Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Family fun Sundays!

Last summer was hard on all of us with Aaron working his first season without a day off, me struggling being pregnant and looking after Leo in the heat of the summer and Leo missing his Daddy being around.  He was always in bed before Aaron got home and therefore only saw him for a very short while each morning and almost every day he used to be sad and ask for his Daddy.  (not helped by the fact Mummy was not often much fun and unable to get on the floor and play with him!)

This year is much better, especially for Leo as he now has a much better level of understanding and can cope with a later bedtime so most days, if he had been good he gets to stay up for Daddy to take him to bed.

This has been working very well but recently he announced he was worried about Daddy, and worried he wouldn't be able to play until winter, So Aaron decided that during the holidays Sunday nights would be a special night for them as he finishes work a little earlier.

Leo has the choice of what to do, they can play on the Wii together (his favourite thing in the word EVER!) or go swimming.  The last two weeks they have managed both before bedtime and Louka and I join the in the pool for a quick dip before leaving them to it.

It was the first time Aaron had been in the pool this year and already he's doubled his total of swims from last year as we've now been twice!  It's also only the second time I think we've had a photo of the four of us!

I think he was quite surprised to see how much Leo has come on with his swimming and confidence in the water, jumping in without someone to catch him and swimming on his front and back, last year was very different!

dear beautiful
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monday, 29 July 2013

The long hot summer - so far so good!

We're over halfway through the summer season!

I was worried when Aaron went back to work in April after 5 months off over the winter and it seemed like it would be a lifetime before we all had time together again - in Loukas case it pretty much would be anyway!

It's not been easy but so far so good, in our case at home anyway.  Aaron is exhausted bless him as he is right in the crazy period which will last through August but he's powering through. Leo has now been off school for a month and thanks to the amazing invention that is the Nintendo Wii it has largely been an enjoyable time.

We've ticked off a few items off our Summer Dreams list and I have several more plans, some of which have been on hold as both my parents have been ill recently so we are still looking forward to a boat trip, funfair evening and some beach / pool trips together.

I'm quite impressed we are all still in one piece to be honest, the kids are ok, I've not lost my sanity yet and the apartment is pretty much clean and tidy  (thanks Mum!)  I do however have the constant feeling that I'm 'behind' on my blogging and yet it has only just occurred to me that it actually doesn't matter!

So, instead of spending every day mentally noting what I would like to be blogging about in the evening (or more accurately what I'd like to be sitting and doing in the afternoon!)  and then spending the evening blogging (or often just arsing around online) rather than watching tv, swimming or even talking to Aaron I'm going to chill out and drink a cocktail or two in the couple of hours where the kids sleep!

I'm not taking a complete break - you'll never shut me up for that long but I'm going to stop worrying if it turns out that my only posts are my 365 project - that's' another thing but I've got this far and I'm not giving up that easily!

I have so many posts in my head and in draft  -places we've been, things we've done, Flashback Fridays, Slimming World stuff but I have a note book and at least I won't run out of stuff to write in the winter!

I might even attempt an evening at home not spent online!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A belated Slimming World update!

It has been four weeks since I wrote an update on how I am doing at Slimming World, that in itself is not strange as I never planned to do it regularly, what is strange is the fact that I reached target three weeks ago and haven't got round to mentioning it!

I also haven't been back to group since then although that's only due to Leo being off school and it being too much like hard work to stay after weigh in with both the boys, being at target means I don't have to pay so from that point of view I don't need to go at the moment.   I will go next week to weigh in to keep myself on track but probably won't end up staying again until after the summer holidays.

Personally I'm not a fan of weighing and going, I've always liked to stay to the meetings, even if sometimes they can be hard work!  Certainly in the winter when Aaron will be around to look after Louka I'll go back to staying every week. 

Although I'm pleased I've got to target I think the reason I've not been shouting about it is that to me it was a 'cheats target'!  I would like to lose another 1/2 stone to get me to my pre-pregnancy weight but a not able to afford the meetings really and they are not enjoyable whilst taking both the boys.   I had been struggling for a while to get to where I am so decided to take a breather for the summer and enjoy having a little bit of leeway to enjoy an ice cream or 3.

I will do it though and when I reach my ideal target I'll be shouting it from the rooftops!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

365 Project -Week 30

After 3 weeks I decided to ditch the 'photo a day' prompts, I had been enjoying them but after taking several random photos that I'd never normally put on here (including last weeks photo of an empty bouncy castle) I felt I was clutching at straws when I took a photo of a sandwich, and not even an interesting sandwich!

I don't know if the prompts had put me off but since then I've really struggled taking a photo each day and really didn't fancy doing it but as I figured I usually end of taking at least one it seemed a shame to give it up so easily!

Louka has been suffering from a very high temp for few days now which we think is due to teething so we've not been up to much, and therefore the photos were not the most interesting but I'm still going!

Leo grudgingly watches as Louka takes over what he was doing!

Only wanting to sleep on Mummy, despite me trying to explain it would be much cooler to sleep somewhere else!

All engrossed in Toy Story Mania on the wii!

This is how I spent most of the day, with a red hot baby sitting on my lap. It was like cuddling a hot water bottle all day long, just what you need when it's 38 degrees!

It was very late when I realised I'd not taken a photo and it had taken a long time to get him to sleep so there was no way I was putting a light on!  I couldn't believe I hadn't taken a photo all day, especially as Louka had his first proper haircut, and due to him being poorly, I still haven't got one several days later!

Louka was a bit better today, there were a few moments where he was laughing and playing interspersed with several naps and grumpiness. 

Louka was a little brighter today occasionally and his temperature is back to normal, but still very clingy and not his usual self. 

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Teen Beach Movie - Soundtrack review.

I realise that I am now a long way from being a teenage girl, and I guess a fair way away from even being a 20something girl but for a girl who grew up loving not only the movie Grease (which is an excepted good film) but also Grease 2 (NOT a good film).   I'm just a sucker for a cheesy song (Cool Rider and 'Lets Bowl' if you were wondering were my favourites) and a happy movie!

Much to Aaron's disgust in recent years I watched all the High School Musicals and loved the TV show Glee so the fact that I am not a teenager did not stop when when I was offered the chance at a sneak peak of the soundtrack to Disney's new Teen Beach Movie which premiered on The Disney Channel UK on 19th June.

Usually I'm not a fan of film soundtracks unless I already love the film but even without having seen it I'm sure it's going to be a huge hit with its intended market, of course I'll only be watching it just for  research purposes! (well that's my excuse anyway!)

The songs are annoying catchy just as they should be and oh so summery. I'm sure the soundtrack will be loved and played again and again by many a young girl after watching the movie.

Here's a quick overview of the film - it sounds brilliantly silly, sunny and full of cheesy songs - what more could you want for the summer!

Two teen surfing sweethearts ride the last wave of summer together, one that mysteriously takes them into a classic beach party movie, Wet Side Story. There it's surfers versus bikers for control of the beach hangout... and everyone spontaneously breaks into song and dance! Now they must try to return to present day, but their lives may be changed forever when they inadvertently alter the movie's romantic story line – as the handsome leading man, surfer Tanner, is falling for McKenzie while biker girl Lela is swooning for Brady. What will happen and will they ever make it back to their real lives?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

365 Project - week 29

Still following the prompts!   Here are this weeks....

14. Edible - it makes a change for him to be putting something in his mouth that actually is!

15. Outside the window - taken standing at my Mum's kitchen sink.

16. Bottle - holding it himself now!

17. Inspirational - We spent the afternoon at a friends house and Louka was so determined to get up this slide.  He never gave up, and made it in the end.

18. Number - Puzzle time with Leo putting in the last piece of the Number 1 tank engine.

19. Building - Leo building a tunnel to go over the tracks.

20. Hot - you know it's hot when the bouncy castle is empty because it's too hot to stand on!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 19 July 2013

Sometimes you've just got to get out!

Everyone always says when you have kids its good to get out for a while everyday, today was one of those days!

Despite going downstairs to our shared pool at 1pm for an hour I think the boys and I were suffering today. I spent most of the afternoon racking my brains for somewhere to go - it was 38 degrees which ruled out parks, walking and pretty much everything I could come up with. Eventually at 5pm everybody lost the plot - Leo was building tracks, Louka was demolishing them, I couldn't keep picking him up with my bad back which was playing up and everyone was generally hot and grumpy.

As I had already made dinner (a pasta salad to eat cold) I packed it into a plastic box and announced we were going out!

Thinking it would be a bit cooler than earlier in the day I put the kids in the car and headed down to Agia Napa for a stroll round the harbour and a picnic dinner by the sea.

Looks idyllic doesn't it?

They might say that the camera never lies, but it doesn't always show the true picture...  It was still very very hot despite the sea breeze, it would have been a great plan but I was probably a couple of hours too early!

Leo insisted on walking to the furthest point which was fine, and quite interesting as we'd never done it before but after sitting down to eat, he decided he wanted to go back to where we were in the first place (in the wrong direction to the car) I said no and then he decided he didn't want to eat his dinner out.   We started to walk back to the car and he announced his legs were so tired and couldn't walk any more and Louka suddenly got fed up with being strapped into the buggy.

We eventually got back to the car with the promise of popping into Daddy's shop to say hello on the way home in an attempt to get him to walk past all the restaurants, play areas (we stopped in one for a while) and places selling ice cream.

It was still better than staying indoors even if it wasn't the smoothest of outings.   I did feel quite envious of all the people heading out on the party boat though and we stood for a long time watching it disappear around the cape. Leo was interested in the loud music which you could hear even when the boat was almost a speck in the distance, I was contemplating diving in and swimming towards it to freedom!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

He's a Jingle Jangle baby.

Three years ago, not long after we moved to Cyprus I started to take Leo to 'Jingle Jangles' a music group for 0-3 year olds, he was 9 months old and although at first he had no real idea what was going on it was good for him and even better for me!    I was sad at our last session as it was one of the things that kept me sane when I first moved here, and the place where I met two people who I now count among my best friends.

This month I got to relive some old memories when I took Louka for the final 3 sessions before the summer break.

It was quite surreal to sit down again in the familar circle and 'tick tock' with a 9 month old on my lap again.

It was a bit odd being there without the others but I knew a couple of them and of course I know 'Miss Claire'.  Singing all the familiar songs it seemed like only yesterday I was there with Leo.

The last two weeks I've taken Leo with me as he has finished school for summer.  He said he didn't remember Miss Claire or anything about it but I could see that it all came back to him when we started.

Leo loved it and has spoken about it constantly since, he loved showing Louka how to do the songs and play the instruments and beamed with pride when Miss Claire praised him.  Yesterday he asked how Miss Claire can come to our house and see us!

Tempo dance and theatre school Cyprus

Tempo run a whole range of classes for all ages, you can find them on Facebook under 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

365 Project - week 28

Continuing with the #fmsphotoaday prompts, here are this weeks...

7. Where you are  - this is where I often am, building tracks and playing trains!

8. Path - I wanted to go out and explore to find an interesting new path to take a pretty photo of, but it is far too hot!

9. 3 things - Baby, milk and cuddles

10. Smooth

11. I wore this  - and probably have done every day since April!

12. Bad habit - biting my nails, I was just trying to distract from it a little by getting my rings in shot!

13. 4 o'clock - being used as a human climbing frame by Louka.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Cocktails and Dreams

As we recently saw the end of school for the summer I thought we'd start off as we mean to go on and I chose the first activity from our 'Summer Dreams' list.

Sam, Leiarna and baby Jaxon came round after school for lunch, playtime and dinner and I thought it a perfect time for some cocktails...

I love cocktails, they make me think of holidays and fun, so I thought it would be nice to share this with the kids..... without the alcohol of course! (I just can't stand the word 'mocktail')

I provided the ingredients and Sam came armed with the decorations.

We started with a fruit smoothie, banana, mango, orange juice and ice. They enjoyed helping to make it, putting the chopped fruit into the blender and pressing the button.

The smoothies were not a huge hit with the kids but we enjoyed them as I made the next round, a child friendly take on one of one of my all time favourites.

'Sandcastles on the Beach'

crushed ice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup apple juice
1 cup lemonade
splash of grenadine

Straws, cocktail umbrellas, stirrers etc...

Half fill the glasses with the crushed ice and pour a little grenadine into each glass.
Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and whizz for a few seconds until nice and frothy.
Pour over the grenadine and ice and add straws and decorations.

non alcoholic childrens cocktail

Leo and Leiarna loved their special drinks, a fab way to celebrate the start of summer!

This ticks off an item off our 'Summer Dreams' bucket list,  if you have any summer related activities I'd love to see them - add them to the linky below and grab the badge if you wish...
A matter of choice

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Stuck on You Personalised gifts - Review and Giveaway

I was recently asked if I would like to review something from Stuck On You - personalised gifts and the coolest kids labels.  I had a look through the site and was spoilt for choice...

I received two products form Stuck on You, although I have now committed the 'Mum of 2' sin of not getting the same products to save on arguments, thankfully Leo's gift is the better of the two (in his opinion)  and Louka is too young to care!

Leo is now the proud owner of a personalised height chart.

stuck on  you height chart

The chart is made of good quality canvas and edged in wood. It's approx 400x1270mm. It also comes with a set of stickers to mark the child's height on special dates.

Louka wasn't left out though, he now has a silicone placemat, very handy as I predict it will be some time before he stops making a hell of a mess at mealtimes!

The placemat is a good size, approx 480 x 355mm and is easy to wipe clean or rinse under the tap.

I'm sure I can persuade them to share the height chart as Louka grows up but I think I'll be investing in  a matching placemat for his big brother!

You can find Stuck on You on facebook, twitter and Instagram

Stuck on You provided me these items for the purpose of this review and they have also kindly donated two vouchers worth £20 for me to giveaway.  To be in with a chance of winning you need to fill in the Rafflecopter form below.... Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 6 July 2013

365 Project - week 27

We crossed the first thing off our 'Summer Dreams' list by going to see a show by Perfomers Academy of Dance and Theatre arts. After being in his school show Leo was excited to go and watch one, it was quite hard work as he was a bit too short to see well so we kept changing positions, eventually sitting at the back on the floor in the aisle.  He asked a million questions during it which was annoying but he really enjoyed it.

For July I have decided to take photos inspired by a list of prompts for July from Fat Mum Slim.  I was undecided at first if it would make the 365 challenge harder or easier but so far I'm enjoying it.  I also decided that instagram will be my friend for the month and I'm loving playing around with the filters (even though I'll probably get told off by my Mum again for 'ruining' all my photos!)

1. Happiness - Another gorgeous Cyprus sunrise, despite the constant early mornings the gorgeous skies from my balcony always make me so happy to be here.

2. Shoes - Louka is always grabbing everyone shoes, cute but most annoying when you are looking for them in a hurry!

3. Cold - hmm, a tricky one in 35deg plus temperature.   Had to be ice cream!

4. Red, white or blue - another train fan in the making!

5. Love - Louka just adores him, even when he doesn't want to play.

6. Fave smell - Dinner cooking when I'm really hungry! - not my finest photograph but I wasn't going to give up the challenge so soon!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

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