I love a UK city break. And though I enjoy exploring new places with the children, I adore having a little getaway with Husband. In January, exhausted from Christmas and winter colds, the two of us were in desperate need of some time alone. So we called in some reinforcements (aka The Grandparents), and off to Bath we drove.
As we only had one night away, Bath is a great destination as it is only 2-2 1/2 hours away from London (by car). And as it isn't a big town, it is quite manageable to walk around in a day. We didn't see everything that Bath had to offer, but we did take in some of the best-known sites. So I thought I would share some of the fun we had during our four hours in Bath.
The Roman Baths
Who doesn't love brunch?! But brunch and the most thoughtful Mother's Day gifts? And did I mention the hot tea and coffee brought to the table? That's every mum's dream. The lovely folks from I Just Love It wanted to show some of us mothers how appreciated we are. And feel appreciated we did.
The table was set beautifully, and I knew immediately where to sit as there was a plate with the initials 'EW'. You know I love things with my name or initial on. I think everyone does, but especially when you have an unusual name. As you can imagine, I never had anything with 'Elfa' when I was growing up. There was a personalised vintage dessert spoon that read 'There's No Better Mum Than Elfa'. I'm leaving it casually around the house,hoping the sentiment seeps into my family sub-conscious. Other cute tableware included a vintage butter knife, an egg cup and mum hi ball glass, both of which had my name on them.
If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that I recently bought a dressing gown. Emma from BrummyMummyof2 is often sporting one in her Instagram and Facebook posts, and I was feeling a bit jealous. Dressing gowns look so comfy, especially in winter. And I've needed something to make me feel more snuggled up at home. After some research on The Google, I decided upon the third one above. But I thought I would share some of the other robes that I liked.
1. Striped Wrap - this beauty from Marks & Spencer was a close second. It looks so elegant. Plus it's long so will keep your little calves warm. And those stripes appeal to many of us ladies of a certain age. What is it with stripes that sends so many of us in our 30s and 40s all a flutter?!
This past week has been the February half-term break, so I took the week off from my blog to hang out with my little monkeys. Sometimes, at the end of half-term, I feel a bit sad that the children have to return to school. This is not one of those times. Yes, we have had some fun times. We did a lot - including baking, seeing the new Batman Lego film, playing in Bushy Park, spotting the Butterflies at Wisley, watching lots of Netflix, having haircuts, enjoying play dates that wrecked the house and drinking milkshakes at Ikea.
But the kids were both tired and cranky for the first few days. And the girl was disagreeable for most of the 10 days. So I spent most of the evenings feeling tense and needing to unwind after dealing with tantrums. And tonight I am on the sofa, not-so-tense because I know tomorrow will be mostly peaceful. I adore my children but, my word, I love some peace and quiet.
Every year, my family and I visit RHS Wisley to see the butterflies in their glasshouse. There is something so special about seeing more than 6,000 exotic butterflies fluttering around. And while the children enjoy it, I especially love it. It is so calming seeing all their beautiful colours and patterns. And there are such exotic flowers and plants in the glasshouse, coupled with the heat that is needed to keep the butterflies alive, that you feel like you're somewhere tropical.
Children can do more than walk through the glasshouse. Wisley have a spotter's guide (for which they ask for a £1 donation) so the little ones can looks for specific butterflies and find out their names. We have been going since 2014, and I love looking at photos from previous visits to see how much Moozles and Dubz have changed.
We all get into a rut sometimes. I basically wear four similar lipsticks, all of a reddy brown or pinky brown colour. I remember trying pink lipstick as a teenager and realising that it didn't suit me because of my brown lips. Actually, it is my brown upper lip that changed the pink colour and then my lips didn't match. But 41 is a lot easier than 18, in so many respects. And I've recently started to embrace my very full, brown lips.
Husband and I try to have one or two mini-breaks each year, without the children. Even if it's just for one night, we both feel re-invigorated having uninterrupted couple time that lasts longer than two or three hours and which occurs far from our sofa. I can't believe I'm the only person who isn't that lively and interesting on a Friday night after a long week mothering my socks off.
For the past five years, we have kept the breaks to the UK as there are so many wonderful, nearby places I have yet to explore. I actually have a bucket list of UK cities that I would like to visit in the next few years. I guess there's no hurry, but I am a bit impatient. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we visited Bath. The lovely people from eviivo had invited us try out one of their award-winning properties, so how could we say no?!
Isn't it starting to feel like winter will never end? The Christmas decorations are gone and the house is feeling a bit blah. So I've been thinking about how I can cheer up the house, and I think some pastel kitchen accessories, glassware and tableware would help bring some spring into my house.
1. Pink Tablecloth - I love a tablecloth, and have one or two for each season. I had to throw a couple away recently because my children are animals and they wreck everything. So I prefer to buy inexpensive ones that are pretty but that I don't care too much about ruining. I love this blush pink, with the grey stripes on the edge keeping it from looking too girlie.
I know that I am juvenile. I know this because I sniggered when I first heard the name of this town. But Lacock is no dirty joke. The village, which is pronounced 'lay-cock', is located in Wiltshire. And it is utterly charming. This may seem like a random place to write about, but this is where Husband and I spent this morning visiting.
Husband and I have been in Bath for the past couple of days, and when we checked out of our B&B this morning, we were advised to visit picturesque Lacock. The village dates back to the 13th century, and looks like it has been frozen in time, except for the cars. If Lacock looks familiar, it is because it is often used in period dramas, including Remains of the Day, Downton Abbey, and 1995's Pride & Prejudice (it was the village of Meryton!). Lacock Abbey was featured in a couple of the Harry Potter films, which makes it even more popular as a tourist destination.
There is something so satisfying about cursing. A crazy driver cuts you off; you stub your toe; or maybe you're telling a funny anecdote to your friends. During these, and many other situations, an 'oh dear' or 'meanie' just won't suffice. Sometimes only a curse word will do. But when many of us became parents, we tried to reduce our cursing. I know I did. I didn't want my precious little angels picking up my bad habit. And I was quite successful for the first seven years. But in the last year, my love of swearing has returned. And with a vengeance.
Last weekend, while my daughter was doing her homework at the dining table, I was on the opposite side of the table chatting with Husband. He gave me some surprising news and my initial response was 'F*ck me'. As soon as I said the words I looked at my eight-year old daughter, who was only a couple of feet away. I had hoped she was too engrossed in her homework. She was not. She smiled while still looking down at her paper. The secret was out. Mummy has a potty mouth.