Sunday 26 August 2018

Summer Holiday Diaries: Week 4 - Wellies, Wildlife and Walking

Well that's another week of  summer holidays done and dusted! Now if time could just slow down a little...! We are trying our best to have a "summer on a shoestring!" I'm saving money where ever I can by making full use of all the free events in and around Stoke-on-Trent this summer, with picnics becoming our new best friend!

So here's what we got up to in week 4 of the summer holidays, and how we tried to keep spending to a minimum. 

Monday 13th August

Today was a much needed day at home. The weather wasn't fab either so we didn't venture out at all. The highlight of R's day though was realising it had rained so she could don her wellies and go and jump in puddles in the back garden. Poor kid - she was so excited, but only found this measly puddle to splash about in! You don't have to spend money or even leave the house to make memories!

Tuesday 14th August

We popped to playgroup in the morning for a quick brew, cake and a play before going home to make up another picnic to take on our trip out. We met some friends at Peak Wildlife Park, a wildlife park in the Peak District with fantastic, interactive walk-through enclosures. Myself, S and R all had birthday money saved so we bought annual passes. They are absolutely fantastic value and will save us a ton of money this year! 

As well as the animals, there are feeding demos and keeper talks, indoor and outdoor picnic areas, a small soft play, two playgrounds, a bouncy castle, sandpit, cafe and shop! You can spend a good few hours here, taking advantage of everything they have on offer. Here's a few of my favourite photos from our day, including S's first ever painted rock find...
Our visit to Peak Wildlife Park

That evening, Mum got the night off to go out for tea with some work colleagues. It's always nice to catch up over the summer over a nice meal and a few drinks!

Wednesday 15th August 

Do you know, I can't even remember what we did on Wednesday?! I'm gonna take a guess and say not a lot - there's nothing on my calendar and no photos on my phone! Must have been another lazy day at home! And why not?! We haven't had many days like these this summer.

Thursday16th August

We went to the cinema to see Sherlock Gnomes with friends, and paid less than £3 a ticket - bargain! Especially as this cinema is one with massive reclining seats, each with little tables attached for your drink and snacks! R is pretty good at sitting through a film at the cinema (she's 3 in November) but did get quite distracted by zooming the chair up and down using the buttons! The film was fab by the way - it kept me and S entertained anyway, with the help of a bag of sweets, drinks and some popcorn I'd brought from home! A great way to save money on a trip to the cinema.

Friday 17th August

Rudyard Lake is a lovely place to visit, but something told me taking both puppies and both kids on my own in the car was a good idea! Haha! Let's just say, it was a character-building adventure and I'm glad I met a friend and her two boys there! 

We walked (well, the kids and dogs mostly ran!) along the steam railway track, up towards the lake. The kids were excited to find some painted stones amongst the picnic benches, before we all sat down for some lunch. Then it was ice creams all round for the kids, and a cuppa for us for the walk back. Dottie the dachshund pup just wanted to be up front with the children, her little legs couldn't go fast enough! Martha on the other hand was quite happy to amble along side the adults. They really do have different personalities!
Fun at Rudyard Lake

It was a lovely few hours out in the fresh air (and it has been a lot fresher lately hasn't it?) with good company. 

Saturday 18th August

I spent another day at home with the kids as Hubby had to do overtime. Not even sure why I got them dressed if I'm honest! The highlight of my day was taking one of the puppies for a walk to the post office and trying to juggle her in my arms while writing an address on a plastic bag! It wasn't til after I'd finished, the guy in the post office said, "Oh, you can put it down if you like just as long as it doesn't wee on my floor!" I almost felt like commanding "it" to pee on the floor after that! Hubby went out with the lads in the evening, so it was just us three for the remainder of the night.

Sunday 19th August

Sunday was all about playing shops, and blowing bubbles in the garden! After a fair few failed attempts at making a bubble mix using washing up liquid, I miraculously found a massive bottle of pre-prepared bubble mix under the sink! My kids' faith in me was fully restored and the bubble fun was epic! 

After Hubby had finished all his odd jobs like cutting the hedges (such a Sunday dad thing to do isn't it?!), he decided to take us out for tea as we hadn't done much that weekend. We had a lovely time, despite having to constantly remind S to use his "inside voice" so as not to deafen the other diners, and becoming a human yo-yo picking up R's dropped crayons! The place we often go to is one of those, "buy one meal - get one free" kind of places, which helps to keep costs down.

As you can tell, this week has been relatively quiet compared to the last 3. Sometimes it's just nice to slow down the pace and enjoy being at home. The children never batted an eyelid when I said that we would be staying in some days, in fact they were quite happy to be able to play the day away! 

What kind of things have you enjoyed this week? Do you have any favourite places or things to do when you're on a budget? I'd love to know!

Finding joy in the little things: As you may know, I like to look back and think about the little things in life that made us happy. There is joy to be found in every day if you look hard enough! 

One thing that made me smile this week was the excitement on the children's faces when they found their first painted stones! We haven't got involved with this new craze yet, and the concept of re-hiding them has been lost on my two! They were actually devastated to learn that they might have to part with their new found treasures! So instead of re-hiding their special first finds, we are going to paint and hide some of our own! They are equally excited about this! 

The other moment was R finding so much pure joy at jumping in the only puddle in the garden on Monday! This kid is happiest in wellies. I'm pretty sure she's gonna end up being a die-hard festival goer when she's older! Always in wellies...and always covered in mud! What more could you ask for on a rainy day?!

Did you miss what we got up to during week 3? Find it here: Week 3 - Paint, Plasters and Pirates!

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I'm linking up this post with these fabulous blogs:

Confessions of a New Mummy JakiJellz

I’m also taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out


  1. What a lovely week you have all had. Martha and Dottie have to be the best names ever! Hehe. :)

    Thanks so much for sharing with #MMBC. x

  2. This seems like a great summer holiday week, and I agree, it’s perfectly fine to have days when you don’t do anything special. More time to just relax, and do whatever takes your fancy (such as puddle-jumpingšŸ˜‰). We love annual passes too, they’re often amazing value for money! x #MMBC

    1. We're definitely on wind down now. I'll need another summer to recover from this one otherwise! :)

  3. Lazy days are my favourite kind! I haven’t been brave enough to take the twins to the cinema yet (they’re not 3 until February). Maybe in a few months! #MummyMonday

    1. I suggest plenty of snacks and maybe another adult helper! Haha! They will love it if you pick the right film. :)

  4. Sometimes the quietest weeks are the best. We have a Trentham Gardens Annual pass that we bought with Tesco Vouchers. Definitely worth it as Titch loves the park and the Bare foot walk too.

    1. I think I need to start shopping at Tesco so I can take advantage of the annual pass offer! It really is great there. :)

  5. Sounds as though you're having a great summer holiday! I love taking my boys to new parks with a picnic. Keeps the costs down and they burn off some energy, win win ;) #TriumphantTales

  6. Looks like you made the most of the weather and had a fun filled week#twi klytuesday@_karendennid

  7. Yet another wonderful week it seems! Rudyard Lakes looks gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow.

  8. Sounds like a great week! You're braver than me taking both kids and both dogs out, I find it hard work with just the three! Thanks for linking up #TwinklyTuesday x


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