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 🌞💜

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 🙄**

IMG_0696.jpeg

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.

IMG_0490.jpeg

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

 

I fell down a Pinterest hole into a wonderland of Chinese dramas and K-pop…

I am not even sure how it happens, but some days do you ever find yourself looking for one thing on pinterest and six hours later found yourself, somewhere completely different and maybe discovering something new to get into. You know, like your looking for ideas for a birthday party and before you know it, your looking at crazy cat videos or like me, you’re watching interviews with boys with names like Rap Monster and Jimin and discovering J-Hope might be the most wonderl and happy person you’ve ever seen. Or worse, finding you really love the new drama you’re watching but then Netflix recommends 8 more dramas and you just don’t have enough time.

I love and hate those times in equal measures. I love finding new things, I hate when you realise you have to be up in about 3 hours and you haven’t slept yet.

I did just that, I discovered something as I fell down a Pinterest/ YouTube rabbit hole and got a little obsessed with it. Not in a crazy stalker obsessed way, but I like what I like and when I discover a new passion, love or hobby. I go all in! Go big or go home was pretty much a saying made for me.

My latest crazy find, probably started a long time ago, but has been a slow burn. I have always loved a good comic, which as I earned more money, become a love for graphic novels and slowly moved onto Anime and Manga. Enter Studio Ghibli stage left. I was hooked, Howls Moving Castle might be one of my all time favourite films ever. I wanted to watch everything, but then as time passed and I had children and my attention shifted to everything being relating to them, I lost a bit of myself.

I think as parents we do, everything in life is suddenly all consumed with these small children ruling everything in our world. And that is brilliant, I love being a mum and I love that my children are my world but I think, and I don’t know if this is just me, but I forgot they aren’t literally my whole world, once you have children, you don’t have to swap all your favourite things for paw patrol and CBeebies. I don’t think anyone ever told me that, I think when I had children, my confidence took a bit of a hit, and I lost a bit of myself for a while. I think it happens because for a long time, babies and children need you to be all consumed by them, but eventually you need to claim back a bit of time for yourself, at least I do. I love my kids that goes without saying but I love me too. I love that I am a bit quirky, I have a geeky side, I love being mummy, but I also love being Tina. A big part of my confidence loss, was losing touch with things I like, for me. Doing things just because I love them, taking time to discover what new things I might be missing out on because I am always trying to make sure everyone else is happy. This is still hugely important to me but a happy Tina is a happy mummy. The part of me where I discovered loves for myself, is slowly returning, a lot of my time is taken up in knowing what my kids love, what they need/want. And this isn’t a bad thing at all, I love being close to my kids but it’s nice now they are older to remember that I am Me as well as mum. I am not completely back to the old me, and I wouldn’t want to be, as my children make me a better person, but I am slowly gaining my confidence back and discovering all new things, and rediscovering old passions, now I have some time to do this. Taking time for myself has been a massive learning curve for me, but it has done me a world of good. And the biggest and best part of this, is that everything I love or am crazy about, I can introduce to the kids and if they love it too, it’s just an extra thing we can have in common and love together. It gives us more things to do together. And if they don’t love it, it means I get to take some time to enjoy something on my own without feeling guilty because they wouldn’t be interested anyway. Win win!

I recently introduced them to Ghibli and thankfully for me, they love it. So I treated myself to some new Blu-rays for my birthday, so we have lots of family movie nights planned.

Onto my recent craze, I have become a fan of Asian dramas, I think it started because I watched an anime on Netflix and then it shows you related programmes and before you know it, I full on found myself watching K-Dramas and Chinese dramas and following post on Pinterest and Instagram. I think I originally just liked seeing the food, oh the food. It makes me hungry to watch and I get so inspired to try new food, which for me is huge, as I’m not a foodie by nature. I don’t plan my day around food, in fact some days I could go all day without eating, but seeing all of this yummy food really inspires me. But then I found myself falling for the stories and characters and wanting more, so now when you see my Netflix feed it has gone from 2/3 English tv and films to 90% Asian programmes,and I am not ashamed, I love them.

I imagine my friends are fed up of hearing about them but I think I must actually be quite sweet or endearing, or they just love me regardless of my little quirks, so they put up with me and my obsessive nature. It might be one of the things they all love about me, who knows, but I don’t think I am going to change anytime soon. So as well as being an introduction to my new love, this blog post is also an apology to my family and friends, I don’t think I am getting over it anytime soon, and I have also introduced the kids to some aspects of it and they love it too, so probably not going away, so I’m sorry, you might get you’re ear chewed off a little bit more.

I treated myself to an inspire me: Korea box for my birthday and I wasn’t disappointed.

So where is this little craze taken me so far? Well, not only am I loving the dramas and some of the actors (wow, pretty people) but I also am loving K-Pop. It’s been a very long time since I got excited by newer music, there have been some new bands and artists I like but for the majority, I pretty much listen to the same things I always have. Having a music and dance obsessed daughter has helped introduce me to some new music I love but k-pop is all me. I love it. I think BTS becoming huge in the last year has helped, as it has made it easier to get music and videos. Plus they are everywhere at the minute. They are very young, which makes me feel really old but I still love the music and the dancing. So much energy put into each song and the choreography is amazing. I think I’m probably a lot older than their average fan but I don’t feel old and I enjoy their music and I quite like the members. They all have unique and inspiring personalities! So I don’t think it matters I’m a little older than their usual audience!

The kids are also enjoying my k-pop moment as they quite like it too. Poppet likes to dance and sing, so she loves watching anything with a good beat and a dance she can copy. Monkey on the other hand used to love to dance and went to classes like poppet, but he quit and I think that although at home I have always tried to avoid boy/girl differences and have always said they can both do/act/play/like whatever they want, I think it can be hard once you get to school.

At home, I try my hardest to pass no judgement and let the kids do whatever they want, be whoever they want to be. So if monkey likes pink, brilliant! He wants to dance, crack on. But once he started school, and wasn’t with me 100% of the time, it didn’t matter what I said, suddenly the opinion of more than just me mattered. Sad day for me! 😞 Thankfully, he is quite a strong character and doesn’t usually let what others say bother him, but I have noticed a drop in his confidence and like I say he quit dancing. I don’t necessarily think anyone said outright dancing was for girls, but he definitely went through a stage of not wanting to do anything that would be seen as “girly’, and he has definitely been knocked back confidence wise. I am fine with this and I believe he will find himself and what he loves again, especially as he hasn’t completely lost his uniqueness, it’s jut taken a step back whilst he finds himself at school, finds his friends and discovers who He is and I know this might take years, but the best part of me discovering these new things, is that it can also be inspiring for my children. When monkey saw seven young men dancing in a band on tv and winning awards and putting together some amazing dance routines and singing, it really encouraged him and he has been watching the music videos on repeat and dancing along with them all weekend. It’s absolutely wonderful to see. So my new crazy obsession has become a bit of a family craze (not quite totally, as Mr BC is not on board, but this is my blog and the kids definitely take after me on the whole crazy personality side of things).

Monkey pulling his best K-pop pose! This is his “Jin – Worldwide handsome face”

Monkey learned how to make heart shaped with his fingers from a BTS interview, love him!

So my new quirky, love and inspiration for Asian food, dramas, music and entertainment, isn’t going anywhere. I will never again call the internet or social media as it opens up the world like nothing before. I may never get to visit any of these places as I am scared of flying but I can still follow all of these people and trends and see things that I wouldn’t have gotten to before. So my social media feeds might be covered in all things BTS, and my Pinterest boards might become a little more diverse. I collect obsessions like some people collect stamps or ornaments. I don’t lose one obsession when I gain a new one, I just keep collecting and adding to them. So my book reviews will still be continuing and my family will still go on crazy adventures, but it just might be infused with us singing along to Korean boy bands or trying out crazy dance moves in the living room.

That’s it, you’ve finally got to the end of my completely random, round up of my latest crazy obsession. Well done! Any of you dying to go google BTS or K-pop, go do it!

I’ll make it easy, here’s the official website for them. They have a huge social media presence and if pop/rapping/ a slight r n b vibe is your thing, go have a look. Even if it’s not, check out the dance moves anyway. I didn’t think it was my thing either, but I think I fell a little in love with them!

http://bts.ibighit.com

For now, don’t forget to spend a little time on you, make time for yourself, discover an old hobby of your own, or have fun finding a new craze. Trust me, I have loved discovering a new craze and Remembering what is it like to enjoy something for me!

See you soon, Butterfly Child xxx

Mr and Mrs Butterfly Child were perfectly weird in every way… and they quite liked it that way!

I am a massive, massive fan of Harry Potter; books, films, merchandise, clothes… the list goes on and on, I love it all. Strangely enough, until recently I had never visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour. I kept putting it off, thinking I didn’t have time, or there was always something else the money could go on; a place the kids wanted to visit more etc, etc. Also as much as I desperately wanted to go, I wanted to wait to take the kids until they were a bit older. I never thought to possibly go on my own first and take the kids later. It just never occurred to me.

I have three best friends Annie, Charlotte and Becky, we’ve been friends for a long time, and even though we live quite far apart now, I don’t think I will ever be as close to any one or love anyone quite like I do those girls. But with age comes great responsibility, it takes time, patience and a great deal other amount of skills to keep a friendship blooming. 😀 Thankfully, we have managed it and we visit as often as we can, and we share an amazing friendship than spans the country and they are much more than friends, they are family. My children even call them Aunties. On this note, it has become apparent that my children love them very much and when they visit, they monopolise them and want to spend all the time playing with them and crawling over them and showing them every single toy they own. This is wonderful, but unfortunately it means we don’t get much time to chat, breath or just spend time with each other as friends. So we decided we would take a couple of weekends a year (extra to our usual visits) to spend the weekend just as us girls, the way it used to be. It’s a nice chance to catch up, those of us who are parents get to have a rest from the kids, and we all get to indulge in being young friends again.

We have visited Oxford and we plan on visiting York, but as a special treat two of my best friends treated us all to Harry Potter studio tour tickets for our Christmas presents. Myself and Annie are huge Harry Potter fans, Becky dabbles and Charlotte bless her, comes along for the ride! It was a super idea and an amazing present. As the tour gets booked up fast, we planned to go in January but tickets sell like hot cakes, so April it was. I have had a very exciting few months and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. The excitement for studio tours built up for many reasons. I was so happy to be finally going to the tours, and I was ecstatic to be sharing this special moment with my besties. I love getting to do things with my girls, it reminds me I am still very young, I can still enjoy myself without the kids and without feeling guilty and it is perfectly acceptable to have hobbies, passions etc all for myself. I think I forget that sometimes when I am being mummy 24/7. It is perfectly ok to be me sometimes, to recognise that I have likes and dislikes and do something for myself. Having my best friends want to share these things with me and do these things, is amazing and I am so glad to have them.

***BE WARNED I HAVE INCLUDED SOME PHOTOS FROM OUR TRIP SO IF YOU WANT EVERYTHING TO BE  A SURPRISE … STOP READING NOW. I HAVEN’T INCLUDED TOO MANY SPOILERS BUT I WOUDLN’T WANT TO RUIN ANYONE’S EXPERIENCE BUT I WANT TO SHARE MY JOY!!*****

So onto the tour. Annie and I set off from Somerset on the Saturday morning and would be meeting Becky and Charlotte in London as they would be travelling from our home county of Derbyshire. We had a late tour time so we had decided to stay over in a hotel overnight, so it was an exciting weekend as we all got a nice break too.

Poor photo but our view whenever we head to London! Stonehenge – wonderful sight!

IMG_4824

I had made little HP goody bags for all of us including a little drink to start the weekend.

IMG_4826

Annie and I started earlier than the others! 🙂 Pretty much always the case… 😂

After a few short but wonderful hours catching up in the hotel we headed over to the studio! We were very excited but we were also trying to remember we were adults. We were generally well behaved, there were a couple of incidents, we might have thought the security guards were offering hugs, not wanting to search us, and I may have said something about licking a poster of an attractive member of the Harry Potter cast… I know, but my excitement as we waited in line was building up, and I struggle to control what my mouth says at the best of times, in fact most of the time it surprises even me.

7ea9122e-d10f-4ebd-8d59-52e081741d18

We may also have a bit of a fascination with cones, but you can’t blame us when they look like this… we have a better story about the cone later…

Your a hazard Annie_4828
“You’re a hazard, Annie!”

Finally, once we were inside. The magic truly became alive and it was everything I expected and more. We had some food and had a walk around the gift shop whilst waiting for our time slot. I made a long list of everything I wanted to buy and then stepped away and thought we would do the tour first and then I could make a final decision about what I wanted to buy. I got to waltz around in a Slytherin cloak and play my inner Snape, much to the staffs delight. The shop in itself is immense and I could definitely have wandered around there for much longer than we did. But finally the moment arrived and it was out turn to enter…. I hope you enjoy some of our photos from out trip. And if you get chance to visit, even if you don’t think you are a big Harry Potter fan, even if you’re a fan of films or even if your aren’t a fan of any of these things, it is still worth a visit, for the magic, wonder and enjoyment of it. Plus the attention to detail in everything is immense.

‘Can I lie down in the entrance and get a photo underneath?” I asked my friends, “Of course, you can those people are rolling all over the floor.” My friends responded in delight. I look over, “they’re very small children…”. “Your point?” my friends laughed.

But in the end I decided I have done many more stupider things in my life than lie down in the middle of the Harry Potter studio tours to get a photo and I will probably do many more stupider things in my future.

Our initial shock and awe of being there wore off, and I had gotten over Tom Felton talking into my ear…  (our wonderful friends had got me and Annie the digital tour guide) unfortunately Tom Felton wasn’t really whispering sweet nothings into my ear… 😍😂. We moved slowly through the Great Hall and onto the amazing tour. Honestly, I don’t think I can find words to express how amazing it was. We mainly walked around in silent wonder, listening to our guide when we needed, snapping shots and generally messing around. It was amazing to be with my friends experiencing this for the first time for so many reasons. I didn’t have any responsibilities at that moment in time, I could be myself without worrying about the example I was setting, or having to keep one eye on a kid at all times. Don’t get me wrong I cannot wait to go back and take the kids but for my first visit, where I got to experience and enjoy it all to myself with my best friends. Honestly, it was one of the best days of my life and I am so thankful I got to share it with the people I did.

IMG_4936HTBRR8QWA7ZT

Have you seen these b*tches, I mean witches...
Have you seen these b*tches, I mean witches… Some of us have definitely got our resting witch face on today!

HTHEM8QWA8EUIMG_4912IMG_4916IMG_4922IMG_4956IMG_4959IMG_4977

 I think you can see we all had lots of fun and even though, some of us are bigger fans than others, we all had an amazing time and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We stopped half way around to try our very first butter beer. I really liked it!

After our little rest we headed onto the rest of the tour. Gringotts was opened for the first time the day we came, which was unbelievably lucky and completely unplanned but amazing.

ef08d6e1-533c-42b2-a67e-524901deded7

I don’t want to post too many spoilers so I haven’t included this whole video but I needed to share this with you all, me and Annie will definitely be in a cinema near you soon with these acting skills, well voice over work at least. Apologies there is a little bit of swearing ☺️ I actually think the swearing is the best part!!! 😂 🤣(And yes, that is me not able to control my laughing!)

As we drew near the end of the tour, I just couldn’t believe how much attention to detail is put in everything, and I was a little worried the magic might be lost, but honestly I think it just made it better. Every little prop, every big scene reproduced, just walking through the whole studio itself was amazing. I won’t ever get to experience it for the first time ever again, but like my whole experience with Harry Potter, as with the books, I believe every time I go back there I will experience something new. It was truly an amazing and remarkable experience.

Your a hazard Annie_4828
“You’re a hazard, Annie!”

After all of that, admit it you still just want the rest of the cone story. So we had a very late tour time, so by the time we had walked around, visiting the store, spent a fortune and was heading for the car parking, it was late and dark. We had talked earlier on about how we love a cone to take home. Trust me this is not the first time, we have talked about wanting a cone. We have had many discussions and ideas about getting one. It never ends well… And I promise we don’t have any cones stashed anywhere. But anyway, there we are walking back to the car and a security guard is heading in our direction, I imagine returning to the studios and one of my friends out right asked him if we could take a cone home. I think he thought she was joking, she was not. Her parting words for all of you our there, “Well, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

IMG_5016

I hope you enjoyed my recap of our tour and liked our photos, there are many, many more and probably many more stories, but they can wait for another day. We are heading away for our weekend to York soon, keep an eye out on social media for us. I will be sharing our funnier moments and beautiful photos in real time!!!! 😀

February … is my favourite month

Firstly, an apology. I haven’t written as many blog posts as I had wanted to this last month, but I am hoping you will accept this blog post filled with all our exciting times over February as an apology and as an excuse as to why I haven’t written as much as I would have liked. I had such a busy, action packed and filled February, I didn’t get much time to write. But onwards with our exciting look back into February.

February is my favourite month for so many reasons, but I guess it starts with my birthday! I love my birthday, I am like a child and even though I know I am getting older, I don’t care. I love celebrating the year that has gone by and looking forward to the next. I like that I get to do all the things I love and I can make everything about me! I know, I know how childish and selfish does that sound, but I think everyone should get at least  one day a year where its all about them.

The second reason I love February is SNOW! If we are ever going to get snow in the UK, you can bet chances are high it will be in February. And this year, this year was my year! I made a birthday wish for snow on my birthday and I went to bed on the 31st of January, the snow started to fall… I was so excited that at midnight I went out to play. When I woke up in the morning, the snow was everywhere, I had booked the day off work and the kids got a snow day. We made a huge snowman, which fell over and broke my glasses, and poppet cried.

Dixon Dog really enjoyed the snow, we all had hot chocolates, and I treated myself to some Studio Ghibli DVD’s, a BTS album and some new books! My birthday was perfect this year.

 

We had a Chinese New Year themed party where we had an amazing Chinese takeaway, we made paper dragons, a pig keyring and watched Mulan. My mum picked an awesome cake for me, and every year she makes my birthday epic! I wish everyone had my mum to spoil them every year, because she is awesome! Nick and the kids helped me make some decorations, we had Chinese lanterns, the kids painted tea light candle jars for the table and we had pig banners they had coloured.

 

February was also the month for selfies and snapchat apparently, as I have a phone filled with so many selfies and snapchat screenshots. When monkey and I have to wait for poppet after her ballet class, we often take silly selfies, in fact whenever we have a spare few minutes, we indulge in a few silly faced photos. I often feel quite sad for monkey, as he spends a lot of time waiting outside dance classes, he always gets dragged along to shows and rehearsals and alsorts. But he takes it all in his stride and is very proud of his sister. Plus I think we both quite enjoy the half an hour or so where it’s just me and being him being silly and playing games.

 

I tried out a couple of Subscription boxes for my birthday and loved them. I had Inspireme Korea and Kawaii Box. Each filled with beautiful things from Korea, China and Japan.

Poppet had a week of exraordinary hairstyles which took over my instagram and was very fun to do everyday. I love writing my blog and I love sharing snaps of our weird crazy life, and when I asked poppet what we should focus on for the week, she wanted some wonderful and wacky hair. So we indulged and did a brand new hairstyle every day for a week. Some of it was fun, some challenging and some days a right pain in the … I’ll let you finish that sentence.

 

 The saddest part of February for us, was when Mr BC had to leave for work. But as he would be missing our wedding anniversary, he took me and the kids away for a night in the camper van. We went to stay in South Wales for a night and it was very cold but brilliant. We love going for nights away in the campervan, and I hope this year will be filled with lots of exciting trips.

 My bestie took us for a walk to Fairy Falls, as this is what I had asked for, for my birthday treat. I wanted to go on a nice walk and get some nice photos. Unfortunately it was a bit rainy so I left my camera in the car, but the phone did the job just fine. It was beautiful and such a lovely quiet place. I can’t wait to go back. Plus I got to spend the day with my beautiful godson. He is growing up really fast and I love his little squishy face.

 

Middle of February and we were still feeling the Chinese fever, as we headed to the Octagon Theatre for the Chinese New Year Extravaganza. I have never seen anything quite like it before in my life. It was an amazing experience. So many talented and amazing people. Balancing tables on their heads, contortionists fitting into really small spaces, and the finale with the dragon dance was immense. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait until next year.

 

 With spring soon to arrive and hopefully warmer weather, we headed out to the adventure farm park in Brean. We wanted to see Llamas and play on some rides. Poppet faced her fears by going on some high rides and cried the whole time, but still she was very brave. Monkey was also very brave and I am so proud of them both. We had a wonderful day. We took my sister and Mini monkey (my nephew) with us and it was amazing.

 

First frappuccino of the year…

 We have had some lovely days at the start of spring. I am not usually a warmer weather / sunshine kind of person, but as I get older I am finding I do love a warm day and I am even looking forward to summer more than I usually do.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As the end of the month came to a close, excitement reached its peak in our house as BTS ( here comes some back story to explain our excitement) – I have known about this band since last year when they appeared on Graham Norton but I didn’t really fall for their charms until January of this year, and since then my love has grown and I am having an attack of boyband fan girling, as I have gone crazy for them – towards the end of the month, revealed they would be going on a world tour again. The best thing about having children that enjoy the same as you and are happy to listen and dance to music, is that I get to share my love and passion with them. So now we are a family of huge BTS fans, a girl on twitter even said we were #familygoals which made my day. I grew up listening to songs my parents liked and my sisters and brothers liked and eventually I added my own collection of music I enjoy to it. So I have a huge, wide eclectic taste in music that spans decades and genres. I have always loved music and to dance, and getting to share this with my children is beautiful. I know we aren’t always going to like the same things but I am glad me and the children are similar enough we have quite a lot in common and we can share so much.

Anyway, I digress again. So BTS revealed they were going on tour. Me and the kids were adamant we were getting tickets, so 1st of March we arrived at school early so i could sit, phone poised, ready to get tickets. We logged on at 8:15am and waited. Tickets went live and my phone kicked into gear. But nothing, it just searched for tickets and at 8:50am, it  kicked me out and I had to try again but by then, it was too late and tickets sold out. The kids were distraught and I wasn’t too happy either. Now I would normally say – oh well and move on. I never wanted to be someone who would pay stupid amounts of money for a ticket, but I am going to blame temporary insanity and not wanting to see my childrens sad faces. But whatever it was, I paid a silly amount of money for tickets, not hugely silly, I am not stupid but still more than a normal amount. Me and the kids are ridiculously happy so it was totally worth it. I am still claiming temporary insanity as I still keep looking at the Sunday night and considering buying tickets for the second night too. Although Mr BC has put his foot down and said no. I am working on it.

In case you have no idea what I am talking about, BTS is a Kpop band from South Korea, they are obviously massive in Asia, but over the last few years they are getting bigger over here in the UK and the US. When I say I like them, I do still get a lot of eye rolls and funny looks, but mostly I have amazing friends and family who (at least I hope) like my quirkiness and love my random little moments, and l or me regardless. So everyone is being quite supportive of my newfound love for a boy and. I never really did boy bands growing up so I think I’m a little late in the game but you’re never too old to appreciate good music, amazing dancing and well, they aren’t bad on the eyes either. Yes, they sing most of the songs in Korean, but music transcends language a little bit, they sing beautifully and I actually really enjoy the rapping. But for me, the choreography of the dancing is the main draw, they have flawless routines and look amazing doing it. I’ve always loved to dance around my living room and I love to see amazing dancers. My children are also big fans of dancing and singing, so it’s something we can watch/listen to and enjoy together. I know they won’t always have the same taste as me and I know we won’t always like the same things, but I hope we will always have some things in common and I’m glad at the minute we can see things together.

It’s always worth checking new things out, I know you kpop is everyone’s cup of tea, but I didn’t know it was mine either. I think we should all try something new, or open ourselves up to trying new things once in a while, it makes life a bit more exciting. Even if you think it might be weird, celebrate your weirdness, show the world, or if you’re not ready for that, show your family and friends. My family and friends are so supportive of me and my weird ways, they accept me for who I am, love me and encourage me. And I couldn’t ask for anything more. I think we should all show our weird and talk about things we love more, share our joys and passions, even if it is a bit on the strange or unusual side. Most people will admire you for it, and you may even discover you have something in common and broaden their world. So if you fancy checking them out, google BTS ampanaman for a funny lively show, no more dream for a very hip hop young BTS, or a number of their other songs. (Fake love, Idol, spring day, magic shop…)

So February drew to a close in the most exciting and exhilarating way, and over the next few months we have some amazing things planned and all the while we are counting down to our first concert as a family to see BTS at Wembley. As Mr BC being the superhero that he is, is coming along with us. Even though he doesn’t really like the songs, he is the best dad and husband ever to accompany us.

 So once again, my apologies for once agin falling behind on writing. It is one of my biggest passions, behind reading and I love this blog. But the main reason I started it was to write about my life, my joys and my children and share this with the world because I’m happy and excited by this prospect. But sometimes I get so excited by life, I forget to write about it for weeks at a time, and I am ok with this. I don’t ever want to get so caught up in writing about life I forget to live it, it will mean my blog may sometimes be on delay and I’ll probably never be a huge success at blog writing, but I am sharing what I want to share and living my best life and I am ok with that. I hope you enjoy my weird and wacky way of sharing with you and continue to read my blog.

I may be a bit on the weird side and I may find joy in lots of wonderfully wacky ways, but I hope I can connect with all of you who are also weirdly wacky. I love to to meet like minded people and indulge in the uniqueness of all of us. I hope you enjoyed my February catch up.

 

 

** BTS Images Courtesy of Twitter @bts_bighit.

My Top 10 Pride and Prejudice (numbers 5 – 1)

Slight delay on this post – completely my fault I forgot to post it.

😂😀

Continuing from my previous countdown, here are my final and top adaption/sequels:

5) Death comes to Pemberley

The PD James murder mystery novel inspired by Austen’s characters, and later the tv adaption of PD James book, is a sort of sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Here we find all the characters a few years later and life has carried on for the Darcy’s and Bingley’s. Mr and Mrs Darcy are living seemingly quite happily, but Wickham and Lydia soon show up and even within the happiest of marriages, cracks might start to appear especially when one Wickham is sentenced to murder.

Whilst it does try to keep the feeling of Austen, it is definitely unique in its storytelling. I love a good murder mystery, and cross it with my favourite book, it was always going to be a hit for me. If you’re a fan of Austen, PD James or murder mystery – you might enjoy this.

4) Bride and Prejudice

Who would’ve known transplanting 1700’s Austen’s story of prejudices, vanity and silliness to modern India would work? But it sort of does, in an homage to Austen sort of way. It isn’t a very true to words version of Pride and Prejudice but I love the upbeat singing, dancing and frivolity of it all. It is a wonderful film to see if you haven’t seen a Bollywood production before, as it is familiar enough to follow, it is predominantly English, so no language barriers and the singing and dancing interludes are fun to watch.

3) Pemberley

This book is high on my list for purely personal reasons. I have always loved books and have spent many hours perusing book shops. I read Pride and Prejudice whilst still quite young, I was an early and eager reader, so wanted to read anything and everything. Once finished, I wanted to know more. I did eventually read other Austen novels, but at that moment, I was desperate to find out what next? Would the love Elizabeth and Mr Darcy shared be enough to help them get past all their foibles and issues? My biggest issue back then, was no internet, no google, we had the library. Libraries and librarians are amazing places, still are. Google is awesome but you cannot beat the knowledge of a librarian. Anyway, I digress. So I wanted to see if there was anything I could read that came after, did Austen write notes for a sequel? Did she continue it in her other stories? Alas, she didn’t but my librarian suggested Emma Tenant’s Pemberley: a sort of sequel.

It may not be the best writing ever, and the story somewhat falters and irks me in some ways, but it will always be the first time I really got into something so much, that I wanted to find out more. I wanted to discover more about this unique love story, about these characters. This obsessive, quirk of my personality has pretty much stood the test of time, as my friends will tell you, when I get into something, I really get into it. There are worst things, I could be obsessed with, than books, programmes and music though, so I like to think of it as a positive.

So it is for this reason, it is high on my list of adaptions. Emma Tenant is relatively accurate with her language and she sort of gets the character but there are some parts of the story which don’t ring true and it’s not an amazing sequel, but it opened up my world of looking into other variants of things I already love.

2) mini series Pride and Prejudice (1980)

I am not old enough to have watched this version first time around, which is why I think I place it second. I think if I had watched it first, this might well be my favourite version. But being an ’86 baby, the 1995 P&P was my first foray into the mini series/period drama world. And I like everyone fell in love with Firth’s Darcy and Jennifer Ehles turn as Elizabeth was pretty darn good.

I have always loved Austen since I very first read P&P all those years ago, and whilst at university, and having a bit of spare money and time. I found this older version of P&P and had to give it a go. I love it. I really do. It stays quite faithful to the original story, the characters are believable and the costumes are beautiful. I didn’t fall in love with Mr Darcy in this version though, so there’s a small negative but in all honesty, the main reason I love Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. And I like her in this version so I am good. I love her funny wit, intelligence and general character, she will never grow old. Characters like Lizzie Bennet will inspire for generations as the times may change but the idea of standing up for oneself, doing things for yourself and making your own decisions will forever ring true.

1) BBC mini series Pride and Prejudice (1995)

I think for my entire generation, Pride and Prejudice probably started as a favourite due to this version. It introduced a whole new generation to the beauty of regency costume, Austen’s wonderful characters, Elizabeth’s wit and Mr Darcy’s charm.

Although, it may not be the favourite for everyone. I love it. As I previously mentioned, as much as I like the love story between the leads, and the Bingley’s, it is Elizabeth that carries the story for me and Jennifer Ehle makes this version for me. Her facial features, smirks and charm really sell Lizzie for me. I don’t think I will ever see another Elizabeth performed as well as by Ehle.

Some honorary mentions (for various reasons) didn’t make it onto this list. The good, the bad and the downright ugly.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I know Zombies are big at the minute, with the whole walking dead thing, and I appreciate wanting to bring P&P into a modern world by relating it to something in the media right now, but in honesty I don’t get it. I haven’t completed the book, as I got a bit fed up and I haven’t ever given the movie a chance, so I am not going to slate I as I have no right as I haven’t managed to complete either form of it, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. But I know some people who love it, so if you fancy it give it a go, and come back and try to sell it to me!

Pride and Prejudice (1940’s film)

I love watching a classic film. From Blue Lamp with my dad, to Its a wonderful life or white Christmas at Christmas time. This version of Pride and Prejudice is not one of those classics that I fell I instantly fell in love with. I think once you have seen a modern version you fell in love with, its hard to see other versions in the same light. But after a few years I rewatched this, and it has a certain level of charm and beauty to it. Not enough for it to make my list but it’s worth a watch just to see Lawrence Olivier play Mr Darcy in a way, that I imagine would have pleaded Jane herself.

Bridget Jones

I have never really been able to see how this relates to Jane Austen at all, other than Colin Firth playing a Darcy again, I feel this is where the similarities end. I’m not saying it’s a bad film but I don’t understand why so many Austen fans are such n=huge fans of this series. Something must be lost on me.

And now for some adaptions I haven’t read and would like to:

Prom and Prejudice

Longbourn

Epic Fail

I hope you enjoyed my countdown, tell me what your favourite Austen is ? Did you enjoy Pride and Prejudice? What adaptions did you enjoy?

Who doesn’t love a good story telling session?

As National Story Telling week draws to a close, I wanted to share with you my children telling me their very one made up stories.

If you follow me on any of my social media’s, my apologies you will have seen this already but both stories are just too good not to share on here.

My children have inherited my love of reading, which I am hugely grateful for, but they both also have wide imaginations, again much like myself. Monkey especially borders on overactive imagination which I can also relate too. So when I told them about national story telling week, and how it’s important to tell people the stories we have in our heads, don’t keep them to yourself, share them with others. Let friends and family hear your stories, feel the excitement you feel when you imagine a new world or escape on an adventure. They couldn’t wait to give story telling a go.

So without further ado… monkey and poppets story-time….

(I send my apologies, monkey cannot sit still even to tell a story. The differences in my two children are immense but amazing, I love seeing how the pair of them are so similar but so different. Anyway, on with the stories…)

I do hope you enjoyed hearing about the bee and the mermaid that both just wanted to live out their dreams. Obviously, the children were both feeling positive vibes, and I guess they do listen when I tell them to just try their hardest and try to reach for their goals and never give up. It’s nice to hear stories with such a positive theme to them. I was very happy with their stories and happy they both gave it ago. I hope you enjoyed listening to them as much as I did. They would love to hear your opinions, so please comment below.

Celebrating Literature

Good Evening!

temp.PNG

So for the past few weeks, I have been caught up in a competition I was running to win a copy of my favourite book. My thinking behind this was to share something about myself, share my love for books and literature and give someone a small piece of enjoyment from a free book, it did come with the added bonus of opening up my audience somewhat, which is always nice, but my main motivation is my plan to spend this year celebrating literature.

IMG_1760.JPG

Most of you who know me well, will know I always have 101 things on my to do list, and I flit between hobby to craft and back again, but within this I want to celebrate my one constant – my love for books. So kicked off my competition and today I chose a winner, I cannot wait to hear from them and share my book with them.

How else will i be celebrating? Well as a family of book lovers, encouraging the children to read and find books they love is always top of my agenda, I will be doing blog spotlights on authors and books I love, I hope to get more involvement from my online book club and I have a few other special ideas I will share with you as the year goes by.

There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book. —Frank Serafini

First off, I will be re-reading my favourite Pride and Prejudice and I have asked my bookclub to join in, please feel free to join me as well and when I publish my book review I hope you will enjoy and comment with your opinions.

img_3412 2

Keep an eye out for some of my favourite adaptions of Jane Austen classics later in the week.

Following from this, the kids and I will be celebrating storytelling week by making up some stories, and I hope to share some of their best with you. National Story telling week runs from 26th January to the 2nd of February, which sits nicely as my birthday is the 1st of February and I love nothing more than a good bit of storytelling.

The rest of the year is pretty exciting too, as we have Harry Potter book night, new books try and review, lots of exploring to do (I have a book with walks from literature to try), and lots of more exciting authors and books to hear about over the coming months.

Books are a uniquely portable magic. —Stephen King

I don’t think I can think of anything better than snuggling down with a good book and a cup of tea, and immersing myself in a completely different world, meeting new friends and falling in love all over again, and again and again. My absolute second favourite thing is snuggling down and reading to my children. We have to take time to do this, we don’t always have time and life can sometimes get crazy busy, as I imagine it does for all of you. But we do stop and make time to read, as its something we all enjoy, I love to read to them and they love to listen. It is one of my favourites part of being a mother, telling them stories I’ve loved since being little, discovering new books with them, sharing my passion and hearing their exciting opinions on everything. I think I would find it hard if I had children who didn’t like to read, but thankfully I have two children who love a good book. Monkey is even a fan of writing, so hopefully he will be sharing his stories with me too!

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. —Richard Steele

If only reading could help me shed a few of those christmas pounds!

 

House of nearly finished, undecorated rooms of love.

We have been in our house 3 years now, and it is still a half finished draft of what I want it to be. Partly due to time/money/inclination and partly because of my personality traits leaning towards fickle, I intend to move soon so I don’t necessarily want a perfect house and then we have to move. But on the same note, I really would like to have more than one finished room. ☺️

We have a lot of rooms, half finished / unfinished, photo frames with ‘stock’ families in, Bathroom accessories in a bag as I don’t want to add them to an unfinished room, paint cans everywhere and every room is sort of chaotic. And my question for the days is this: Is this normal for a “grown up” or am I failing? Am I even a real grown up? 😂

The house is not still in boxes, so I sort of feel like I’ve achieved something there, and other than when the kids take over it, my living room is wonderfully decorated. I wanted one room, we could retire to in the evenings, and it be completed and mostly tidy. And I think that is my issue, my life is chaotic and probably always will be and I generally love it that way, so as long as I have one room that is normal and semi-peaceful, this is all I ask. But I still feel maybe I haven’t accomplished much in our house, and I’m not sure that is “normal”.

So today, we started on a long journey to sort the house, sort of. We started organising the kids playroom, it’s still got a way to go but at least we can get the hoover in there now, a few trips to the recycling centre and that room might just be good to play in again.

Next, I have my sights set on the kitchen. We have too many pots, pans and kitchen doodads, that we just don’t use and take up space we really need. It could do with redecorating too, but I don’t trust myself to do any of that, so all of the decorating is put on hold until Mr BC returns.

I’d like to say screw it, I’ll give it a go. But I just don’t think I have the ability and a half unfinished room or probably still miles better than a decorated by me room. 😂

I will admit I envy people who have beautifully decorated and tidy homes, I follow lots of interior design tags on Instagram, and I love to see a beautiful home, but I don’t see myself posting any of those photos anytime soon. I love a beautifully decorated home and I can see the merits of a wonderfully tidy house but I think my house has a certain level of charm also. I appreciate I have an amazing family, I have a wonderful mum who helps me keep my house alive and clean, without her my house could resemble something from my nightmares. I am blessed to have two beautiful children and my house may be full of toys, and half finished rooms but it’s also full of love.

Sharing is caring

Happy New Year Everybody! If you follow me on social media, I hope you have enjoyed my celebration of literature so far, along with my usual random sharing of family life!

I started this blog because I wanted to take some time for myself, and I’ve always loved to write and it felt nice having an outlet for some of my creativity. At first, I wasn’t really fussed if people even noticed or read my blog, I simply enjoyed the time I took reflecting on the cool things I have done with my family and sharing my love for books through my reviews. As I have continued, I have realised it is so amazing when I get likes or comments, and I do appreciate followers and feeling like someone is reading and might even be interested in what I have to say.

However, I am still a mum first and towards the end of last year, I took a small break just to spend the Christmas period with my family creating some wonderful memories, but I did my miss writing, I missed sharing moments with you all and especially I missed sharing my book reviews. My biggest passion is reading and sharing this passion with the world and hopefully, maybe inspiring others is so important to me.

So today is all about sharing – I love to share my family, adventures and random ramblings with you all. I hope you enjoy those posts, but today is all about my love of literature, books and my favourite authors. Nothing is more relaxing than snuggling down on a Sunday afternoon with a good book.

How much I love a good cup of tea? You cannot have a good book without a good cup of Tea?

As always, my first objective for the year is to set my Goodreads Reading Challenge target, last year I didn’t do so well, so I have really got to put some effort in this year. I have set 50 books this year, which isn’t quite 1 book a week.

Whilst I was thinking about all the books I couldn’t wait to read from my TBR (To be read) pile,or considering which of my already read favourite books I might read again, it hit me that as much as I love discovering books and losing myself in a good book, I enjoy sharing my experience with others just as much as the act of reading itself.

There are so many good books and authors out there, ready and waiting for you all to discover them, so within this I have decided that as much as I possibly can, not only will I be reading and sharing my reviews as normal, but I think we should be celebrating literature and reading. I am lucky that I have children who have taken an interest in my passion for reading and also enjoy a good book, I love getting to read to them and with them. I love to inspire them, encourage them and watch them fall in love with characters and words as I have done.

‘Books are a uniquely portable magic’ ~ Stephen King

Over the coming months, I want to share some of my favourite authors, books and poems with you, have spotlights on classics, literary hero’s and villains, open up discussions about why we love books and why it is so important to pass this love and share these incredible works with others. I love to inspire others to read, or re-ignite a long forgotten spark for a love of reading. To even inspire one person so read a book would be fulfilling and amazing to hear.

An amazing outlet for this, is a book club. I have an online book club, which is really relaxed and very small. But it is a wonderful place to share books, opinions, get ideas for your next book to read, or simply be and know you are in the company of other book lovers. Knowing you share something with others and having that connection is important, especially if like me, you sometimes feel like being a grown up, a mother or new person to an area can leave you feeling like maybe you’ve lost a little of yourself, or lonely or scared. The internet for all its usual little annoyances, has made the world a slightly smaller place, and sometimes seeing that there are other people who share your interests, who feel the same way, can make a huge difference to a persons life.

If books aren’t your thing, don’t worry, you can find groups and clubs for all sorts of everything, and you don’t need to leave your house if you don’t want too. But if you are passionate about something, if you like to share this with people, do it! It’s a wonderful thing, sharing with others.

To kickstart my January of sharing, my love for books and encouraging my community of followers. I am going to hold a book competition/prize draw between my blog and my social media followers. It is going to be to win a copy of one of my all time favourite books, if you have clocked the date and know the literary significance, well done and you will know my favourite book, if not enjoy trying to guess over the next few weeks. Between now and the 28th of January, Aswell as this blog post, I will be sharing a post regarding my prize draw on all my social media accounts and all you have to do is either:

A) signup to follow my blog via WordPress/email etc.

B) like and comment with your favourite book on the Instagram, Twitter or Facebook post.

(If you do it all, you will be put into the prize draw for each outlet, wordpress, Instagram for a maximum of four entries)

On the 28th of January, I will use a random generator to pick a winner, and will be in contact to arrange postage to you. I have never before done a competition, so please be patient with me as I get to grips with it, but As I have many of my own copies of my favourite book, I want to share it with my followers. I am hoping it will encourage the growth of my little community. I want you to feel able to share your favourite things, your passions with me too. Please find their terms and conditions here: https://butterfly-child.blog/terms-and-conditions-for-january-prize-draw/

‘ Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!’ ~ Anne Frank

Last year was exciting, tiring, scary and hard at times – to put yourself out there for the world to see – can be quite a challenge and quite daunting. This year I plan to enjoy it more, mostly because I plan to enjoy life more. Yes I have bad days, I have an illness which is an extra challenge and balance work/ life can be a task but overall, I have an amazing life, a brilliant family, some wonderful friends and I am a very lucky lady. I would say I am already a fairly happy go lucky person, I try to keep smiling and focus on the beauty and wonder of the world. I think that’s why I like my butterfly child/peter pan moniker, I like to hope I will always see the world and experience it, with a sort of childlike view, and never grow up properly and forget to see and appreciate the wonderment of the world.

This year, I want to do more and share more – my highs and my lows, my passions, my hobbies, everything. So my final word for today is this:

Not a promise, as an almost full time working mother, I couldn’t promise to write blog posts every day or even to write more, as I wouldn’t want to let anyone down if I couldn’t fulfil this – and even before being a mum, you all know how hard and fast life can be – I wouldn’t want to promise something here and now, and focus all my energies on that and forget/or lose time to do the other things I enjoy. Having a good balance between doing these wonderful amazing things and sharing them is so important to me.

BUT, I do want to recommit to this blog, I want to share my weird and wonderful family with you, take you all on our adventures, I want to have somewhere I can share my random outbursts of opinions, show with you my arts and crafts and mostly share with you my biggest love in life: reading. I want to commit to learning and growing and building a small community with you all. My blog isn’t a dedicated to one thing kind of blog, I don’t have a plan, and I doubt I ever will. I’m not like that as a person and I want my blog to reflect this, I hope you will continue to enjoy my blog and carry on this journey with me. I cannot guarantee a smooth ride, as I am and will probably always be learning, but I hope that you will see my personality shining through and enjoy it regardless. I cannot wait to share this year with you, and I hope I get to know you all a little better too.