Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Summer Holiday Diaries: Week 5 - Pocket Money, Playdates and Poppies

I can't believe we've just enjoyed week 5 of the summer holidays! I hear a lot of people saying they can't wait for the kids to go back to school, but it's not the case here (although a little 'me' time wouldn't go a miss!). Our "summer on a shoestring" has been great fun and we've been trying to save money wherever we can. 


So here's what we got up to in week 5 of our summer holiday.  

Monday 20th August

Today was a chilled out day. We met Hubby in Leek (a historical market town in the Staffordshire Moorlands) for lunch as he decided to work half a day. The kids had managed to diddle their dad out of £3 each so they were desperate to spend it! We hit Home Bargains, one of their favourite shops and let them loose! 

DinoTrux
S had £12 of his birthday money left so he was in his element choosing something he wanted. If there are any DinoTrux fans, I recommend popping in there as these die-cast figures were under £3 each! And each one does something different! R picked a Daddy Pig and George set (we subbed her the extra £2!) as we all know she is Peppa obsessed!


Tuesday 21st August

School was only open for two days this whole summer and today was one of them. I loaded us up with lunch, snacks and drinks and got ready for a whole day of tidying up my classroom after my own kids trash it! Haha! Actually, most of the other teachers with children brought them along, so as the adults printed, laminated, tidied and planned, the kids all played nicely together and pretty much entertained themselves! We managed to stay most of the day, and left about 4pm! So I treated my pair to ice-cream on the way home for being so good! 

Wednesday 22nd August 

We went to Trentham Gardens today with my colleagues and their children. After spending the day with them on Tuesday, my children were really excited to be seeing them all again! Trentham Gardens is great value if you have annual passes, and you can even triple your Tesco Clubcard points to buy one. We don't have a pass as we only go very occasionally so I didn't mind paying entry (kindly discounted 20% by going in as a pass holder's friend). Kids under 5 get in free too.

Once inside, there's so much to do and you don't have to spend much at all if you take a trusty picnic! We spend what seemed like forever in the adventure park and sandpit area before sitting down for lunch together. The adults treated themselves to a hot drink while the kids were busy picnicking! 
My favourite photos from the day
Afterwards, we geared up for the Barefoot Walk which the kids love! It's a multisensory walking trail full of different textures like sand, pebbles and mud to walk through. Last year both of mine loved the splashing in the water sections but this year they had changed it to squelchy mud! I was so surprised that R would not walk through the mud at all - neither would S for that matter! R just kept saying that even Peppa had wellies in mud so looks like we'll be taking them next time!

We explored the sensory gardens and looked for fairies in the gardens before we left. It was a fab day out and both kids fell asleep in the car on the way back!

Thursday 23rd August

We went back to Peak Wildlife Park today for a few hours to make use of the annual passes we bought with our birthday money last week. We met a couple of S's friends there and they had a lovely time, causing chaos together! We managed to have a play in the park, and walk through the animals before the weather changed and we ended up in the soft play area...with everyone else! Haha! I was grateful for half an hour of peace and a hot coffee on the way home...

Friday 24th August

Today was a busy day, starting off with a playdate in the morning. S had a friend from school over. His little sister is R's age, and they are becoming good friends too. I have fond memories as a child, having friends over who had siblings to keep my brother and sister entertained too! It was nice for me to have a bit of adult company too for a few hours! 

Later on we went with my in-laws to visit the amazing ceramic poppies display, "Poppies: Weeping Window" at Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. This is a free event and well worth a visit if you can get there before it is taken down on 16th September. There's a lot to see and do at Middleport Pottery, and you can even pay to go on their heritage trail if you want to. We are happy just wandering around the various galleries and taking in the view of the canal at the onsite cafe. Here are a few photos from our day - before we got caught in torrential rain and hail!!
Visiting the poppies at Middleport Pottery

Saturday 25th August

I left my Hubby and R at home, busy with her Playdoh and finally prepared myself for the dreaded school uniform shop! I took my son to Matalan to buy what he needed. We managed to get almost everything, including school shoes. Just P.E pumps and an official school jumper to go...


Sunday 26th August

We arranged to go out for lunch with family today, however R took a funny turn and ended up going to sleep in the restaurant after not touching her sausage and mash - her favourite! She perked up a bit after a sleep and some Calpol but wasn't herself for the rest of the day.
Poorly girl
My best friend and her family had been at a wedding for the weekend and we were lucky that our house fell on their way home! She lives about 150 miles away from us so we don't get together much - in fact, we worked out that October half term last year was the last time we saw each other! Quite possibly the longest we have not seen each other since meeting at university back in 2003! After a few hours catching up, and the kids playing, they left and we put a knackered R to bed!

So, that was week 5! Another week of busy fun and down time in equal measure, and not too much money spent...until the uniform shop! 

What kind of things have you enjoyed this week? Have you seen the poppy display anywhere around the country? I'd love to know! Why not leave me a comment below?


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. 


I can't even begin to explain just how lovely it was to see my best friend in the flesh, in "real life" after almost a year! We vowed not to leave it so long next time! But it is hard, isn't it? Trying to juggle family life and social life, keeping in touch with friends near and far. Sometimes life just gets in the way! We are lucky that our friendship is one of those where it doesn't matter how long it's been between texts, calls and visits - within 2 seconds of being back together it's just like old times, like we've never been apart! Do you have friendships like that?

Did you miss what we got up to during week 4? Find it here - Week 4 - Wellies, Wildlife and Walking. 

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