29 May 2016

Discovering North Brittany and Beyond

We have holidayed in France many times over the years, visiting lots of different regions. Some of the most memorable times have been spent in or around North Brittany. Famous for the Breton stripe, cider and home to the less well known Breizh cola. Brittany is a region steeped in history, with many beautiful cities and monuments. As we loved it so much, I decided to put together a few of our favourite places to visit, to help out, should you be heading there this year.

For a taste of city life, the coastal city of St Malo is a must see, it is a walled city with beautiful cobbled streets, independent shops alongside plenty of cafes and restaurants.

With two young children in tow, it isn't always easy to find somewhere to eat but we have never had a problem in France, children are always well catered for, children's menu or not. We didn't get to spend as much time as we'd liked in St Malo, but we did get to see the cathedral and if you do have time or are close by, then there is an Aquarium, another great rainy day activity. 


27 May 2016

Celebrations and Making Memories

With busy lives and children seemingly growing up quicker these days, I try and make the most of birthdays and celebrations. We often celebrate international holidays such as Chinese New Year and Mexican Cinco de Mayo to name a few, but more important than this, I love to make sure birthdays are super special.

Not just for the children either, my husband loves a bit of a celebration so I include him in this too, making sure to decorate the house so when everyone comes down in the morning they see banners and balloons and making special cakes like this Maltesers cake I made my husband last year.

malteser cake


25 May 2016

Pony Rides and Friendships

A few months ago my daughter was invited to go horse riding with her best friend, it was a rainy and muddy day but that didn't put them off. My daughter was all covered up in her Helly gear, which is perfect for such occasions as this.

The first task when we got to the stables was to find a suitable helmet, it took a while as my daughter has a rather tiny head but eventually we found one befitting of her petit size and off we went to find her a horse. A rather beautiful specimen named Smudge, a very proud little lady took him down to the training paddock.


23 May 2016

Crabbing in Appledore

Living in Nottingham means we are very rarely able to visit the coast, it's at least a two hour drive in every direction. So when we are at the coast, we like to make the most of our time there, our recent adventure in Devon took us to the beautiful village of Appledore where we did some crabbing.

This isn't an expensive activity and gave us about three hours of fun for less than a tenner. We ate lunch of fish and chips shared between us, sat on the harbour walls waiting for a crab to bite. It was the perfect way to get outside and all enjoy an activity which connected us back with nature.

If you have never been to Appledore, then I can highly recommend this wonderful little town, with it's beautiful harbour front, cafes and antique shops and plenty of small alleyways leading to wonderful little houses and seaside craft shops it is well worth a trip.


19 May 2016

Beautiful Nature

Sometimes I look at what we have become as humans, destroying life, land and our seas. It can be hard to see past it all, but then, in a single moment of utter beauty, I am reminded of what nature has created and still creates now.

With each season comes a different flower, we have just had daffodils, tulips and blossom and then, the beautiful peonies have started to unfurl their spectacular petals.

I bought a couple of reduced bunches from Marks & Spencer on Sunday and wasn't expecting much. But, when we got home with these unloved beauties and put them into some water, they exploded like sprinters, racing to see who could open the fastest.

One of them beat the others hands down and there were many oohs and aahhs, it was like a peacock shaking out its tail feathers, truly beautiful. So, I did what anyone who likes to take pictures would do and got my camera out.


12 May 2016

No Such Thing As Bad Weather

With the weather in England being more than a little unpredictable, you have to be prepared for everything from wind and rain, to sunshine with a bit of snow, all on the same day sometimes.

Last year, we were sent some Helly Hansen waterproof clothing for the family and some fantastic matching wellies for the children, they haven't left our adventures since. So, when they asked if we'd like some fleeces to try on our glamping adventure holiday last month, we obviously said yes.

The fleece jackets are so toasty and warm, whilst also being light weight and comfortable. Meaning we could all wear them under our waterproof jackets to layer up without looking too much like the Michelin man!

helly hansen


8 May 2016

Pain Vs Exercise

I started on Gabapentin last year to help with my Fibromyalgia, it has helped to mask some of the pain, however it has made me put on over a stone in about 8 months. Holidaying in France eating cheese and drinking wine everyday probably didn't help, however the Gabapentin is known for slowing down metabolism and as I haven't really changed my diet I am assuming this is the problem.

Now, the problem with my Fibromyalgia is that it is a vicious cycle, of needing to exercise to work the muscles and help ease the pain, to not being able to do those things because the condition causes your whole body to ache for days on end. A never ending cycle of wanting to be active but being in so much pain you can't be.

However, my jeans are a little snug, so it is time to lose some weight. I had been swimming regularly since the new year to try and lose weight, but with half term and a dodgy knee, I haven't been for a few weeks. Life simply seems to get in the way.

I need to get a grip though, this isn't about me 'not needing to lose weight because I'm not fat' as I hear from friends and family so often, maybe not to the naked eye, but my body has changed shape and I am so conscious of it myself that I need to do it for me.

I try to be fibro-warrior, I try to get through the days and so if I can do that, then I can get rid of the weight I am carrying. I also think that it is probably adding to my weariness and I need to do it to feel better about me.

So, I have applied for a day pass to my local Nuffield Gym to see what it's like, I will be doing that and I will be getting back into my swimming, as well as going out for walks on my days off. You'd think that the amount of house work and running around I do I'd be fine but obviously something has changed in my body and I need to get better, for me and for my family.

7 May 2016

Bluebells at Rufford Abbey

Spring brings us a time when the countryside and woodlands are filled with beautiful bluebells, these enticing blue flowers carpet the ground between the trees and make theses places even more inviting to explore.

With sunshine a plenty, we ventured over to the wonderful Rufford Abbey, it is a favourite spot of ours and as it's just 20 minutes up the road from us, it is a great place to head out for some time outside. With woodland, a ford, plenty of bird spotting opportunities, a park and gardens there is so much to do.

We headed out into the woods in search of some old logs on the woodland floor, they are great places to find bugs and little creatures, especially this time of the year as they start to come out of their winter slumber.


4 May 2016

Helping Me Sleep - SoeMac Review

For the last few months I have been trialling a device called the SoeMac, it is designed to help people with their sleep. The device is a non invasive alternative oxygen therapy treatment, that allows your body to have a more restorative sleep, therefore helping with a wide range of sleep and health problems, from snoring, to ME & CFS, Asthma to Sleep Apnea.

The SoeMac is the world’s first and only home use Singlet Oxygen Energy therapy device. Until now, this Oxygen Energy therapy has only been available to users by means of very expensive, large machines, which rely on the use of a nasal cannula, or mask, to deliver the Oxygen Energy to the user.

The device itself is small and fits neatly and unobtrusively on my bedside table, it comes with extra filters and a power supply.