My Captured Moment #22

If you follow my blog you will know that I love linking up with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky ‘My Captured Moment’.

This is where you link up with a photo or a series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one or ones you haven’t and won’t ever forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to such special times and I always end up with a great big fat grin on my face.

I’ve missed a couple of weeks due to being away on holiday, but I’m pleased to be back this week with …

My Captured Moment #22

Barnaby on the train to London

Apologies if you spotted this one on my blog already, but it’s my absolutely most favourite pic of MasterB at the moment.

This was taken on his birthday as we were heading into London for a few days.

Here’s another taken at the same time…

Barnaby on the train to London 2

Oh man, can’t believe this gorgeous boy of mine is 11.

I’m so utterly proud of him each and every day and he makes my heart melt with love.

How lucky we are to have him.

I hope you like my extremely special captured moments this week.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

Half term – a birthday and trip to London

Apologies, but here’s a belated mini round-up of our adventures during MasterB’s birthday and half-term.

We celebrated young B’s 11th birthday in the morning with presents and croissants – Kipster had to help too!  Although it has to be said she was a little disappointed that none of these were for her.  She’s too used to receiving her own birthday and Christmas presents (spoilt pooch or what).

Kipster and the birthday presents

Once presents had been opened and the last bits popped in the suitcase we hot-footed it up to London for a three day break – although MrD hadn’t planned the timing too well, bearing in mind it was the Rugby World Cup semi-finals!!!  We were subsequently held up in traffic and diverted, but we arrived in London as excited as ever.  MasterB has been known to stand on the platform of the tube station and sigh ‘Ahhhh I’m home‘ – how scary is that – I just know my baby is gonna move to London the first chance he gets.

MasterB on the train

Oh my heart… my gorgeous 11 year old

It’s sort of become a bit of a tradition that during the October half term we head to London where we stay at The Grange Hotel, Holburn.  For us this is perfect because it’s so central to everything and you can even walk to Covent Garden from there.  The hotel is very nice and pleasant without being over the top and has the advantage of a swimming pool and spa.  The boys can go swimming first thing, whilst I enjoy a nice massage – – – everyone’s a winner!

We had planned to go to the London Film Museum in the afternoon where they were showcasing the Bond in Motion Exhibition with actual vehicles used in past and present films.

London Film Museum

I have to say it was really interesting seeing real life relics from the Bond films (including Bond’s passport) and MrD being a bit of a 007 fan was in heaven and enjoyed explaining things to MasterB.

James Bond car

We all enjoyed it very much and it’s definitely worth a visit if you have a chance.

We had a VIP tour of the Houses of Parliament.  A dear friend of mine (who mixes in high circles) arranged this for us and was conducted by a friend of hers, Stephen Benn.  Stephen took precious time out of his schedule to give us an amazing insight into what goes on and we were all fascinated by the ins and outs of parliament.  We really were very lucky indeed (Stephen  is a wealth of knowledge with dates, names and places at the tip of his tongue when recalling stories to us) but did you know you can arrange for your local MP to give you a tour of the HofP?

Houses of Parliament

We normally try to fit a show in whilst we are up in the big smoke and this time we were lucky enough to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I have to say, it’s not my favourite show we’ve been to see, but it was enjoyable and the sets were amazing and the young boy who played Charlie the night we were there was brilliant – well done him!

We had meals out, including the Rain Forest Cafe, Piccadilly on MasterB’s birthday evening as his chosen restaurant where we enjoyed huuuge burgers and ribs.  They also made the poor boy stand on his chair whilst the whole restaurant sang happy birthday to him (embarrassed doesn’t come close!!).

We had cake…


and enjoyed drinks in the hotel lobby after long days on our feet…

The Grange Hotel lobby

I popped in to Liberty of London (my fave store) with a couple of friends whilst the boys did Hamleys.  Again everyone was a winner!  I made a small purchase in Liberty, which I will share with you in a separate post – so look out for that one.

MasterB also attended a comic workshop at the Cartoon Museum where he was helped by a professional cartoonist to create his own character and a comic-strip.  He had great fun for a couple of hours, whilst MrD and I headed to the British Museum.

Look out for the Cartoon Museum’s workshops during school holidays, because it’s incredibly cheap and great fun for them to take part in if you happen to be in London.

On the Wednesday before we headed home, we met up with some other friends for frozen yoghurt (as you do when you’re in London) at fro-go and then headed over to the Shard.

frozen yoghurt

Having promised MasterB we’d take him up the Shard, but hadn’t had time before, we suggested a little trip up to Aqua, one of the bars on the 32nd floor.

This is a shot looking up at the Shard – it really is an amazing glass building.  And look at that sky for a November day too!

The Shard

Unfortunately, we just missed out on the last table (as children aren’t allowed to stand at the bar) and as we hadn’t booked, grrrrr, we weren’t able to stay.  But I did manage to get this shot before we left…

view from the Shard

How spectacular is that!  It’s fabulous up there and next time we will definitely be booking a table.

We crammed so much into this visit, we all came home exhausted.  Happy but exhausted.

London really is an amazing place – there’s just so much to see and do all of the time.  Every time we go we experience new things.

China Town London

It certainly was a birthday to remember for MasterB!

Do you like visiting London?  What’s your favourite place to go?

Carpe Diem x

Happy Birthday Barnaby

Happy Happy Birthday Barnaby!

Today is our darling boy’s 11th *big intake of breath* birthday.

Where did that time go?

He’s grown from this; a premature tiny babe

baby Barnaby

… to this; a strapping gorgeous 11 year old!

Barnaby Oct15

It’s so true when they say that time goes waaaaay tooooo fast and you have to make the most of each and every day – it’s so precious.

So today I am sending my love with special sparkles and the biggest hugs to my boy.  We are all off to London for a few days and I hope you have the bestest time ever.

Love forever

Mummy (soon to be known as mum I have no doubt) xxxxxxxxxxx

Carpe Diem x

My Captured Moment #16

As you probably know I love linking up each week with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky ‘My Captured Moment’.

This is where you link up with a photo or series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one or ones you haven’t and won’t forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to special times.

Here’s my chosen one for this week…

My Captured Moment #16

MasterB on holiday

I completely adore this photo of our gorgeous boy – he’s soooo smiley and sooooooooo happy!

This was taken back in March 2007 when we were holidaying down in Bodmin at Glynn Barton Cottages where we had the most wonderful holiday.

This particular picture was taken in the playroom where there was a pool table (Master B’s first experience of a pool table and he loved just chasing the balls around the table) and board games, puzzles, books, lego, cars, a doll’s house, videos (as they were back then) and lots lots more fun things.

He absolutely loved it and every day, no matter how busy we had been during the day, we had to pop over to the playroom for a bit.

Definitely one of my cherished captured moments.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

Larmer Tree Festival 2015 – the best bits

Larmer tree 2015

Back in July we went to the Larmer Tree festival – the original boutique festival held in the beautiful gardens of the Larmer Tree on the Dorset/Wiltshire border.

I wrote a post about our previous festivals there and how much fun there is to be had by all the family – it’s a real family friendly festival – but I never got round to sharing any pictures afterwards.

Today, being a wet and miserable homey kinda day, made me get round to downloading pics from my camera (ooops I found all sorts).  It reminded me of the great time we had and so I thought better late than never.

Here’s a few of our best bits…

Larmer Tree 15

Larmer Tree 15

You’re always welcomed by colourful flags at the Larmer Tree and despite the weather it always makes you feel part of the festival straight away.  New for this year was this amazing wooden sculptured tree – it really was an awesome piece of work.  The artist (sorry I didn’t make a note of his name) had sculptured two other pieces dotted around the festival which were being auctioned off on the Sunday.

Larmer Tree 15

This is such a simple idea and yet so effective and strangely addictive.  Strips of materials being threaded through string – it looked wonderful when completed.

Larmer Tree 15

MasterB and I both loved doing this.

Of course there was sparkly disco balls hanging in the trees…

Larmer Tree 15

and a leather chesterfield – best viewing platform in the house I reckon.

Larmer Tree 15

these beautiful creations… because peacocks wander the grounds showing off their colourful tails.

Larmer Tree 15 peacocks

Larmer Tree 15 peacocks

and there’s always street entertainment happening everywhere you wander and of course a singing nun on a mobile piano is par for the course…

Larmer Tree 15 singing nun

Larmer Tree 15 singing nun

Of course the eclectic mix of music is one of the biggest draws to the festival, with Sir Tom Jones headlining at the festival this year.  Unfortunately we weren’t there on the Wednesday evening to see him.

Tom Jones

but we did enjoy lots of other music – we loved this band, they were amazing and soooo talented.

Larmer Tree 15

and the sun came out, yay!!

Larmer Tree 15

This year was 25 years of Larmer Tree – we first went back in 2003 – and dress up Saturday (as it’s known) was all about silver.

You can go as mad as you like with this one and these guys certainly did their best – I love it!

Larmer Tree 15

Larmer Tree 15

We camped again this year (we really need to get a bigger tent for next year and I rather liked the look of the tepees; might have to do a bit of research on them for next year) and MrD insisted on a cooked breakfast.

Larmer Tree 15

– which was fun on our single gas ring!!

Larmer Tree 15

Larmer Tree 15 coffee

Larmer Tree 15

The finale on the Sunday is the carnival parade and it’s great to watch.  Anyone can get involved in it from being part of the samba band, joining the parade showing off your wonderful crafty makes and some of the performers also join in.  It’s a really bright and happy parade.

Larmer Tree 15 parade

Larmer Tree 15 parade

It was, it has to be said, another great festival.  We were lucky with the weather and we didn’t have any rain at all, although it got cold in the evenings.  That was ok though, we just put on more layers of bright colourful clothing, downed a few more drinks and embraced and enjoyed every moment.

I can’t wait for next year.

Did you make it to a festival this year?

Carpe Diem x

If I could… the day-dreaming post

I’m quite excited to write this post, because it means I can let my imagination run riot.  Yay!!

I was tagged by my gorgeous blogging pal Lisa who writes over at Into the Glade for this ‘If I could…’ meme – it was started by Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence who called it ‘the Walter Mitty’ post.  Now I have to admit to not knowing what this meant, sorry Lisa, so I asked good old Google.

For those of you heathens like me, this is what Google had to say on the matter…

Walter Mitty is a fictional character in James Thurber’s short story ‘The secret life of Walter Mitty’.  Mitty is a mild-mannered man but with a vivid imagination.  He imagines himself as a pilot, emergency room surgeon and a devil-may-care killer.  The character’s name has come into more general use to refer to an ineffectual dreamer and appears in several dictionaries – I seriously did not know this.  The American Heritage dictionary actually defines a Walter Mitty as ‘an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs’

Ooooh I love it!

Ok, so now we’re clear on that I can get on with the post in full imaginative mode…

I usually day-dream (or night-dream) and let my thoughts run away with me when I’m trying to get off to sleep.  I think of all lovely things, like how our home would look with a mahoosive extension and what it would be like to have a ‘holiday’ home somewhere nice and hot and ……. ok you get the gist.  I am a dreamer it has to be said.

So, onwards and upwards with answering the ‘if I could’ questions…

If I could live anywhere…

If I could live anywhere it would have to be somewhere warmer.  As much as I love Dorset (we sooooo have the best of everything right on our doorstep with the gorgeous beaches and the New Forest in the other direction) I really don’t like the weather here in the UK at the moment.  I mean this summer so far has been rubbish!

I thrive in the sunshine and was definitely made for the spring and summer seasons and if I had that more of the time imagine what a happy sparkly person I would be… *sighs*.

I love Greece and a Greek Island somewhere would be divine.

If I could have any home…

Ok, I love love love our home so I have two scenarios here.

Firstly, I dream of when we win the lottery and can at last afford the extension of my dreams.  We’ve done a fair bit to our house, having lived here three years now and completely changed the look of the exterior, decorated and re-carpeted throughout, put a stove in the lounge and plantation shutters throughout (I’ve always wanted shutters, but never had the right house before, but when we moved here it was top of my priority list).

Our home having been renovated

But an extension.  Now that would be the piste de resistance (said in French accent obvs).

So, my extension consists of knocking the whole of the back of the house out and having THE most amazing ultra modern glossy kitchen with sparkly silestone tops.   There would be a fab breakfast bar with six high stools, a wine fridge that was always fully stocked with Blush (my favourite tipple) and a HOOOGE dining table with mis-matching chairs.  The lounge would be extended to incorporate a separate day sitting area where I would while away many an hour drinking tea and looking out at the immaculate garden.  Everything would be incredibly shiny and sparkly including the lighting – I love atmospheric lighting and it can change a mood with the flick of a switch.  There would be glass bi-fold doors right the way across the back of the house opening out onto decking where my beautiful garden furniture would be strategically placed.  The roof would be glass and being south-facing the house would be so light and airy.  We would of course have in-built automatic blinds for when we wanted to block out some of the sunshine.

We’d also have a glass staircase put in, oh and I want a big laundry room where all the clothes can be dried properly when the weather isn’t nice enough to put it out *breathes big sigh*.

Now my second fantasy would be the ultra-modern villa in Greece that we either lived in or jetted off to as and when we felt like it (or more to the point, when time permitted).  It would be beautifully designed inside with all mod-cons but still have a Greek air about it.  There would be different decked and patio areas surrounding the house, for different times of the day, and obviously we’d have an infinity pool with the most amazing view over the bay.

If I could have any garden…

My garden would be beautifully landscaped, again with different areas for different times of the day, for chilling and dining.  There would be an abundance of pinks, purples and whites with a very green lawn that was always mowed in those beautiful stripes of which we would be very proud.  MrD would no doubt have a ride-on mower.   There would be a small orchard in there somewhere too and probably a side paddock for my beauty of a horse.  I think there might even be a sloping bit at the bottom down to the jetty where our little pop pop boat was moored up ready to head around Brownsea Island (or if in Greece off to explore coves and tiny little beaches) *sighs*.

If I could be on holiday right now…

All joking aside I think I’d transport us back to our villa in Kefalonia that we stayed in in July 2014.  It was absolutely perfect for us with a gorgeous infinity pool and we had the most wonderful holiday.

Our infinity pool in Kefalonia

If I could have any job…

I’ve always dreamed of having my own business with what I call a ‘Sammy shop‘  That’s not it’s name, just how I describe it.  I haven’t decided on the name just yet.  Now my shop would be a super sparkly wander of delight with a whole host of beautiful desires inside that would become wants to my fabulous customers.

I would (somehow) source the most amazingly different products not found anywhere else and there would be a definite hand-crafted section where I would support crafters with their beautiful makes.

I’m sure there would be a small coffee shop inside too (I’m guessing this is a fairly big shop then) with delicious home-made cakes, tarts and pastries.  There would be proper baristas to make to die for lattes and cappuccinos and of course only the best teas served in fine bone china.

Perhaps surprisingly my shop would definitely have a more spiritual side to it too with beautiful crystals and Angel cards.

Gosh I do like to day-dream don’t I?

If I could have any talent…

Years ago, I would have wished to be the most amazing professional dancer.  Being a dancer as a youngster at a fairly good level it would have been amazing to continue on with this.  However, for right now I think it would be to be an extremely talented crafty and arty person who could put my hand to sewing, art work, designing and come up with THE most amazing makes – that I would then sell in my shop of course.

I sometimes call myself a Crafty Diva as I pretend to be ever so slightly crafty but I’m not really.

A crafty diva heart

One of my crafty makes…

If I could live any day again…

That’s a really difficult one to answer as there’s so many days that I’d love to be able to live and enjoy every moment of again.

But I shall choose the day we brought our baby B home from the hospital.  Unfortunately it can’t be his birth because it was all rather traumatic with an emergency csection with a premature baby.  We were in hospital for just ten days and the doctors signed us both off and said we could go home.

I remember just crying and crying.  I phoned MrD to tell him to come pick us up and couldn’t even speak.  Poor boy had no idea what was going on as I was crying so much he couldn’t understand me.

It was the most amazing day to be taking our tiny baby home with us (I had been so scared that I might have to leave the hospital without him) and I literally sat in the back of the car with him and cried all the way home.

When we got home, I cried some more.

I would re-live this day and tell myself not to cry; well at least not quite as much and actually enjoy every moment of that day with my two boys.

It was so amazing and I remember it all so vividly.

Taking MasterB home from hospita

Tiny MasterB was too small for his going-home suit

If I could have any super-power…

Oooooh how exciting to have a super-power.

I’m going to be greedy here and pick two – I hope that’s ok.

The first one is only for a day so I think that’s acceptable.  I’d love to be able to follow MasterB everywhere with him for one day as he tootles off to school – obviously I’d be invisible.  I’m so interested to see how he interacts with his friends and peers and what actually goes on at school (seeing as he never tells me!).  It intrigues me immensely.  I’d love just a little looksee in for one day.

But my main super-power would be what I like to call my ‘magic booth‘.

My magic booth is where I would pop every morning, or if I was going out in the evening, and I would be magically beautified – showered, hair, make-up, clothes, the lot.  It would literally take a few moments.  I could even do the wonder woman thing of spinning around a couple of times and then pop out the booth looking A-maz-ing!!!

Actually I’m not sure this is a super-power at all, but an invention… but none the less I dream of having one.

I think that completes the questions and if you think I’ve gone completely over the top with this post, please let me know… ha ha!

Ok, so now it’s my turn to nominate some of my blogging pals, so I shall choose

My lovely Ali over at My Life My Love

Of course Lyn with her super new blog The Adventures of the Bown family

The very sweet Jess from Mummy of boy girl twins

and action packed lifestyle/parent blogger Stevie over at A Cornish Mum

I’d love it if you ladies would like to play along – it’s such fun honest – but understand if you’re too busy right now or don’t want to.

If you do though *jumps up and down* let me know so I can pop over and have a read and a day-dream with you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little bit of dreaming.

Why not have a go yourself – let your imagination run wild.  It really is such fun.

Have a great day.

Carpe Diem x

My Captured Moment #12

If you read my blog regularly you’ll already know that I love linking up each week with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky called ‘My Captured Moment’.

It’s where you link up with a photo or series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one you haven’t and won’t forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to special times and then I have to search for a particular picture I know is there on my pc somewhere. To date, I’ve actually been quite good at remembering the year of the photo and being able to find the one I’m looking for fairly quickly.

I knew straight away where this one was … it’s on our holidays in Menorca June 2010.

My Captured Moment #12

Menorca holidays

I just love this photo of MasterB – we were sat around our pool after an afternoon of playing and sunbathing and munching on fresh gorgeous and juicy strawberries.

He was in a lovely mood and playing around dancing for me whilst eating his yummy strawberries. He’d grabbed my hat and was parading around in it showing off – so sweet and innocent.

Just look at those gorgeous baby teeth and that smile *sighs*.

Lovely memories that will always stay with me.

I hope you like my captured moment this time.

Have a great day.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

Larmer Tree Festival 2015 – 25th birthday celebration

Larmer tree 2015

This coming weekend we are off to this Summer’s unmissable party … the Larmer Tree Festival (the original boutique festival) held at the Larmer Tree gardens on the Dorset/Wiltshire border.

And this year’s it’s their 25th year so it’s going to be amazeballs I just know it!

Larmer tree

Oooooh much excitement!!!

We started going to this festival in what we call the pre days – in other words the before MasterB days.  Lovely friends of ours introduced us to the festival and we were hooked!  We absolutely love it and the good news is it’s only around 40 minutes from home so not a ridiculously long journey to get there.

Larmer tree

Us … in the pre-years.

Larmer tree

It’s kind of obligatory to wear a silly hat at the festival – no comment MrD!!

Larmer tree is a five day festival with some amazing acts and entertainment for the whole family. I can always remember my first wave of excitement on entering the festival and seeing a man in pink neon leggings, a stripey top and pink afro wig walking across the filed – I thought this is my kinda place!

The thing that has made the Larmer Tree even more endearing to us is that it is so child-friendly.  It’s a real family festival and there is so much to do; both for the adults and the children.

Larmer tree Larmer tree

Ooops a very tired lil MasterB, but determined not to give in.  He’s still the same these days.

Tom Jones at Larmer tree

For me things not to miss at the Larmer Tree are:

  • The music – from headliner Tom Jones opening the festival to some amazing bands and solo artists who will literally blow you away.
  • DJ’s playing a range of music from funk and groove, to chill-out, soul and a whole host of eclectic sounds – totally amazeballs.
  • The comedy club – there’s some really funny stuff going on.
  • The whole camping experience – they even have luxury yurts you can hire *sighs and swoons for a luxury yurt*.
  • Street entertainment happening all round you all of the time – great fun.
  • For the lil ones there’s shows, bookworm clubs, disco’s, story-time, circus games, workshops include drumming, pitta bread making, fairy drawing masterclass, model making and joining in with making fun and heavenly things for the wonderful carnival parade on the Sunday.
  • For the under 5’s there’s even baby massage and yoga.
  • Now for MasterB, last year he was in his element when we found the media tent.  Wow all sorts of things go on here, from being able to head out as a roving reporter, shoot actual sets and then put them together on a laptop which is then played out at different venues around the festival.  There’s photography and much more.  Don’t think we’ll be seeing much of him again this year.
  • Adult workshops including Bollywood dance, samba drumming, street theatre, playing the didgeridoo and tons more!!
  • The lost wood where you simply happen upon things… the wishing tree, woodland tales, poetry and other random but wonderful things.
  • The retreat where there’s dance, yoga, reiki, sound healing, holistic parenting and a chance to meditate.
  • Chilling in the secret garden is a must too where you can go for a relaxing massage, aromatherapy, visit a palmist or experience a flower remedy consultation.  Oooooh it just goes on and on.
  • There’s even shops!!!  Yay, I can’t go anywhere without a chance to shop and there’s always amazing vintage bazaars to wonder through, as well as hand-made jewellery and I always end up spending a fortune.
  • Eating – there is everything and anything that you could wish for here.  Mexican, spicy sausages (MrD has to have at least one of these every year), noodles, amazing pizza, huge plates of tortilla chips, meat pies, fab vegie food, double-decker buses serving tea and cakes, frozen yoghurt and smoothies… it goes on.
  • Drinking – from Pimms and beer to teas and coffees.  There’s everything.
  • Oh and of course the wonderful and noisy peacocks – they live at the gardens and are normally found strutting around the main lawn area.  I’ve yet to come home with one of their beautiful feathers.  Maybe this year will be the year I’ll find one and be able to bring it home as a wonderful souvenir.

It’s true to say I love the Larmer Tree and the good news is that MrD and MasterB really embrace it too.

It’s a weekend of pure and utter enjoyment.  Of feeling free.  Of feeling more in-tune with yourself.  Appreciating the small things as well as the big and wonderful.

One of the most special things I enjoy at the Larmer Tree is writing my wish and attaching it to the wishing tree.  I also love reading what other people have wished for too.  It’s a completely awesome concept and I love it.

Larmer tree wishing tree wishing tree

There’s a complete mix of people at the festival from little tots and children, the young and funky, middle aged peeps and much older people too.  It’s not all about hippies, it’s just people going and having a really good time, chilling and enjoying the amazing atmosphere.  No-one judges anyone-else (after all you see men dressed up in tutus wearing wigs all the time and no-one bats an eye-lid).

Last year, for the first time we camped.  For those that know me,  you will know I’m more of a boutique hotel kinda girl, but I had a rather mad moment the previous New Year’s Eve when I said ‘yea, let’s do this … let’s camp at the Larmer Tree!!‘  – of course the boys held me to it.  I was clearly drunk at the time.

But do you know what, despite the rain, thunder and lightening (remember mid-July last year?  There was the most awful storm in Dorset; yup that’s when it was) we truly had such fun.

larmer tree

Needless to say, we’re camping again this year.  From Friday through to Sunday.  Wish me luck!  I just hope and pray that the weather will be kinder to us this year.

Here’s some photos from previous Larmer Tree fests …

Larmer tree Larmer tree Larmer tree Larmer tree Larmer tree

Larmer tree

Larmer tree

Larmer tree

Larmer tree

I found out that this year’s charity for Larmer Tree is Julia’s House which makes me really happy as we support the work they do locally too.  They are a local children’s hospice who support children with life-limiting illnesses, as well as giving huge support to the families.  Apparently there’s going to be a huge crochet blanket that everyone can join in with making squares that will be donated to one of their families at the festival.

Good work Larmer Tree festival organisers.

Needless to say, this week I’m getting everything ready for our weekend and of course doing my sun-dance every morning.

Larmer tree

I have no doubt I’ll have lots of pictures and tales to share with you after the weekend…

Carpe Diem x

I’m linking this post with Aby at You baby me mummy and Hannah at Mum’s days weekly linky ‘The List‘.

You Baby Me Mummy


Holidaying in Antigua…


I’ve been a bit slow in posting about our long awaited holiday to the wonderful Caribbean island of Antigua so without further ado here you have it…


First, there was of course holiday shopping!

This is a MUST – I mean everyone knows a girl has to have lots of new things when she goes on holiday – right?

The lovely thing is MrD quite likes taking me shopping (yep I know I’m a lucky girl) and we love to treat ourselves to a day out in Lymington on these occasions – without MasterB I hasten to add; shopping really isn’t his thing – and we then have the opportunity to treat ourselves to a nice lunch too.  We normally pop to Stanwells along the High Street where the food is great and it’s nice to sit in the conservatory or outside if the weather’s nice enough.

I’m delighted to report that our pre-holiday shopping trip was a resounding success and a rather lovely summer haul was acquired.  Yay!!

This included several gorgeous linen tops (I’m a lover of linen and am more than happy to embrace the creased look), two pairs of ultra comfy linen-mix trousers, two scarves (a girl can never have too many scarves in her life), Monsoon sparkly flip-flops of course, a fab pair of espadrilles and I even snuck in two new must have necklaces (clever me).

The holiday haul...

The holiday haul

Pleased with my purchases, plus a few extra necessities like a new costume, toiletries, sun-tan lotions etc my obvious last minute job was to get my nails and toe-nails done.

Ta da…

holiday nails

Perfect!  The toe-nails were matching with painted on daisies.  Sorry no pic of said toe-nails as my feet are far too ugly and horrid to post pics of!  You’ll just have to imagine them.

Oh, I should have mentioned that MrD also made some purchases and these being a favourite, I thought I’d share a picture with you.  Fab Bertie summer shoes…

Bertie men's shoes

MrD wore these throughout the holiday with no blisters and assures me they’re ‘extremely comfortable‘.

With much excitement we were set to go.

MasterB taking a pic of our plane...

MasterB taking a pic of our plane

After a three hour delay, yep THREE HOURS, we were finally on our way, stopping off at Barbados to catch a connecting flight to Antigua.  Unfortunately, we missed our connection as we arrived too late and had to stay the night in Barbados – tired and grumpy doesn’t come close, but we enjoyed a meal before retiring to bed as we had an early wake-up the next morning to catch our flight.

The next morning was uneventful and our flight was on time.  We were picked up at the airport and safely delivered to our home for ten days – The Verandah Resort and Spa.

So to put you in the picture this was an all inclusive holiday – something we have never done before.  We do love our Greek islands and normally rent a villa, hire a car and enjoy going out and about and having our own space.  So this was very different for us, but one we thought we would try mostly for MasterB.  Being an only child we thought this would give him more opportunity to meet other children and hopefully free up some mummy and daddy time.

My favourite things from our holiday:

  • The beach on our resort – a small bay with beautiful clear water and plenty of sun loungers.  There were, as MasterB called them, trampolines in the water where you could lay out on them in the water.  I could have laid there all day – bliss.  There was all kinds of water sports to enjoy; kayaking (which we all did), paddle boarding (MrD and MasterB had a go), pedlows (yep did this), wind surfing and small catamarans.  We usually picked a spot between a palm tree and this nobbled old tree (see photo below) as it gave us plenty of shade.


The boys on one of the 'trampolines'

The boys on one of the ‘trampolines’

MrD paddle boarding

MrD paddle boarding

drinks on the beach

  • The view from our balcony – just gorgeous.  We up-graded to a sea view bungalow and were so glad we did.  We had a big balcony with a fabulous view which was nice to sit out on, both in the morning with a cup of tea and in the evening with a drinkee or two.

Antigua balcony view

Balcony view Antigua



  • The people – they were amazing.  Such friendly people who would do anything for you.  I loved them.  I also loved the fact that most of the Antiguan women are *whispers* large.  The difference is they love themselves and their bodies (and clearly their men love them too) and they embrace how their bodies look.  This was so liberating for me to be around these lovely friendly folk who had no qualms whatsoever about their size and wore the clothes and colours they wanted.  Fantastic!  I’m not saying they were necessarily the healthiest of people though as they seem to have a rather sweet tooth in Antigua.  But big BOOM to them I say!
  • We had a day out on a catamaran around the island with a stop off at Green island for some snorkeling.  The boys went of snorkeling and saw some amazing fish and this was followed by the most yummy lunch made by the crew – probably the best food of the holiday.  Proper basic food from Antigua which we all absolutely shoveled down our throats.


fishing in Antigua

Off for some snorkeling

Off for some snorkeling

catamaran trip

We had a great time with MasterB begging us to go back again next year.  I must say the resort was beautifully laid out and the cleanliness was second to none.  There were golf buggies zipping around which you could hop on and off to take you to different places within the resort.

There was even a pink one just for me!

There was even a pink one just for me!

For MrD and myself?  It was a relaxing holiday (much needed) and we loved chilling on the beach mostly, although MasterB said he preferred the pool, but if we’re honest, we think we still probably prefer our villas on a Greek island somewhere.

The planning for next year’s hols has commenced in earnest lol!!

Have you started planning ahead for 2016 yet?

Carpe Diem x