Tag Archives: 2015

The Family Travel Show Ticket Giveaway Comp

The family Travel Show, Olympia, London 2015

The Family Travel Show

Discovering the World Together

Olympia, London, 31st October – 1st November 2015


The end of this month sees The Family Travel Show being held in London. It is the UK’s first ever event totally dedicated to family travel adventures.

One of my best experiences travelling was when I visited South America and I know Ed loved Australia. One day we really want to go back to these places as a family to share how much we loved them and create new memories together. However time and finances mean this will probably be a long way off yet so events like The Family Travel Show are great places to get inspiration and ideas for travelling with your family be it in the UK, Europe or further afield. (You can read more about our camping experiences in the UK and France here)

The Family Travel Show will give you the chance to get face-to-face with the best family holiday providers and specialist operators all under one roof, take advantage of exclusive show-only offers and competitions, gather impartial advice and inspiration, and of course quiz the experts on those all important questions.


So if you’re looking to just research, plan or book your ideal family adventure, you can do all this and more at The Family Travel Show!




For more show information please visit www.familytravelshow.com


In association with The Family Travel we are giving 3 pairs of tickets to the show. Simply enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a pair.


a Rafflecopter giveaway





**Competition winners will receive their tickets ahead of the show**


Cirencester Children’s Literary Festival

Cirencester This week sees the third Cirencester Children’s Literary Festival that is running from Monday 27th July  until Saturday 1st August. The Festival is funded by the Bingham Library Trust and organised jointly by Gloucestershire Library Service and Octavia’s Bookshop. (We love Octavia’s Bookshop but I am saving that up for a future blog post!) Cirencester, a large market town in Gloucestershire, is often referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds. It was a Roman settlement that was originally known as Corinium but perhaps now is more famous for it’s celebrity residents that scatter the surrounding villages.

The festival was opened today by zoologist and award winning author Nicola Davies. Her books for children include the best-selling A First Book of Nature, illustrated by Mark Hearld. We went along to Nicola’s session toady as my auntie had bought us tickets last week. With this event having a strong animal focus she thought G would love it and he was absolutely rapt. Although the session was aimed at slightly older children (maybe 7+) he sat and listened with fascination as Nicola told the children where she got her ideas and inspirations for her stories.

The Festival has lots events for all ages including Ian Whybrow, author of the famous Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs bringing a Bucketful of Stories and acclaimed illustrator Emily Gravett, celebrating the 10th anniversary of her prize-winner debut, Wolves.

This year there is a theme of illustration running through many of the events. There are various competitions being run through the week and the winning artwork will be displayed at a special opening of Bingham Art Gallery on Saturday 8th August 2015.

The events are being split between Cirencester Library and Octavia’s Bookshop with one special illustration workshop by Sophie E Tallis taking place in the Bingham Art Gallery. Here is the line up for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, July 28th 2015

  • Ian Whybrow -11am, Cirencester Library. A Bucketful of Stories – reading and interactive event with a signing. Aged 4-6.
  • Helen Peters – 2.30pm, Octavia’s Bookshop. The Farm Beneath The Water. Aged 9-11.

Wednesday, July 29th 2015

  • Sophie E Tallis – 11am, Bingham Gallery. Illustration workshop plus competition for best artwork. Aged 5-10.
  • Tracey Corderoy -2.30pm, Octavia’s Bookshop. Introducing Shifty McGifty & Slippery Sam with reading and craft activities. Aged 4-7.

Thursday, July 30th 2015

  • Faye Hanson – 11am, Cirencester Library. Wondering Workshop – reading, drawing and Daydreamer Boy draw-a-long plus competition for best artwork. Aged 4-9.
  • Emily Gravett – 2.30pm, Octavia’s Bookshop. Illustration, reading and signing plus competition for best artwork. Aged 6+.

Friday, July 31st 2015

  • Kristina Stephenson -11am, Cirencester Library. Theatrical reading of ‘Sir Charlie Stinky Socks – The Pirate’s Curse’, with costumes, props and a giant pop-up book. Aged 4-7.
  • Ben Davis – 2.30pm, Octavia’s Bookshop. Reading and signing with ‘Create a Hero’ activity. Aged 10+.

Saturday, August 1st 2015

  • Piers Torday -2.30pm, Octavia’s Bookshop. Reading, Q&A and signing. Aged 8-12.

Tickets for each event are just £2 with proceeds going back to the Trust. This makes the festival an inexpensive activity with all the rainy weather we have forecast this week.

The Festival has its own Facebook page CirencesterLitFest and Twitter feed @CirenLitFest which will be tweeting regular updates.

Is it only February?


Is t still only February? As I write this post I can’t get over how much our lives have changed since seeing in 2015. I have started a new job teaching again and we have left the pub we were tenants in for 5 years. It is really odd to have my husband back, at home, helping with daily life instead of feeling like single parent. This is part of why I started blogging as I was on my own so much. I know he was working hard to keep the business going but there came a point when the hours and no profit were just not worth what we were losing out on as a family. We now have weekends and each one is already booked up until the end of February, doing normal family things. In the space of a week we left the pub, buried a dear friend and had to have our lovely family dog put down after 14 years as my faithful companion. Not the easiest week but we got through it as a team.

I am sorry I haven’t posted for such a long time but as our life turned 360 degrees I didn’t have the energy to write posts or think about getting organised. I was simply taking each day as it comes. However with the hardest and longest month of our lives behind us I am excited for all 2015 has to throw at us. Bring it on……

Goals not resolutions for 2015 –


Each year we all (well most of us) can get swept up in the whole ‘New Year’s Resolution’ scenario. Each year I make a list of all the things I want to change about my lifestyle without necessarily thinking about HOW I want to or plan to make these changes. So this year I thought I would take a different approach and think about what my GOALS for 2015 are. Not how I want to change but what do I want to achieve and how I can go about this.

I was recently fortunate enough to participate in Jumpstart 2015 – a course run by the fantastic Christina Greve. If you aren’t familiar with Christina you should check out her website here her photography and website is beautiful and I could look at it all day. The Jumpstart 2015 course was full of inspiring tips on how to close the gap between where you are today vs. where you want to be by the end of the year. Over the course I learnt a lot about myself and want I want to achieve in 2015.

The most important thing I think I have learned from this course was that you need to make plans on how to implement changes or get to where you want to be. Changes are not going to just happen, but you need to make them happen.


What do you think of goals instead of resolutions? Do you think you would be more successful in creating change if you changed your approach? I have not shared my goals as I am still working on them but I will comeback to this post in the Spring and let you know how I am getting on.


Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Fumbling along – not anymore, the photography bug has got me again……

The last few weeks have been pretty intense for us as a family and we have had to make some hard decisions as to where our future is and whether to change our lives quite dramatically next year due to our business not moving in the direction we had hoped.

I have also been taking the Jumpstart 2015 course from Christina Greve Christina is a photographer and a life coach and her course so far has been really enlightening. It has really made me realise that although I have been loving my blog I haven’t really had a direction or a passion. For years my real passion was photography but I lost my way. I started trying to get too technical and theoretical and forgot about what it was I loved when taking photographs. The simplicity of a beautiful image, capturing a moment and seeking the detail in small things. As a result I have decided that 2015 is the year I am really going to try and get back to this passion. My kit has been dusted down and upgraded, I have dug out all my old pictures to really inspire me again and I want to start documenting the beauty around us. The gallery below is some of my old work with the last six being my most recent.

My other plan for 2015 is to become far more organised and tidy. For people who know me they will be laughing their socks off! However I can no longer cope with the disorganisation and the clutter in both my mind and our home so life in 2015 is going to be simplified big time. We have far too much stuff and it just causes clutter. I will try to document my efforts and maybe if you feel the same way we could try and encourage each other to live a simpler, less complicated life in 2015.