A Year in Review 2013

Normally I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, so trying to remember everything we did in the previous year can be challenging.   Another reason that I love blogging as I can easily reflect on the previous year to remind myself of all the things we’ve done and how lucky we are.

I’m pleased to announce that this year we haven’t had any major deaths or dramas after the previous years.  It’s been uneventful in that way, which I’m thankful for, but still a rather jam packed year.

We started off last year on a positive with hubby getting a new job and his contract has just been renewed for another year.  I’m still struggling with us both working from home but grateful that he is around more and can help out with more of the child care.

Our daughter turned 6 this year, I can’t believe how quickly the time is going but she’s doing extremely well in school and growing into a delightfully inquisitive little soul with a great sense of humour.  I finally succumbed to having a birthday party this year.  We did something a bit different and had a sledging party and by all accounts it was a success.  We also surprised her by updating her bedroom to a big girl’s room.

As a mum it’s important to have a bit of ‘me time’.  This year I’ve been lucky to get away on a few occasions on my own.  I celebrated my birthday in Bucharest, Romania in October, learned how to Surf in Newquay in the spring and went quad biking in Iceland just before Christmas.

We’ve also had a few days and weekends away as a family this year.  A family ski lesson at the Snozone in Milton Keynes, Glamping at Cuckoo Down Farm with friends, driving through the animals at the Midland Safari Park, scrambled around Warwick Castle, climbed through the canopy at Go Ape, got soaked at Legoland and rather dizzy at Thorpe Park.

As always we made our yearly trek home to Canada to visit friends and family.  We had great weather, thoroughly enjoyed North Bariere Lake and another highlight was the Outdoor Caravan Farm Theatre in Armstrong.

We finished of the year with our first trip away for Christmas at Coombemill Farm in Cornwall.  It was absolutely perfect and will post about it soon.

We don’t have any major plans but we didn’t last year and it seemed to work out, looking forward to seeing what 2014 holds for us!

Wish you all the best in 2014


What not to wear?

Need help choosing clothes for work like me?

I hate clothes shopping and I’m terrible at it but I’m loving Polyvore.  I’m incapable of coordinating outfits which has resulted in an entire wardrobe full of stuff that doesn’t go together.   If the Sales are on with racks and racks of cheap tat, I panic and walk out.  I recently went to an event wearing the following outfit, a friend who lacks frontal screening and was slightly inebriated (totally mullered) exclaimed upon first seeing me ‘you look like a child who put on all their favourite clothes this morning’.  I couldn’t argue with him really.

Denim and camouflage outfit for women Autumn 2013

Where the problem starts

I prefer to walk into a shop to find a fully dressed mannequin wearing exactly what I’m looking for and if I can afford it I will buy it.  I do like flipping through catalogues, folding the pages that catch my attention but hate catalogues that have items individually (e.g a page of jeans) listed on the page without showing how they go with other stuff.   What am I supposed to do with that.  The same goes for websites.   It’s amazing how many sites don’t have ‘Look Books’   for inspiration for those of us who are fashionably challenged.

Alternatively, I’ve been known to corner the young shop assistants for their help saying ‘I have so and so to go to, what should I wear?’ which has worked well in the past, however, on occasions, they have persuaded me to buy something that was totally unsuitable, never got worn and is still hanging in the wardrobe with tags on it.  I’m in my 40s for fat snakes!

This is why I like Polyvore, I came across it awhile back.  Besides being an online clothing store it also has the facility that you can create your own sets, allowing you to put together outfits.  What’s even better is that you don’t have to stick to the clothes on their site.  You can add a button to your tool bar, so in future, when you are surfing the web looking for clothes you can ‘clip to Polyvore’.   So, if you find an outfit online (e.g. Pinterest, Fashion Sites, Tumbler) that you like, you can try to recreate it using this tool.

Creating outfits online

And if you’re still not sure if the outfit works you can always share it on your social networks and ask your friends for advice like I did.

Autumn/ Winter Work Outfits 2013

Luckily for work I don’t have to be suited and booted, however, it would be frowned upon if I wore jeans.  So, I’ve been looking for Autumn/Winter Clothes for 2013.  I still have a long way to go, but here are two that I put together so far.  I was attempting to use some of the items I already had in the wardrobe.

Women's Fashion Autumn/Winter 2013


Women's Fashion August/Winter 2013


How am I doing?  Be honest.  I’d still love to find a way to wear my camouflage jeans to work if anyone has any ideas.  Happy shopping and be prepared to lose a few hours of your life.



How to beat the heat!

Summer Activity Camps for Kids Near St Albans

Even though we love to moan about the weather in the UK we have to admit that we’ve had a pretty good summer so far.

When we had the mini heat wave a few weeks ago, it was challenging trying to think of things to keep my daughter cool during the first part of the school holidays.  You couldn’t pay me enough to go to the local Splash Park as it’s always heaving and I’d end up having an altercation with another parent!  We’re lucky as we have access to the local Dive Club Swimming pool.

But what about ice-skating or sledging?

Bet you didn’t think of that.

Two weeks ago we were invited to the SnoZone in Milton Keyes which is an indoor ski slope,  which always intrigues me being Canadian.  The Snozone is less than an hour from St Albans.  This is the first time that the SnoZone is offering  Summer Fun Activities, to keep kids active and entertained.   There is a great balance of on and off the slopes activities (e.g wacky races, dodgeball, sledging, ultimate Frisbee, dance classes, junk music, arts & crafts)  for kids aged 5+.

As you can see our daughter had a great time and so did her pal.

Summer Activity Camps Near St Albans

Children can do either a half day (£24.99) or full day (£34.99) which includes snacks and refreshments.  Parents can drop kids off, sit in the cafe and watch or possibly hit the slopes themselves.  All you’ll need is some warm clothing and water proof gloves.

My daughters pink padded jacket with reflective piping was courtesy of Aldi’s Back to School Range