The Christmas Experience at Stockeld Park

I am feeling so festive after our family outing to The Christmas Experience at Stockeld Park last night. My sister in law told us about a voucher a few weeks ago, so it was a great price for the four of us. With a baby and a toddler we couldn’t do all of the activities but the atmosphere was magic, the food lovely and the shop brilliant. The different coloured lights everywhere made it really tricky to take any decent pictures.

We started with The Enchanted Forest and then spent a good chunk of time on the ice rink. We didn’t expect them to have Winston sized ice skates but they did, and he loved it. Winston has been lacking in confidence in a few ways recently, so it was nice to see him trying something new. He was trying to persuade us to let him stay longer, but our backs had given up on us.

stockled park enchanted forest Continue reading

‘Do Good This Advent’ and a simple analogy.

Warning! There are a lot of thoughts and feelings in this post…some good, some not so good and some, somewhere in the middle. Let me start with an admission – around this time of year I get angry. Like, really angry and I’m getting worse every year. It drives my husband up the wall and I’m sometimes unbearable, even to myself! TV adverts make me angry, radio adverts make me angry, the term ‘party season’ makes me angry, the commercialism, the endless plastic tat, the talk of needs – that actually are wants, the talk of excess, the talk of ‘Crimbo’ and ‘Xmas’. The list could go on and on…and on. There are so many things I love about Christmas too, but that will have to wait until another time.

It occurred to me (and my husband, years ago) that being angry is such a waste of energy, and I need to channel it into something more constructive. Why the focus on others, when the only person I should be concentrating on is myself? and who on earth do I think I am judging how others want to celebrate Christmas? and if people want to call it ‘Crimbo’ and buy plastic tat…then let them. Get over yourself, Esther. Continue reading

Basket Basket

rope-handle-classic-basketBasket Basket are suppliers of Fairtrade handmade French and African shopping baskets. It is a family run business based in North East Hampshire, and they sell a huge variety of different shapes, sizes and colours. The baskets are hard wearing, eco friendly, chic and unique – as each one is slightly different. They are excellent for picnics, shopping, storage, holidays and perfect as a gift.

The baskets are handmade by talented artisans, ensuring their specialist skills are not lost for future generations. They are all made with natural products and come direct from family run businesses in Morocco, Ghana and Madagascar. They say they pay Fairtrade prices, and they do pay Fairtrade prices.  Continue reading

The 52 Project – 46/52

rufus playing

photo (55)“A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014″.

R: Rooster does not like being left out if Winst and I are crafting, baking or drawing. He shouts and moans until we lift him up, or find him something to do. He doesn’t like being by himself and has the strong desire to destroy anything Winston is trying to create. This is the perfect spot for him in the kitchen – with access to bits and bobs in the dishwasher, and the added bonus of having the washing machine for a TV. Actual lifesaver. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to encourage Ru to climb the stairs this week…one I am swiftly regretting.

W: Winst napped during the day this week, which meant he was my sofa buddy one evening. We watched The Great Interior Design Challenge together. He seemed to enjoy it until he dropped off and was snoring loudly. The light wasn’t great but I wanted to capture the moment. Also new with Winston this week is that he has started to draw things that are recognisable (with a little imagination) – a whale, a face, a centipede, a truck and lots of cars, of course. It completely took me by surprise!

This week was the first time I have been featured on another blog. Thank you Sian at The Potty Mouthed Mummy for having me, and thank you Mellissa at Diary of a Jewellery Lover for letting me write a guest post.

E xx