Monday 13 August 2018

Summer Holiday Diaries: Week 2 - Coffee Mornings, Cooking and Cake!

The summer holidays are in full swing and we are trying our best to have a "summer on a shoestring!" I'm saving money where ever I can, as these 6 weeks can end up being bank-breaking if you're not careful! And looking at the state of my bank balance, we need to watch every penny! Haha! 

So here's what we got up to in the second week of the summer holidays, and how we tried to keep costs down.

Monday 30th July

My Hubby was off work today but after such a busy weekend we just pottered around! We treated ourselves to breakfast at the supermarket before doing the much needed weekly shop! Well, when I say weekly, I can't actually remember the last time we did a proper shop! S took some of his birthday money and bought some more Lego - a monster truck set! 

When we got back, I de-cluttered my daughter's bedroom which felt quite therapeutic actually! I had a large bag of goodies for the charity shop by now as I'd done the same to my son's room last week! S and I sat down to build his new Lego set and Hubby went out on his motorbike for a bit. 

We took the puppies out for a walk around the block later that evening when it had cooled a bit. We haven't been able to take them out much during this heatwave! But luckily we have a big garden, and they have little legs so they're still getting plenty of exercise, even if i'm not!

Tuesday 31st July

We went across to the church coffee morning which doubles as a play group during the holidays. It's just nice to keep a little bit of R's routine as the rest goes out of the window when S is off school! It's also a very cost-friendly few hours out of the house! We nipped home for a quick lunch then it was off out again. 
Eating cake outside playgroup
An author (Christine Johnson) was reading an extract from one of her children's books, "Max, Mouse and the Doll's House" at the Brampton Museum. This was a free event with arts and crafts included, so we went along. Both kids enjoyed the drawing and colouring, and S listened very well to the story. We explored the old toys exhibition for a bit before we left the museum.
Our day at The Brampton
Brampton Park in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire is a great free place to visit. Not only does it have a free museum, it has a sandpit, an aviary full of birds, a playground, a walk through rose garden, picnic area and free parking! If the weather isn't great, you can visit the soft play inside the cafe and the bouncy castle outside is only £1. On some days there is also a little train that runs, which you can ride for a small donation. We have spent many hours here over the years and if you take a picnic, it really is a cheap day out

The kids were shattered after a busy morning and afternoon so it was back home to chill. I snuck out to an aqua-aerobics class that evening with a friend. It was really nice to unwind a bit and to have some adult company after a noisy day with the kids! I came back to this...

Wednesday 1st August (As if we're in August already?!)

We took the opportunity to go to another fee event hosted at one of our local libraries today - and it was FAB! It was called The Little School of Improbable Cooking, hosted by B-Arts (a group of artists and producers based in North Staffordshire), and supported by National Lottery Funding. 
Making pies!
You can read all about it in detail in our review postbut basically it was a pirate themed cooking school for children aged 2-12 where the kids made their own mash-potato topped pies and pastry desserts! We had a really good time!

Thursday 2nd August

We didn't go far on Thursday. The kids watched the two DVDs we rented from the library the day before, and played in the garden. We popped to the local "bargain" shop to get some cheap storage for the children's toy shelves. I gave them £2 each to spend as they wished, and my word, that decision took forever! The pocket money toys were scrutinized and the sweets mulled over too, until they finally made up their minds! Oh, and I blitzed the house later! Well...I couldn't put it off much longer!

Friday 3rd August

S as been covered in an unidentified rash since mid-December. We finally got a referral to a dermatologist after 8 months of doctors trips and trialing different creams. Today was the appointment and we were really looking to a diagnosis. But there was no such luck. You can read all about our appointment and the guilt I felt for not getting him referred sooner in my post, 8 months and still no diagnosis. Have we failed our son?  
Strange skin condition

Saturday 4th August

It was a lovely sunny day today so we took a little trip to one of our favourite places, Jackson's Nurseries in Bagnall. We met Nan and Granddad down there and the children had fun playing with them in the on-site park for ages. Free fun for everyone! 
Playing on the tractor
It also has a great cafe where the children and I shared an afternoon tea for one! It was great value at just under £8 and had enough homemade sarnies, cakes and scones to feed the 3 of us... with a pot of tea for me of course! We popped into the nursery part before we left to stock up on edible plants for our 10 year old tortoise, Douglas! I swear he eats better than us sometimes!

Sunday 5th August

Today I braved taking the kids swimming...on my own! Neither of them are very confident in the water but we're working on it! I can let both of them go now and they'll happily bob around in the water with their armbands on! They were starving afterwards - swimming always makes you hungry doesn't it? So it was a Happy Meal treat for the way home!
Sleepy pups!
The rest of the day was a lazy one, spent at home not doing much other than a bit of housework! The children and the pups played in the garden for a bit before the dogs collapsed on the floor! 

These weeks are going far too quickly! How is this the end of week 2 already?! I tried really hard this week to keep spending to a minimum and I'm pretty pleased with how the week panned out! If you missed what we got up to in week 1 of the summer holidays, check out our post all about it!

Finding joy in the little things: After the disappointment of Wednesday's appointment, we were obviously upset and quite confused as to what steps to take next, in our search for a diagnosis or treatment for S. However, after a couple of phone calls to various family members, a few messages from close friends and supportive comments from the blogging community, it made us realise how many people we could lean on for support. 

So, this week I found a lot of joy in being reminded that, there is always someone around to listen or to talk things through with you, when you need it the most. Even if your problem isn't a big one, it can feel enormous to you if you don't let it all out and share your thoughts. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved and all that! So thank you to those that listened to me or read my heartfelt post this week, I really do appreciate it! 

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  1. I love weekly round-up posts. You've had a busy one. And you're right - things are so much better when you can just share them with loved one and get things off your chest x #TriumphantTales

  2. Awww your kids are adorable and they looked like they had so much fun X #twinklytuesday

  3. It is amazing just what we can get up to for little or no cost! It sounds like you had a very busy, but fun week!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week.


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