Friday, 29 August 2014

Post Comment Love and Newbie Showcase 29th to 31st August

#PoCoLo Linky now open!

Welcome to the end of August (29th to 31st) and this week's Post Comment Love. I'm delighted to be holding this for Victoria while she takes a little break, as it's always been one of my favourite linkys which I try and join in with often. A few times I've even left comments for the whole 100 or so linkers, so I'm hoping some of you recognise my name! I think reading blogs is as important as writing them and #PoCoLo is a great way to find new ones all in one place. With some children already back at school but others due to go back soon, I'm expecting to see a few school related posts in this week. These will no doubt be split between the 'yay! can't wait for them to go back' and the 'oh I'm going to miss them SO much, sniff'. Which do you fall under?!

In case you've not visited my blog before, I'm Steph, Mum to two girls (see, it does what it says on the tin if anyone else is old enough to remember the Ronseal adverts?!) and I've been blogging for 4 and a half years now. Our youngest girl, now 7, was diagnosed with autism at the age of two and a half, so some of my blog is explaining how life is different learning all about that as we go along. It's always been important to me to not let others forget about our other daughter who is equally special (and not autistic) and so my blog covers general family life and a fair bit of baking and photos too. 
This is my view as I'm writing this - my hometown where I grew up. Now we live further South and I miss the seaside, sniff!

Despite the extra challenges we have persuading our youngest to leave the house (see my post Is getting out easy to do?), we have had some fantastic days out over the summer break (see Lollibop) and a lovely holiday week in Tenby (it's a gorgeous place, look at my beach photos in Dear Diary!). The reason we stayed in the UK this year is that we have now booked our 'holiday of a lifetime' to Florida for next year - please do click on Planning a Walt Disney World Florida holiday to read my recent post about what we had to consider when booking. There's still a lot more for me to research before going though, so if anyone has any great Disney tips or posts about having been yourself, please do leave them for me in the comments!

I'd love it if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or Instagram too :)


 photo 3050e876-5d08-44fa-b416-1e09c2490383_zpse12fd438.jpg
If you are a regular linker then it would be great if you spread the #PoCoLo word. However, if you are new then welcome! Post Comment Love is all about sharing posts which you have written this week which just haven’t got the attention they deserve and, with them all in one place, we can help each other share the comment love. This is one of the easiest links EVER. You don’t have a ‘special theme’ to have to write about, the post can be personal, sponsored, a photo, a review, a competition, your own linky, something you’ve linked to a linky….WHATEVER you like – it’s one you’ve already written this week! If you want some publicity and attention, then you are in the right place!

Please make sure you go across and comment on at least two other linkers' posts. Linkys work if everyone supports each other :) then spread the #PoCoLo about this link up on Twitter. The post you link up has to have been written in the last week. The link will go up every Friday at 6.30am and close on Sunday evening at 8pm.

The ‘About Me’ special is still open to join until April 2015 – so if you are new then it is a great place to introduce yourself and it is also a great resource to find out about your fellow bloggers.  Don’t forget our #SoFoLo community on Google + and our #PoCoLo Facebook group where you can come and post your PoCoLo post for some more shares as well as any of your social media accounts of yours that need more followers.

Vicky has a list for the Newbie Showcase running into June 2015. If you would like to be featured then please email her at vickywelton@hotmail.com so she can put you on the rota. Remember, your blog needs to be under a year old to feature from the time of sending your email to her.

So this week we have an extra special Newbie entry......

Business card front 3
Hi everyone, this is Grace and Lucas and we write the blog kidGLloves...well, actually our Mum's write it but we tell them what to say. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Grace's Mum is from Verily Victoria Vocalises and Lucas' Mum is from Wicked World of Lucas but that is enough about them!

We started our blog on Christmas Eve 2013. THE second best day of the year...first is Christmas Day...apart from our birthdays. We wanted to start a blog because we believe that kids tell the truth much more than the grown-ups do. We have given reviews about stuff - even when Lucas didn't like it - and we have also been on a fantastic break together thanks to Forest Holidays.

It isn't just us who writes the blog either. Ash, Lucas' dog, shares his thoughts too in Dogged Determination. We have also run competitions and stuff and we are still crossing our fingers about entering the MAD Blog Awards Kid Blog of the Year (especially as Vita Coco drinks are Grace's favourite).

One final thing. We have our own linky that we run every Wednesday (back on 10th September as we were having too much fun during the summer!) called 'Mini Creations'. Our Mums take a photo of something that we have created that week and then share it on our blog. That way they have a memory of it but - in Grace's Mum's words - then they can bin it and it won't clutter up the house! Hope to see some of your kid's creations there.

Thank you to the lovely girls' Mum, Steph for looking after Grace's Mum's linky this week - it means she actually gets away from her computer for a while! Have a great weekend everyone. Please find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.


Post Comment Love
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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Planning a Walt Disney World Florida holiday for a child with autism

When I was nine, I got to visit Walt Disney World Florida with my parents and two brothers. We had just spent six months living on an oil tanker in The Bahamas... but that's a story for another time.
Stephs Two Girls blog autism
Picture of my beloved Nana wearing the Mickey Ears hat we brought home for her after our Disney Trip
Planning a holiday at Disney Florida is not something you get to do every day. Just as well, as it can be quite time-consuming I found!

It was difficult to know where to begin looking for our holiday for next year, but I decided to start by asking for advice from friends who have visited Florida recently. So much great information came back that I almost felt overwhelmed, and I soon realised that we'd have to start by making decisions to suit ourselves.

First we needed to work out when would be the best time of year to visit. For this, I used the fab website www.mousesavers.com - in fact, I used this website for so much information that it would be my Top Tip for any Disney planning. Another great link to check is undercovertourist.com, where they have lots of advice for planning your first Disney holiday. Their day-by-day map of expected crowd volumes is extremely helpful: crowd calendar

So next we had to consider the choice of staying in resort or in a villa. Art of Animation and the Wilderness Lodge are two Disney properties which came highly recommended to us. Whilst we loved the look of all the Disney resorts, we did see some with a hefty price tag to go with the amazing facilities. There were some reasonable options too though, and other non-Disney resorts such as the Bahama Bay Resort with its four swimming pools, splash park and other facilities. For us though, having a kitchen and making our own meals is one of our top priorities, and so we felt that having our own private villa would be the right choice for this trip. We also felt that our seven year old girl with autism (Sasha) may have struggled with all the noise and stimulation in the resorts, and a villa would be a safe haven for her to escape to.

We turned to Virgin Holidays as we've always had great service from them when flying previously. They have several villa options to suit different budgets, but as Sasha struggles with car-sickness, we felt it was worth a small premium to be as near to Disney as possible.

Although the holiday is now booked, there is still plenty more planning to do over the coming months. I've been reading lots about the new Disney access policy for people with disabilities. It's a long story, but in a nutshell too many people were trying to cheat the system and so Disney have tried to bring in a new system. The jury is still out on whether it a) works or b) is fair, but there seem to be lots of reports coming back of how it has made the Disney experience much more difficult for children with autism.

The old system was a Guest Assistance Card, which let cast members know what issues you were having, and if relevant, you were entitled to go to the front of the queue to avoid the wait. We have used a system like this very effectively at Paulton's Park here in the UK, and it has enabled us to have a lovely family day out rather than one where we end up leaving soon after we arrive.

For Sasha, queuing is a very difficult thing to do. She gets easily overwhelmed by the noise (and smell!) of lots of other people near her, and is just not good at waiting. That goes for most toddlers of course, but Sasha is a 7 year old girl with autism. She is probably just about able to understand now that if she wants to go on a ride, she has to wait for it, but that hasn't increased her ability to actually wait. She is far more likely to decide not to wait, and move on to the next thing, where she would also have to wait, so she would move on... and so it goes on. Not much fun for our elder 9 year old daughter Tamsin if she never gets to go on a ride because Sasha can't stand and wait with us, and actually not much fun for Sasha either if she is never really achieving anything.

The new system is called the Disability Access Service (DAS) and this allows guests with disabilities to receive a return time for attractions based on current wait times - so in effect you don't have to stand in the actual queue, you get to go off and do something else, and then when you return you do get to go to the front. I agree that in theory this sounds fairer, but in reality there's more to it than that. Every time we visit a new park, we will be expected to go to Guest Relations and we'll have to wait there while we explain again why Sasha has this difficulty and forms are filled in, photos taken and computers updated. Not exactly an easy start to our day. If we receive a return time for a ride, then go off and look at something else, then Sasha decides she doesn't want to ride the original ride (yes, that's quite likely), we would have to return to that original ride anyway to get the return time crossed off before we could then go and use the DAS card at another ride.

From my understanding, everyone in the park, disabled or not, now has the option to use FastPass+, which enables you to book a ticket/ride time. There was an old FastPass service which differed slightly, and there's a great comparison and explanation of the new system on this blog here

You can book up to just three rides per day, from 30 days before your visit. However the specific times you can book the rides for are limited, and popular times sell out well in advance (you can book them 60 days in advance if you are staying in a Disney resort), so this will involve a lot of planning if we want to avoid waiting around. Sasha is all about being spontaneous, and in control, but is sadly not yet old enough to plan a day like this for herself. We can never guarantee that Sasha is going to do what we have planned to do at the best of times!

Into all of this, we have to factor in the fact that Tamsin is allowed to use the DAS with Sasha, but of course only for rides that Sasha wants to go on. So as Sasha is not quite as adventurous as Tamsin, and is unlikely to want to go on that many 'bigger' rides, Tamsin must of course queue like everyone else, understandably. This just leaves us with the problem of how to amuse Sasha whilst we let Tamsin enjoy what she wants to, or face the fact that we are going to have a very split holiday.

Someone recently queried why I would want to take our autistic seven year old girl to Disney, a place bound to invoke a total sensory overload with all the big characters and flashing lights and noise. In all honesty, we're not doing this holiday for Sasha, we are doing it for her big sister. Tamsin is a real star and lives with her sister's autism every day, and we feel she deserves a special holiday. She loves roller coasters and water rides - in fact any kind of adrenalin rush. Of course we've had to take Sasha's difficulties into consideration, but we hope that Tamsin will have a fantastic time at Disney - and with a bit of luck Mummy and Daddy will too!

Do please come back to my blog over the coming months as I'll update with what we have managed to plan in advance, and I will of course let you all know how the trip panned out in the end!
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Monday, 25 August 2014

Ideas for a Rainy Day: Have you seen Great Gizmos?

Today is very much a typical British Bank Holiday kind of day. It's moved from a medium drizzle this morning to heavy non-stop rain this afternoon and there's no signs of the heavens letting up just yet.

So what would I recommend for a rainy day? Crafting, of course. I'm not saying it's going to lower your blood pressure or anything (is it just me who sighs inwardly when the tub is tipped again? I mean, they're 9 and 7 now, not toddlers...) but it always gives them great pressure so it's worth a go.

If you are only semi-creative (like me), and are never quite sure what to do with the oodles and stacks of 'bits 'n' pieces' shoved in a cupboard, I'd suggest cheating for a change. The www.greatgizmos.co.uk website is choc full of great activities for the children (adults allowed to take part too) and we've been having fun with quite a few of them over the past few months.



Today has been a mammoth effort with fairy and pet making, and flowerpot painting - such fun! as Miranda's mum would say.

Take a look at the girls' efforts (I abstained, but only because I had to be on standby with the wipes):





The Great Gizmos website is really easy to use; everything is categorised such as 'Make and Create' or 'Magnet' or 'Creative Play'. There are also wooden toys, soft toys and science sets along with musical instruments and lots of lovely other items.

All these products are good value with the majority of craft kits ranging from £8.95 to £11.95. They make great party gifts too, worth bearing in mind for when the term starts again (ssshh, naughty words!). A great way to while away a few hours!


Disclosure: 
We were sent the above products for the purpose of this review, but have not received payment. All the views expressed here are our own.

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Dear Diary: Center Parcs’ August blogger challenge

Did you know that Center Parcs are offering the chance to become part of their Family Blogger Club if you enter this month's competition - check it out over at the Tots 100 page?!

August's challenge is an easy one - they are asking to be told about your great summer moments. Surely we've all had some of those, in between the moans of 'I'm bored', 'it's too hot', 'do I have to have suncream?' and 'it's too cold!'?!

Steph Tilley, the Center Parcs Community Manager, has made some great suggestions on their blog about ways of recording your fun instead of just the usual diary style entries. My favourite tip of hers was:

'Write down your memories and pop them in an empty jar. Hang onto the jar until next summer, and you can open it and reminisce, or even get some inspiration!'



Funnily enough, we've been doing this jar since the start of this year, not just for summer, so I'd feel a bit as if I'd cheated by just sharing that one with you. 

Another tip was capturing a special moment with video, and as I seem to have a computer full of those, the only difficult bit is deciding which one to share with you! This is a very quick clip of the time we went to feed the fish in a local store; always makes me smile at the memory of it:



As I haven't got around to my post-holiday round-up blog post yet, now seems like the perfect time to bombard you with all (well OK, just some) of those photos of our holiday in Tenby this year.







Photos are my favourite way of keeping the memories alive. As soon as the children are back at school, I'll be creating a new photo book to add to my pile of memories from previous years' holidays.











I’m a Center Parcs Family Blogger and will be visiting Elveden Forest village with my family. If you want to enter to win a place as a wildcard winner just go to the challenge page to find out how: Center Parcs Family Blogger Challenge #CPFamilyBreaks
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Saturday, 16 August 2014

#Lollibop2014 The Fab Family Festival!

I feel like I ought to write this post in two halves - part a) where we go to the fabulous Lollibop 2014 festival and have oodles of family fun and part b) the trials of being there with a child with PDA. Both would be true, so actually I'm just going to dive in and tell you about our day as it happened.

Last year we attended the Lollibop 2013 festival at the Queen Elizabeth Park, and we had a great family day out. So this year, when I heard it was going to be held at a new venue close to us, I couldn't resist visiting again to see what was new.

Hatfield House is the great venue for Lollibop 2014; a huge expanse of grass and a few trees meant there were several different areas to explore, and access to everything was easy. The main stage had plenty of space around it and several benches laid out in front of it - although right in front of the stage there was also plenty of standing room. During the time we were there (Friday morning) it wasn't overly busy and so it was easy to find your own spot with a good view of the stage. Very well organised parking with masses of spaces added to the good experience overall.

We headed through the rainbow entrance arches (nice touch, rainbows make everything seem fun) and the girls were greeted with big smiles and a Peppa Pig sticker, always a bonus. We were also handed some free Bear snacks as the girls posed for a picture with a Bear which they would have liked to bring home. 
Happy memories of our fab 'day' (2 hours or so!) out at Lollibop 2014
We knew that Sam and Mark were due on the main stage shortly after we arrived, so we didn't stop at much on the way in and made our way there fairly quickly. It wasn't a long walk, but by the time we got there Sasha was already dragging her heels, and almost as soon as Sam and Mark appeared she was saying she wanted to go home (sorry guys, nothing personal!). I think it was more to do with the sound than anything - big speakers or music she is not familiar with always seem to unsettle her.
The very funny Sam and Mark
So I left the bigger girls to sit where they were and watch the show (with strict instructions not to move a muscle, which of course they followed, ahem..) and I wandered off with Sasha to try and find something to recover her mood. She had been excited about going in whilst we queued in the car to park, and we'd spotted someone blowing giant bubbles. Sadly not even the thought of this could persuade her we were going to have fun, so I had to think hard to keep egging her along as we walked to the far end of the site in search of something, anything, to make her happy. Personally I was hoping to sneak into the meet and greet with Mr Bloom, but the queue was snaking around and Sasha sadly wouldn't indulge me. I had to make do with sneaking a peak through the tent 'window', but it was too blurry to be of any use as a window.

A free pack of haribos helped Sasha's mood, but only marginally, and then we visited the Skylanders area (but Sasha was still not impressed). Next to that though was the Heart radio stand, and praise the Lord they had balloons! On sticks! So one of those did the trick and I managed to persuade Sasha to climb into their giant deckchair for what turned out to be one of the best shots of our day. Sasha followed that up with some colouring-in before we headed back to find the others and see what food there was for lunch. Seemed to be lots available but mine settled on chunky chips, of course.

Sasha was finished quickly and still asking to go home, but she then remembered that we had seen a 'Sports Day' set up right by the entrance and she decided she fancied a go on that. I sneakily distracted her as I took them all in the opposite direction to explore a different corner of the site, and we spent some time on the Kia stand playing outdoors Jenga, noughts and crosses, and a bit more painting and colouring-in. There was a great River Island stand where the older girls would have loved designing their own T-shirts I'm sure, but there was a small queue; sadly Sasha is not a fan of queues. Instead the girls chose to clamber all over the Beano sign (which made for great photos) and we then moved on to the Nintendo stand. My girls are huge Nintendo fans and I was pleased that the team had thought up a fun character hide and seek for visitors to do rather than just having the electronic games to play on. Of course Mario Kart, Golf, Kirby and Pullblox were all played on too, and Sasha enjoyed hunting for the special ball in their ball pool! 

It was at this point that the first teeny tiny raindrops fell, and although there were only a handful, it was enough to start stressing Sasha again. So with the promise of now heading straight to the 'Sports Day' attraction she wanted on our way home, we set off (with just a quick detour through the Thomas Sodor set-up). 
You can see how happy she was as the rain began to spot
I'm not sure what Sasha was expecting from the Sports Day, but the idea was that it was organised games at certain times of the day. The lovely people manning the stand were a little taken aback when we said we were on our way home but would like a quick go - most people stay at the Lollibop festival all day and there's certainly plenty to do there! They were very understanding and agreed the girls could have a go - on seeing the Space Hoppers though, Sasha did another about turn and marched off saying the rain was coming back (it wasn't!) and she didn't want to get a wet bottom. So she watched in a grump from afar as the big girls enjoyed their own mini races up and down the course. 

For me, the end of our Lollibop time was just another indication of how Sasha's avoidance stops her from enjoying herself. No amount of trying to point that out to her is going to change things sadly. As she was safe this time, and for a change she didn't carry on walking out, I let her be, half hoping she'd come back and join in, but knowing it was unlikely. It's generally difficult for us to enjoy family days out like this as Sasha can be so unpredictable and has a very short attention span, but it's nice to be able to go somewhere new if only for a short time. For four people Lollibop would have cost us £82.50, which I think is actually good value when you get to meet and see TV characters on stage, collect a few freebies along the way, have faces painted, get to take part in fun activities and stay and play all day. For us though, having to leave places like this early is a regular affair and we just wouldn't get the value out of the tickets that other people do. I remember only too well spending an hour in the foyer of Wembley as Tamsin sat and watched Disney on Ice with Daddy - and that time we had spent a lot of money on front row seats in the hope that Sasha would be enthralled.

Enough about us though; Lollibop 2014 is on again for one more day tomorrow (with Justin Fletcher as the star guest, along with many other great names) and I'd thoroughly recommend getting yourselves down there if you can! I hope we can enjoy a little bit of this experience again next year.


Disclaimer: we were very gratefully given these tickets for free, but all the views expressed here are our own!

read more "#Lollibop2014 The Fab Family Festival!"

Friday, 15 August 2014

Walt Disney World Florida with autism

Today I've written a guest post for the lovely Michelle over at The Purple Pumpkin Blog.

Michelle and I share a common love for Disney, and you can find some news and top tips from us by clicking on the following: 

Planning a Walt Disney World Florida Holiday For A Child With Autism

Here's a sneak preview of the photo involved, but you'll have to pop over there to find out more.....


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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Is getting out easy to do?

Do you know what I hope?

I hope that my friends 'get it'. That they understand that when I invite them round to our place for coffee, or lunch or a BBQ, it's not because I have an innate desire to always be the host, and it's not because I don't want to visit their beautiful houses which are all less messy than ours for sure. It's not because I don't want to go out, and it's not because I don't want to make the effort.

It is simply because it is easier for me to feel relaxed and enjoy the company of others when I know I don't have to be on high alert. Sasha is comfortable in this house and can escape to her own space. Here, I don't have to field her getting upset/overwhelmed and demanding to go home every few minutes, and I don't have to worry that she is going to pick the paint off someone else's wall (ahem. Sorry holiday home).

So does this mean we can never go out, or that we never try to do different things?

Back in the toddler days, I had to gradually admit defeat and stop attending Dinky Dancers or the music sessions that I took Tamsin along to because of the interference from Sasha. I began to feel like a prisoner in my own home. Isolated. Like an outcast, unable to socialise. Boy, I wanted to socialise. Still do, always. That's a part of me, as much as the autism is a part of Sasha. I could never be described as the life and soul of the party, but I love people - watching them, being around them, interacting with them. All of those activities are generally very difficult for people with autism as many of them have not learnt the same 'social rules' which typically developing children seem to learn by osmosis.

Any simple trip out of our house involves forward thinking and planning. Getting Sasha 'in the right mood' is not a simple task. The planning generally starts in advance, talking her through it, providing options, always having a plan B. Occasionally though, telling her at the last minute proves to be a better strategy so she doesn't have time to worry or get too confused about the week's activities. It's a guessing game as to which of those strategies (advance warning or last minute) is best. 

Using the right language and never being rushed (ha! every morning before school) - more specifically, never giving the impression of rushing, is key. Even when you are late, there needs to be a smile on the face and an 'oh well, it doesn't matter' tone to your voice, or else you are going nowhere. Children with PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) cannot be 'made' to do things you want at the instant you want them to; they can dig their heels in harder than the 'average' child. Leaving the house in the first place is just one example of a difficult time.

It is still difficult for us to arrange a meeting with other people outside of our own home. Sasha loves swimming and would probably agree to go to any new swimming pool (in her own time of course), but other activities can be limited. She loves crazy golf - but not the one with the big dinosaurs which make a noise, or the one where the queues are too long. Quiet, indoor places are generally worth a try if there is some activity that holds her attention (looking at exhibits or reading information boards doesn't fall under that category funnily enough) but we're never likely able to stay for long. 

As much as Sasha loves being outdoors, she hates rain with a passion (even little drops, as she told me yesterday). So we have to be sure it's dry before we go, or that it will be fine, or that we have raincoats, umbrellas and an escape plan. Walking up a hill to see the view, having a pub lunch, or ambling round a pretty village looking at craft shops or enjoying an afternoon tea are activities I would do myself quite happily, but which just don't work with Sasha. She is now seven, not a toddler; I'm pretty sure though that she won't be agreeing to do that type of relaxed activity any time soon, if ever. Our eldest, Tamsin, may also not naturally choose to do those activities, but could easily be persuaded to without much trouble and would do it happily to join in and just be with friends.

Summer holidays tend to reinforce these feelings of not being able to live the life I wish I could. I guess when I post pictures of us in different places, or on holiday, others see us having fun, and think 'how hard can it be?'. We do go out of course, and we do try different places and new activities, but we try and judge when the time is right and when it might work best. We have to use strategies for Sasha which I never would for Tamsin; an ipad or a visit to that famous chip shop before going for tea have been used and appreciated more than once.

I hope that our friends understand that I would love to be joining in with group picnics, and meetups in the park, attending festivals and going to the zoo or any other such group activities. I sometimes say no to suggestions because I don't like the idea of being flaky; of turning up somewhere but possibly having to leave 10 minutes later due to mass meltdown. I hope I'm not judged as being lazy or not trying hard enough. Sometimes I'll say yes because I'm desperate for me and Tamsin to try and enjoy a day out just like other families would be doing. Other times I have to be non-committal and last minute - very difficult for someone like me who yearns to be organised and plan ahead. The 'other' me would always offer to car share, would always be planning days out with friends to somewhere new and exciting, would rather be free and easy. 

As a family we've all learnt how to manage Sasha better. We know what her stress factors are, we know what she likes to do and how she can be persuaded - some of the time. The best skill we've learned is how to 'run with it' and be flexible. Getting out of the house has become easier with Sasha but it's still not as easy as it would be with just Tamsin. I just hope that friends can understand that.

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Monday, 11 August 2014

Siblings {August}

Okay, it's here, only a day late this time.... my monthly effort at a photo of my two girls to join in with the fab Siblings linky.

Siblings {August}
I grabbed them at a quiet time, middle of the day, both in good moods - so no pain, but lots of snaps to try and get the holy grail perfect one as usual! The above is the one I'm sticking with for this month (you'll find the out-takes below as usual).


I also realised that we have more siblings in house now, so I thought it only right that they should join in too - so here you go, welcome to Stampy and Lotus, now 4 months old!


Stampy and Lotus have used up quite a lot of my camera clicks in the 2 months they've been with us, so I'm sure you will see a blog post all about them sometime soon. In the meantime, they do have their own Facebook page now - so for more cute pics, click on Stampy Kitten! As I'm so nice though, I will treat you to a teeny tiny extra kitten picture or two....

The girls are still cute though, right?!



dear beautiful
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What's It Like?

This week I was invited to write a guest post for the lovely Victoria who writes her blog over at Verily Victoria Vocalises

Victoria is an amazing lady who puts a lot of love and energy into the blogging world; she welcomes everyone and helps to spread the word. She is also extremely understanding, which is why I wrote the post I did.

You can read it by clicking on What's It Like?.

What's It Like?
What's It Like?

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Was it really only seven days?

Oh Blog, how I've missed you. Was it really only seven days?

If only I'd realised before I left that we would be truly parted, separated for seven whole days. I'd have left you with some memories, something to pass the time, some extra special words for that lone reader out there.

It was an unexpected estrangement and not a welcome one. I battled on valiantly for the whole week, with only a trip in the car where we briefly passed through a larger town providing some respite.

Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Couldn't really say who I missed the most. No being nosey, no catching up on everyone else's lives, no sharing of my happy moments. It was tough.

No wifi, no 4G - not even a hint of 3G! Where was this strange world I found myself in?

Wales. South Wales. 

Another country, where the food tastes different according to Sasha. Welsh Weetabix and milk are in no way the same as home Weetabix and milk, apparently.

I love you Wales, you were the home of my father and his family and you have some brilliant beaches. But please, please, jump into the 21st Century before I return next time.

Everyone else, brace yourselves for the follow up posts with more holiday pictures. 


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