31 October 2012

Westonbirt arboretum

 After seeing these wonderful photos over on Bristol parenting cafe's blog, I knew that I had to visit Westonbirt Arboretum at some point soon, especially to see all the beautiful trees in full autumn glory.

Rob had the day off on Tuesday, and looking at the weather forecast I knew that if we were going to go on some sort of outing, it would have to be then. I woke up with adventure in my veins, and on days like this if I don't get out and do something well, adventurous, then I go mad. On the off chance we rang up Rob's mum to see if she wanted to join us, and she did and especially because her sister was down to visit for a few days, and she was dieing to see Theo again! So we headed over there and then drove a short way to the Arboretum. It was pretty busy when we arrived, it being half term and all, but as we arrived later in the afternoon it soon quietened down. The afternoon sun shining through the trees cast the wood in such a beautiful light, it was so peaceful just to walk around and take it all in.

Theo's had a cold all this week, so I wanted him to get some fresh air, but he hadn't slept much, and slept late so when he woke up he was in a fairly upset mood, which continued for most of the way round. He did perk up after some snacks and a few games of peekaboo and kicking his football around though, which was nice to see!

As always I took about a kazillion photos, and I'm terrible at choosing, but if you can hold on through a few more we got to the best bit of the trail at the end, the Acer trees! As soon as we turned the corner the colours stood out and invited you to go and stand underneath their canopy's. Going at this time of year is surely worth it to see nature in all its glory. I'm sure it's beautiful all year round, and especially in the snow, but as you already know Autumn always manages to make me feel in awe of nature.

It started to get a little dark and cold, so we revived ourselves with some hot drinks and of course some cake, before heading back home.

It was such a lovely afternoon out, breathing in the fresh cold air, and getting rosy cheeks. I would love to visit more often, but it's a tad expensive to visit regularly, except for special days out! But I'm so glad we did come up and visit this time to catch all the trees.

oh and before I forget, I just wanted to ask you lovely people to give us a vote on top baby blogs (daily if possible!) to keep us up there if you would be so kind! Thanks to everyone who has voted so far!

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28 October 2012

this weekend

 Phew! This weekend has been a busy one, but lots of fun!

On Friday (because that's when our weekend starts) we did a whole load more sorting of the house, and squeezed in a little trip to Ikea, we love Ikea!

On Saturday we headed over to Rob's parents and walked into town to meet up with his Gran, Aunty and cousin for a girls afternoon out of watching the Lion King at the Hippodrome. The ticket was my Christmas present, and it was great to get together with Robs family, and feel part of it! I'm not a huge theatre goer (money and time!) but I've heard such good things about the Lion King that I thought the experience would be worth it. And we certainly weren't disappointed! I thought it was pretty bloody good. The costumes and the music were amazing, and the way the dancers used their whole bodies to move and portray their animal was incredible! It was a pretty enthralling watch, and not at all cheesy as some musicals can be, I would recommend going to see it!I I wish I could have taken photos but alas you're not allowed, I did think about sneaking one of the life sized elephant that made its way down the aisle through the crowd...

After this we met up with Rob, Theo and his dad (the boys) and went out to eat some pizza. It was a pretty tiring day, but was really good fun!

Today, after what seemed like the longest morning ever, due to the extra hour we headed into the center for a day out at @bristol. I've never been before, and was waiting until Theo was old enough to appreciate it, but wanted to go before he was two and still free. So when Rob's cousin said that she wanted to go, I was really glad because it was a great excuse to finally go! I love science museums, I turn into a kid and want to press all the buttons and do all the experiments myself...I shoved a few children out the way....not really, but I could have done! Anyway...we had a lot of fun and Theo really enjoyed it too, obviously he didn't really get the experiments and what he was doing, but he still had fun running around and pushing buttons, turning wheels and pushing levers. His favourite part must have been putting balls into a big long suction tube and watching them travel over his head and then be deposited back at the beginning. We played with this for a good 15 minutes! We/I also really enjoyed making GIANT bubbles, that was fun!

I unfourtunalty forgot my camera, so only took a few (in bad light with a running toddler) on my phone...wish I had captured some better photos, oh well!

But we had a lot of fun, despite Theo suffering with a bit of a cold and having a mini melt down after lunch. He loved seeing his granny as usual and it was really lovely to see him being looked after and played with by his second cousin. I can't wait to go back more and more as Theo grows up!

I'm off to go get snuggly and warm as it's horribly wet and cold outside...brrrrrrr!

26 October 2012

spot the difference

We were having a bit of a sort out today, ready for when we move and I found my box of photographs. I love looking through them, as they tell a story of my childhood, my teenage years and university days. All stored together in a red vanity case.

I came across a few pictures of myself when I was a baby/toddler and they reminded me of a few that we've taken of Theo, so I thought I would compare them and see how similar we are!

I know I know, I'm all kinds of cute, now you can see where Theo gets it from right?!

I can't wait to look back over the next years and see how much Theo changes and grows and to see if any more similarities occur. We're visiting my dad over Christmas and he has a big suitcase, plus albums full of photos, and I want to have a dig around in them to see what other beauties I can find!

23 October 2012

National trust

 When I was young I was dragged taken around National Trust and English Heritage properties and gardens all the time. I have mixed memories and feelings about them, I loved the gardens and running around in the sunshine, the activities and looking around the houses, but sometimes I remember feeling bored at the endless amounts of rooms to look at, where you couldn't touch anything. I wanted to explore properly, and explore the whole house, find the secret passage ways and staircases, see all the bedrooms and the kitchen. I wanted to lay on the beds and sit at the elaborate dining tables...but of course you never could.

But now I love going to National Trust places, I can't wait to take Theo to many different ones and watch him run around in the amazing grounds. When we go I like to pretend that I'm going to view the house as if I were buying it, and talk about the size of the rooms and the decor I would change or whatever...it keeps me amused anyway! Not that the places don't amuse me enough, I love looking at all the furniture and antiques, and imaging how it was to live there, but sometimes its good to be a little silly right?!

Anyway, on Sunday I decided last minute to go to my Mums, and since the weather was so nice I wanted to spend the day outside. We decided to go to Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire, which isn't too far from my Mum's house. The drive over there is pretty spectacular, and especially with the autumn colours all around. The scenery is amazing, with dramatic hills and valleys, providing you with sweeping views across the land. It really is such a beautiful part of the Country, and it never fails to impress me, I saw a house nestled into the hillside, facing out to the most breathtaking views, I put that in my dream house folder in my brain and said one day...one day.

 When we arrived at the estate we had to drive down the mile and a half drive way that weaves it way down the hill, which was very pretty!

The Estate itself is quite small compared to some of the other places I've visited in the past, but it certainly doesn't lack in beauty or charm!

After we looked around the house we wandered over to the courtyard, where they were pressing some local apples and making ciders...mmmmm. We ate some delicious ice cream, (damson and sloe gin) and toffee apples, and I bought Rob some lovely looking local ale.

Suddenly it was time to leave, and unfortunately we didn't make it to the tearooms at the top of the drive, and I've been informed that the scones are delicious! Next time!

On the way home we enjoyed more amazing views, and drove through some pretty villages. It's nice to be driven sometimes so I can actually fully relax and appreciate the views going by.

It was a great day out, and was really cheap, especially as you don't have to pay for children until they are over 5, unlike other places where you suddenly have to start paying a ridiculous amount when they hit two (cough bristol zoo cough (£9!))

Next year I think we'll definitely invest in a membership for Rob and I, and on those days where we don't have anything to planned, and are stuck for ideas we can hop in the car and go visit a near by site. I hope that Theo builds happy memories of visiting these places, as I do have happy memories really!

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