as much and we got two days at Legoland and the hotel (which was beautiful) for a fair price. It’s worth looking around on compare websites to get the best deal.

(When looking at weekend stays, its a little more expensive but I would highly recommend this hotel. Holiday Inn- Maidenhead)

5. If you can get there early and head straight to the busier rides. Always a good idea as the queues just get longer and longer as the day goes on.

6. Take a rain coat.if it rains or you go on water rides, you will thank me! Don’t pay for the yellow plastic anoraks. We had to get them as we didn’t pick sensibly, it was summer and had been hot all week. But it rained and we went on the water rides and they are ugly, uncomfortable and an expense you don’t need.

7. Legoland has lockers to put bags etc, use them! i wish we had remembered the spare clothes and our raincoats and I would have used the lockers to store it all, it would have saved backpacks and buying awful anoraks.

8. Take snacks from home – crisps, fruit, sweets – its all so expensive and no different to what you get at Tesco really.

9. We all love photos on rides and I know its an added expense – it just depends how much you want photos. You can buy a pass before and it is worth it if you’re going to go on all the rides with photos and also keep an eye out for the people wandering around with cameras as they will also take some nice family shots in front of the lego and stuff. If you don’t go on all the rides and meet these people though, even the pass is expensive for little outcome. So if you’re not bothered – pass on the photos but make sure you’re phone is charged to take plenty of your own.

10. Lastly, my final tip – have fun! I know it can be an expensive day but it doesn’t have to be. There is plenty of ways to spend your day without shelling out lots of money. The water park is always fun, mini land is my favourite past time and all the rides as much as queuing is a pain, are worth it.

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I hope you enjoy your visit to Legoland whenever you get to go! Share your pictures and your tips and ideas below.

 

Legoland August 2019

Mr BC works away from home a fair amount, so as a treat before he disappeared again he treated us to a trip and overnight stay to Legoland. On the whole it was an amazing weekend, but I have a few, just a little moan and I want to get it out first, so it doesn’t ruin my whole post. 😂

I know it is a tourist attraction, a park that needs maintenance and upkeep and all of those things, but seriously the amount of money they expect you to spend is seriously crazy. And yes, I know we didn’t have to, but have you ever been. Its so easy to spend a ridiculous amount of money and not even realise and that’s before you get to the BIG shop.

We went in the middle of the summer, so it was busy and hot. We paid for the queue jumping facility but this didn’t even cover all the rides, you had to pay extra for the most special and amazing rides, and even with this, we still spent a good 4 hours queueing, thankfully we stayed in a hotel and got the second day free so we got plenty of time in the park. Drinks, food and snacks all day are not cheap either and next time, I am definitely taking a picnic.

So that’s my moan, the tickets are not cheap as it is and with everything else you end up spending too, its not a cheap weekend but all said and done, we love Lego and we adore Legoland so we will undoubtably go again and do it all again, including spending lots of money.

I feel better getting that off my chest, on to the good bits; literally everything else! I LOVE LEGOLAND!!! ❤️

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I could spend days just wandering around looking it all and taking it in and still want to go back for more.  It wasn’t the best start as it rained the whole drive there but thankfully it stopped as we arrived. And of course our adventure started sooner as a trip across country is not the same without a stop at Fleet Services, its a given.

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The kids were very excited to both finally be all enough to go on most rides, but even without that, they like me both just love Lego. The intricate and amazing builds they make are just wonderful to walk around and look at. We make up little stories as were going around about all the little lego men, It really is an amazing day out and if your family love Lego – its definitely worth a visit.

Take a look at our pictures from our weekend below:

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Poppet had her first experience of 4D cinema as well, and I think I captured the moment perfectly and it might be my favourite of her ever! She always looks beautiful and it feels like she senses the camera coming and is always ready but not on this day. 😂😂😂

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More of our weekend to come:

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We were most exciting to visit the Ninjago ride, the spooky castle and Poppet was desperate to go on the boat ride. Monkey not so much as he’s not a fan of water but he was a trooper and did alright. He’s possibly not as brave as Poppet and he doesn’t face his fears in quite the same way but he still did amazing.

The best part for me (the kids really enjoyed the rides this year) is always mini land. I love seeing all the little details and intricacies. I am a huge fan of London (i know shocking right – if you don’t know this – then you need to go back and read some more of my posts! 😀) So I love seeing the mini version of London, but of course, there is so much of the world I haven’t seen and seeing all the min version really makes me want to travel to see it for real. I just need to get over this damn fear of flying.

As I mentioned Poppet is really brave but she is really scared of heights but does she let that stop her. Does it hell?? She is not only brave but when she is scared, she does not let it stop her, she faces her fears ( and yes she screamed almost the whole time but still) she conquers it all the time. Super proud of her!

That was the whole weekend! We stayed in a wonderful Holiday Inn, the place was beautiful, it had a swimming pool and beautiful rooms and the staff were friendly and amazing with the kids. Overall the weekend was fabulous and I can’t wait for our next adventure.

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See you soon, The Butterfly Family x

Tina xx

*Book Review** The Gift of Happiness

The Gift of Happiness by Holly Martin.

Welcome to my stop on The Gift of Happiness book blog tour. I could not wait to post it… I had to really hold off on putting my review out sooner as I think you should get a glimpse into the village of happiness and honestly I think you should all read this and it’s prequel.

I am a massive, massive fan of Holly Martin and she mad kindly offered me a chance to read a few of her books before publication date in return for an honest review, a few things, 1) you all know I love reading so I was never going to turn that offer down, 2) I adore Holly’s work so I almost bit her hand off and finally, 3) I write my blog because I love to write and share, but it is a huge dream of mine to write things people find interesting and may help them, so overall, I love Holly’s work and she has given me a chance to fulfil a dream so I really do.

Anyway, I’m rambling again onto my review:

A sparkling, thoughtful romantic tale which gave me tingles and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Christmas stories are my favourite kind of stories.

For me, it’s always about the characters. If I fall in love with one or all the characters, then it’s going to be a yes from me. The Gift of Happiness is no different, I love the characters – but then again, in a Holly Martin story, I always do! Like with people in real life, there are characters you will grow to love and some that you instantly fall in love with. Willow in the first book was an instant for me, Ruby was a bit of a grower, but I think she was written that way. You have to follow her journey, understand and learn why she is the way she is. I accepted her character early on as we should with people, she is the way she is, and she doesn’t want to change for anyone and I like that but I didn’t love her, not right away anyway, but when you start to learn her story and see her interactions with Willow, the villagers and Jacob and it soon wasn’t long before I’d fallen for her characters charm too, just as Jacob did.

I love how the characters were established a little in the first book and then grow in this one. I adore Hollys books where we are given a story and characters in one book but still get to hear from them in other stories. I love immersing myself in the Little Village of Happiness. Who wouldn’t want to live in this lovely, beautiful and unique place? I’m actually very jealous of all the characters.

I do find it hard to believe that both brothers could be so beautiful in real life but in a book I am a sucker for it. I read to escape and travel to new places and meet exciting new people. I am happy to suspend reality for a few hours and fall in love with two beautiful and amazing brothers.

I am not usually one for spoilers as I’d rather just give my open and honest opinion and hope this is enough for you to decide to go pick it up, on your own but on this occasion. I do want to give a little insight into the book and I will have a spoiler below, so if you don’t want to know please skip this next section.

The opening of the book sees Ruby, who we met in the previous book moving into Happiness. She had a few days of amazing sex with Jacob when she visited Willow in the summer but she is a lady who does not wish to settle down and is happy with no strings fun, or is she? As with all romance stories, this is just the start of Ruby’s journey. It’s Christmas time in Happiness, and the village is alive with all things festive and as always the gossips are out in full force as Ruby comes to town. Can she live in the village for the next year without falling into Jacobs arms, bed or heart?

***Spoiler alert***

The main theme throughout this story is dealing with loss, our fears and overcoming them. Although, we won’t all have the exact same experiences as Ruby, her story still resonates with me, as we all do often let our past, our fears etc dictate our futures. The loss of Ruby’s partner had me choked up and I cried whilst reading this chapter. A]if a character in a book can make me cry just by a few simple words, you know you are reading a good story. But more than the sadness of the tale, it was the understanding from Jacobs character which was incredible and got to me most. I love and hate reading, as real life men don’t always live up to literary ones.

**Spoiler over**

Deaf awareness and understanding in this story and it’s prequel is truly beautiful! Add to this, the inclusion of a Paralympic and the way he is living his life too, is remarkable. What an inspiring read! I would love to believe that if people were more like the characters in stories like this, the world would be a nicer place. Having health/mental/ physical differences doesn’t make the characters less of a person or ever come across as a negative. I love how it’s part of the characters but it’s not the defining feature. I especially like Ruby’s reasoning for learning to sign, “she knew it was partly to expand her skills and learn a new language and to be able to help understand people who might struggle to be understood.” People who learn languages so when they travel they can try to speak to the natives of that area is wonderful, I am one of those. I like to think that although my skills might not be great I am trying. Learning to sign to communicate with people who might struggle is, in my eyes even more wonderful. Imagine if we all did this, imagine if we all tried harder to communicate with everyone. Beautiful.

I love Christmas – the idea of carrying Christmas spirit/ magic all year round is something me and my mum have always done and I like to hope I’m passing that onto my kids! I always say we are Spirit of Christmas ambassadors. I love a Christmas story but a Christmas story about a lady I can relate to well that was perfection in a book. It’s not a secret that Holly is one of my favourite authors, it’s not often I pick her up her books and don’t instantly fall in love with everything about it. I love how she helps you connect with the characters and the story, but also with the places. Each time I discover a new place in Holly’s books, I want to go to and explore and find some of these treasures for myself. Happiness is almost a character itself. Overall, a book by Holly is probably going to be a hit in my house, a book by Holly about Christmas, well Christmas has arrived early in my house, and a little warning to my friends and family, you may all be receiving this book as a gift this year.

As a final note, I’d like to say a massive massive thank you to Holly for choosing British Heart Foundation as the charity her character chooses to support and for choosing to write about heart conditions and opening up discussions about BHF and what they do. I lost my dad quite young and he suffered with heart conditions. The work and research they do is so important and they don’t get government funding so all the help they get from donations etc is really appreciated. I would have loved this book anyway as Holly is one of my favourite authors, but when you add all the positives, the connection to the British Heart Foundation and everything about Christmas, it might actually be one of my all time favourites.

Overall, I love this book and if you want a festive, feel good read which will leave you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but also might make you jealous of all the beautiful, friendly and romantic feels – this is the book for you!

Summer of Fun

Gosh the summer completely flew by and took us all by surprise!

July and August came and went and now it feels like it is nearly – dare I say it – CHRISTMAS! We had so many wonderful kaleidoscope adventures, if you follow any of my social medias you have hopefully seen some of the amazing things we got up to.

I haven’t written over the summer as I love being in the moment with the kids and taking lots of photos to have as memories and then I thought it would be nice to have one blog post full of all our memories as a keepsake to look back in time.

I hope you enjoy our recap of summer fun! What did you guys get up to over Summer?

Our summer of fun really started with BTS in wembley but I have covered that so this is everything after that, until schools started back. I have included some Wembley adjacent memories as I made some amazing friends. Speaking of….

Over the last few months, I have made some amazing new friends – who are ARMY – we have made friends over our mutual love of BTS. We met up with some at Wembley and our friendship has grown and they fell in love with my two children, because lets be honest why wouldn’t you! They are both amazing and adorable. So much so that one beautiful lady sent poppet and monkey some bunny rabbit hats, that appear in an episode of RUN BTS, if you press the paws, the ears will move. As you can see below, they loved them!

We also went to the seaside and enjoyed playing on the beach and some rides that were on Weymouth sea front. We love Weymouth and any chance we get to go over is always a good day. I love to swim in the sea but we didn’t get to do that on this trip as it was quite late when we arrived. We did get to bury the kids and have fish and chips by the sea!

Poppet loves to dance, sing and a variety of other things and goes to a lot of after school clubs. Monkey is not so bothered by any organised clubs or events as he likes to do his own thing. He has taken to climbing and loves to hit the local climbing centre. Poppet comes along as well on occasion as again she quite enjoys it. But this visit at the start of the summer holidays – monkey managed to climb higher than he has ever been and he jumped off the top yellow pole, which is quite daunting really. I am not sure I could do it.

We are all still very obsessed with BTS and enjoy watching music videos and their variety show RUN BTS. We have also started family quiz nights, which have been Harry Potter and BTS related so far. On one of these nights the challenge was to do the BTS fan chant as fast as we could. Monkeys practise was rather funny.

 

Poppet was still learning by this point but has it perfect now. I shall have to re-video them so you can all see how well they can do it now. And yes, it does sound funny but hearing it in Wembley being chanted by 60,000 people was cool but still somewhat creepy! But mostly amazing and we are ready for (hopefully) when they return next year.

We visited a local National Trust site called Barrington Court. It is a beautiful house and grounds. We love to visit and go a fair few times each year, as they always have something for the kids to do, Christmas is always beautiful and I love the grounds. It is a a lovely place to walk around, let me know if you have been. And if you haven’t, you should come and have a visit. It is beautiful.

Before school finished, Poppet entered a solo dance into her school talent show. It was a shortened version of one of our favourite BTS songs – Anpanman. She was really brave to do it all by herself, as most of her friends were doing dances, singing etc in groups. But Poppet is not shy and she loves to dance and has been on stage lots of times before. I am so proud of her just for entering. But not only did she do us proud just by entering. She also won for her key stage. She is my little superstar and Monkey said he cheered the loudest and he got all his friends to cheer too, but then told me secretly he didn’t have to ask them as they all thought Poppet was the best anyway. But what an amazing big brother he is??

Poppet also did her Grade 1 ballet exam before the end of term and passed with distinction or honours. I am not sure what its called in Ballet, But she did amazingly, whatever it was. 🙂 Monkey thought he would give it a go in her skirt and not surprisingly it fit perfectly. 😂

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I love how random and weird my children can be. It makes me feel very connected to them as I am very weird and random. 🙂 We are all very happy in our own skin and personalities and we definitely all fall from the same tree. They both came downstairs in their jurassic coast t-shirts and green shorts and declared that for today they were twins.

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BTS new movie Bring the Soul played at Yeovil – so we got ourselves all dressed up and headed to the Cinema, I didn’t think there would be many people there as I have never met any ARMY near us. But the cinema was packed out with tons of ARMY of all ages. We met some lovely new people and really enjoyed the film. The kids did get a little bored as it was quite a lot of subtitled talking for them to keep up with. So they didn’t quite make it to the end and had to be picked up by Mr BC, but me and Mamma Butterfly really enjoyed it.

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Speaking of me and Mamma Butterfly, we got a very rare child free weekend as the kids went camping for a weekend with my sister, brother in law and nephew. So we got the chance to have some adventures of our own. We went for cocktails (mocktails for Mamma) for one evening and watched some episodes of RUN BTS. We went to the new cocktail bar in our town, Kikis. It was lovely and my cocktail went down way too easy so I gladly had a second one. We also took a train into Bournemouth to visit the kids camping and have a look around as they were supposed to be going to the air festival. But they didn’t make it, so me and Mamma just had a nice walk around the town. I introduced her to bubble tea, which she loved.

IMG_1115IMG_1140IMG_1137IMG_1127IMG_1124IMG_1121We re-watched BTS live at Wembley when it became available on VLIVE. Kids loved it just as much the second time around, so much so, I had to keep asking them to move back, as they were so close to the screen, no one else could see it.

IMG_8395IMG_8402IMG_8404Before Mr BC headed off for a business trip, he took us all to the Car Show as he knows me and Poppet love a good car show. Heres some of our favourites:IMG_9137IMG_9143IMG_9146This is a reminder for myself not to let Poppet eat cherries, it looked a little bit like the start of a really scary horror movie looking at her after she had finished.

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I made a new friend over the Wembley BTS weekend because I asked if anyone would be around on the Sunday to keep me company as I would be attending Day 2 on my own as the kids and Mr BC had gone off to sightsee around London. My friends all jumped at the chance to spend the afternoon with me and they all told me where they would be meeting etc so I wouldn’t be alone but I was also asked if I wanted to meet up with a lady who had been let down and wasn’t sure she would feel comfortable going on her own. I offered to meet her and we could go for food etc, and she offered me her ticket  which was going spare anyway, and it was better seats than mine and as she didn’t want to go on her own, I said I would love too. And it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I would happily have sat on my own, I really just wanted some company for the afternoon, but after hearing she might not go as she didn’t feel brave enough to go on her own, I could not have that and as I am neither shy nor scared to make new friends, I accepted this silent challenge to befriend her. It was a good decision as it lead to a few happy accidents. I made a friend for life, she is truly wonderful person and I can’t imagine not talking to her now. Not only is she a great friend but she’s a wonderful crafter. I told her how Mamma Butterfly was sad she hadn’t made it to Wembley and she kindly made and sent this commemorative pillow to her for her birthday. How amazing is this? And such a thoughtful and beautiful gift.

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And secondly, I now had a spare ticket. I had won my ticket in a prize draw and I really wanted to give it away so someone else could enjoy the concert too. I was meeting with some friends I had made online, as well as my friend above. They are all a wonderful group of Ladies and I am so happy to be included in their group. One of my friends had a friend who didn’t have a ticket and I offered him mine. He was really excited and pleased to be able to go and I think, at least I hope he enjoyed himself. I felt wonderful being able to give my ticket to someone who deserved one. All of these acts of kindness, stemmed from me simply asking if anyone would mind if I joined them as I didn’t fancy spending all afternoon on the run up to the concert on my own. It always pays to speak up and I discovered I have made some remarkable friends who have welcomed and accepted me and taken me under their wing. What an amazing start to the Summer it was?

Everyone we met, also fell in love with kids – which is always wonderful as its nice to hear that you have nice children from people you meet, it makes me worry less than I am doing a bad job.

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I think that is it for our summer of fun. We did go to Legoland for a weekend but that was so exciting and amazing, I have an individual post to write about that.

I hope you enjoyed my round up of all the fun things we did. If you have any questions about any of the places we visited or if you just want to say hi! Please do drop me a comment or find me on facebook/instagram or twitter.