Under The Thatch - Knappings Cottage

My parents live a good six hours away from us so we see them around twice a year, which is a shame but unavoidable. It does give us an excuse now and then though to meet in different places. My mum booked this fantastic Under The Thatch cottage in Cheltenham last week for a long weekend it was perfect for our little family (being only 40 minutes away by train).

I've stayed in a few Under The Thatch places now with my family and they are always a real treat to be in. When Tom first met my dad it was at a trip away with them to a Under The Thatch cottage in Pembrokeshire, the sea was right at the end of our garden and it even had a hot tub! I'd love to go back to that one again with Wilf, perhaps next summer.

We took full advantage of the wonderful garden this house came with on a few gloriously sunny days. When it got too hot the flag stone floors and thick stone walls were perfectly cool.

Wilf of course refused the travel cot and instead stayed up with us each night until we all headed off and slept together as a three. I'm glad we weren't too bothered about strict bedtimes it as it meant we got to spend some quality time with family without taking it in turns to go to bed at 7pm.

My brother and Wilf had great fun running about the place and Wilf got to bath every night in a real roll top bath (on my wish list for my dream bathroom). My parents got the room with the four poster, my sister the one with the wall full of books, my brother the attic and us the on-suite so it was perfect for our family.

If you've never been to an Under The Thatch property I would recommend them! I really love the idea of the gypsy caravans too!


Homesense Sensology

A little while ago now Homesense asked if I would like to join them for lunch. They wanted to let a few selected bloggers know about their new sensology app and to become their 'sensology panel'. The idea was that we would try the app out and see if the results match how we then shopped in the store.

My results came out that I was 'atmospheric', which from the questions asked seem to mean I am a fan of colour, clutter and bold patterns. Which sounds about right!

I went along to the store with a few bristol bloggers and we all kindly given a gift card in which to get some bits. If you are not aware of Homsense they are the sister company to TKMaxx (think the home bit in TKMaxx but a lot bigger!).

Tom and I had been to the store once before when we first bought our house and I found the most beautiful patchwork armchair (that we couldn't take home on the bus of course). The thing is about the store is it has the same feeling you get in a second hand store at times in that you know some of the items are one off's that if you don't buy them then and there you wont get the chance again (a dangerous feeling!).

I let Wilf choose one item and he chose a little embroidered chair (which is probably meant for your feet but never mind). It's so cute as he now sits on it in the corner of the room playing his xylophone.

I bought myself a coffee pot and a cake tin I have admired for a while (for all the cakes I bake y'know ;))

Wilf thought the trip was extremely exciting, he tested out every chair, opened all the bins in the bathroom section (why?) and basically ran laughing down each and every aisle! He was a little like a wild child but there you go, Homesense clearly is that exciting! 


We like to read

Happy Birthday Sam by Pat Hutchins

I love the simplicity to Pat Hutchins books, and the consistent striking colour palette too. Her books on Sam however are not my favourite by her, have you ever read 'Rosie's Walk' ? It really is the most beautiful book. I love vintage children's book illustrations, and I love that this was published in the seventies and forty years later is still being read and loved.

Can't wait to see what books you are reading this fortnight!
p.s doesn't two weeks just fly by??



'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

Wilf - You love your granny's house, it's toddler heaven. You play with Duplo and jigsaw's that were your daddy's once a long time ago. You play in the paddling pool, the chalkboard and bubble wand. You follow your granny around the vegetable patch discovering delights like sugar snap peas! Here you are undertaking the serious job of de-shelling the peas and selecting the tiny sweet peas inside.


A little adventurer

Wilf is a little adventurer, a nature wonderer. Since he got those little walking legs of his he is never happier then outside. He loves to stop and blow out the fairies on the the dandelions, to peep behind trees playing 'peepoo!' at us and to run along the many paths and fields around our home.

Lately he discovered that bee's are called 'bumble bees' although he mistook this for a general word for insects. Now all insects are 'bimbles', there are ant bimbles, butterfly bimbles, beetle bimbles and of course bimble bimbles (which we have to be extra careful of). 

Last weekend he discovered snails for the first time, collecting each one to show me and carefully place back in his little pile (where they slowly slowly try to crawl away). He says 'caaaarefully' as he knows creatures and bimbles need to be respected. 

There is a woodpecker that lives by the bridge over the river close to our house. We tromp over the wooden slates saying 'woodpecker where aaaare you?' I've only ever seen in him twice, last christmas we took as special christmas day walk there to wish him a merry christmas but he may have been hiding. 

We are so lucky to live by such greenery, I look forward to our little explorations and the new discoveries about nature and wildlife he is constantly making!

This post is an entry in the July Centre Parcs challenge 

DIY Peg Doll

You may remember a week or so ago Wilf and I took a trip to ASDA to see what we could make out of their craft section. I made some cute cup lanterns which you can see here. I also picked up some wooden pegs (5 for £1) with the idea of making some peg people for Wilf, this was such a fun project and took about fifteen minutes to make!

You will need:

Wooden pens
Paints or Sharpies (I chose sharpies for simplicity)
A bit of fabric
Washi Tape (you can buy this cheaply on many Etsy or Ebay shops)

Get a mug and cut around trace round it onto your fabric
(a shameless plug to show off my mug for Paperchase - yet again!)
Next up colour in your peg! I think my lady looks quite spanish with her black hair and red top!  I then cut a tiny slit in the middle of the fabric circle by folding it over and snipping a little bit out.
whip a bit of Washi tape over the top to secure and you are done! Tom said they would make great additions to themed cocktails too and I agree! Sangria anyone?


What Mama Wore (the swimsuit edition)

What Mama Wore:

Nautical Swimming Costume c/o M&S 
(here is the bikini in the same design if you are brave)
Betty clogs c/o Moheda 
Sunglasses TKMax

We stayed with Tom' mum over the past few days and were lucky enough to be able to use her neighbours outdoor pool. As you can imagine this was utter bliss in this glorious heat! I was a little hesitant to bare this much skin for all the internet to see (my upper legs have not seen the sun for many a year) but hey, this body had a baby not so long ago and I'm pretty proud of it no matter what shape it's in (or how pale my legs!).


The perfect recipe for summer-time fun

Every wondered what the perfect recipe for summer-time fun is?
You will need:

one family (can be substituted for good friends if family not available)
one sunny day
one garden
one piece of plastic sheet
one watering can filled with water
one bottle of washing up liquid
one naked toddler
(glass of wine optional) 

And there you go! The perfect recipe for summer-time fun! 



'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

Wilf you are ten years younger than my brother Madog (the same age gap as my sister and I) and 15 years younger then my sister Serin (the same age gap as my brother and I). You loved playing with your Aunty and Uncle on our recent visit, I secretly think my brother very much enjoyed being the older child in the scenario. I loved seeing my siblings and my son fit so easily into each other's lives despite visits being few and far between. 

p.s it is my beautiful nieces first birthday today, it makes my heart heavy to have only met her once but this is the case when family is spread around the country. Still we hope to see them later this year, I can't wait for the cousins to get to play together!


Our Weekend In Pictures

We spent last weekend in Cheltenham with (some) of my family. We booked a beautiful Under The Thatch property with the perfect garden for a non stop toddler (apart from the pond but luckily there were many a family member to keep an eye out). Wilf had a blast playing with my younger brother who are just ten years apart in age. For Wilf he got to play with a fun 'bigger boy' which he loves and for Madog as the youngest of five he got to play the part of the 'big brother' for once. The boys played so nicely everyday we were there and gave Tom and I a good chance to relax a little. 

The weather (in case any of you have been living in a hole) was stunning, at times perhaps a little too hot but hey I wouldn't be British if I didn't complain just a little right? 

On the last night we brought out a cheesecake we had bought earlier from the local shop. The kind that contains a ridiculous amount of sugar and artificial colouring. Like the sillies we are we gave Wilf a spoon as a special treat, four hours later (and 3 hours after his bedtime) he was still bouncing off the walls. Being particularly hilarious, blowing raspberries on our tummies, singing all his favourite songs, kisses and all the types of of behaviour that makes it impossible to be annoyed. Still, lesson learnt! 

Although it is only a 40minutes train ride from Bristol we had never visited Cheltenham before. With the heat and the need to just take it a bit easy we didn't really see much of the town but the parts we did see were very beautiful. We already said we would like to go back soon as see some more.

One thing I did think afterwards was that I should have asked for some tips on good places to visit whilst we were there, any of you lovely readers know Cheltenham? Where would you recommend? 
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