A Change of Scenery

You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet here lately.. and that’s because we have had a bit of a change of scenery. For the last week we have been on holiday in lovely Yorkshire!

Hubs doesn’t like me talking online about going on holiday until after the event. I’m not sure why as I highly doubt any of my lovely readers are stalkers who would rob us the second we go away but as I can’t categorically prove otherwise I don’t argue the request.

Anyway,we have had such a lovely time. We have seen the ruins of castles, abbeys, & temples and have been to the seaside.

Change of Scenery 1

We have spun in the sunshine, chased bubbles, eaten picnics, walked through the woods, built sandcastles and met up with friends.

yorkshire holiday fun

In some ways going on holiday as a parent feels a little like a busman’s holiday. You still have all the same things to do and children to take care of and it can definitely be stressful at times. I swear I packed just about everything imaginable, including the kitchen sink, but still somehow managed to forget things we needed and have had to buy! (Thankfully we are in Yorkshire though not on Mars so can buy things :)).

We still have a toddler to entertain and a baby who needs feeding, changing, playing with etc. but the change of scenery does do the power of good and there is no (or at least less) housework to worry about for the week. Hubs and I get to spend some time together, sharing the load of the childcare and we have had lots of lovely fun as a family.

Plus we have been to able to enjoy some gorgeous views of green rolling countryside and absorb a lot of history. There will be some more detailed posts about the fab places we have visited over the weeks to come :).

My word this week is scenery. How has your week been?

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Evenings at the beach

We had a lovely little holiday at Overstrand, just south of Cromer on the Norfolk Coast at the weekend and we really had such a lovely time. There was a lovely beach at the village itself, walking distance from the cottage we were staying at. It is very much a tidal beach and unfortunately this last weekend there were high tides in the morning and low tides later in the day. With Monkey still very much napping most afternoons we weren’t sure how much time we would get to spend at the beach.

Thankfully with it being so close though we managed to pop down every afternoon/evening for a play in the sand, and had a lovely time. Of course being September it wasn’t the warmest time of day to be on the beach but that didn;t stop us having a lovely time, and making the most of the last of the suns rays!


Monkey loves playing in the sand, doing lots of digging and helping daddy make castles… then promptly knocking them over again! Daddy was aso having lots of fun digging and creating moats, because of the tides he didn’t have to dig the sand too far before it started filling with water. Perfect to make a moated castle 🙂

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He also just loves running around barefoot on the sand, and I have to admit I love to see it. There’s just something about running on the compacted sand that means he can be entirely free. No shoes, no stumbling over, just running carefree. I just love to see it. Maybe it’s because I know that if he falls he will have a pretty soft landing. Yes he may get covered in sand but much better than falling over on tarmac!

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I love this little video of Monkey running around on the beach. Note I am perched at the back of the beach as we forgot a chair (d’oh!), I managed the walks but couldn’t stand too long and would have got a soggy bottom if I sat on the sand! ANyway we just love this video of Monkey enjoying the beach so much 🙂

We had a bit of an achievement on the beach too on one of the days. On our holiday in June we couldn’t get Monkey to enjoy paddling and this weekend looked set to be the same as he didn’t want to go anywhere near the sea. Then Daddy had a good idea of drawing numbers in the sand. I have mentioned Monkey’s love of numbers before and believe me it has not dimmed, if anything he loves them even more!


Anyway, by drawing numbers in the sand he slowly and gradually coaxed Monkey closer to the waters edge. We wouldn’t force him if he really didn’t want to do it but with lots of positivity and encouragement he gradually got closer and closer to the waves.The sea was quite gentle on that particular day, and ater running bare foot on the wet sand for a while the water felt quite warm.

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It took a little while but once he was in he was in, and actually got quite brave and went pretty deep (for him)!


The sun was starting to go down behind the cliffs so it was time to head back to the cottage, we were very glad we got to make th most of being at the seaside though with lots of beach play!



Linking up with Mini Creations for the joint Monkey-Daddy effort on the moated castle, Small Steps Amazing Achievements and Loud n Proud for Monkey’s paddling bravery, and Savouring the Season for making the most of the last bit of warmth on the beach :).

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A little Norfolk Holiday

At the weekend we took our little family on a short little Norfolk holiday. Our last little holiday as a family of 3 before baby arrives! We looked at a variety of places to go but it was all last minute (as we wanted to see how I and my pelvis were faring before we booked anything) and didn’t want to go too far from home as long car journies aren’t great fun in late pregnancy.

We considered going to Butlins as then there would be no cooking involved, but even on offer we thought the food packages were quite pricey and honestly we weren’t convinced about the quality of the accommodation. I don’t mean that to sound snobbish but we wanted to be comfortable. With Hubby being as tall as he is (6’2″) we really need a king size bed, especially now I am the size that I am too! But we also wanted it to be a good bed. We stayed at a Premier Inn when we went to a wedding recently and honestly had such a rubbish nights sleep as the King Size bed there was basically solid as a rock. We wanted this to be a lovely relaxed holiday and so wanted to find somewhere offering comfort.

(I’m sure there would be other benefits to going to Butlins such as the other things included, but with Monkey the age he is I am not sure how much use he would have got out of the other activities on offer, he is generally happy as long as he can have a run around somewhere!)

After a bit of a search we came across Poppyland Holiday Cottages. They have a number of holiday cottages to rent in Norfolk and they had availability at Rectory Cottage in Overstrand, just south of Cromer on the Norfolk coast. We felt that with doing breakfasts ourself and eating out all of the other meals it would still cost around the same as a Butlins trip, and we would hopefully have more spacious and more comfy accommodation.

We were not disappointed!

The cottage was gorgeous and the lovely king size bed was perfect, not too soft, not too firm… just lovely really. I even slept better on that bed than I have at home on our lovely bed recently, it was wonderful.


There was lots of little touches that welcomed us to the cottage including milk in the fridge, a bottle of wine, tea bags, yummy chocolate biscuits and fresh flowers. They were very family friendly too, and, knowing we had a 2 year old with us, they kindly provided a lovely box of toys for Monkey (you may see in some of the pictures that Monkey very quickly aquainted himself with the toys!) and a baby monitor. They also have a travel cot, high chair and stairgates available if you need them. Very reassuring when you have little ones and lovely not to need to pack everything.

Overstrand village was a very sweet little village and we were walking distance from the beach (even for me!) which was lovely – although the tides were not in our favour much this week and generally low tide was in the afternoon during Monkey’s naps. We still managed to get some good beach fun in the evenings though and the weather was very good to us.

We spent some time at Cromer and nearby Sheringham and in general had a lovely relaxed weekend together. Sadly Monkey came down with a cold on the Saturday so we did have some wonderful grumpy meltdowns in restaurants which as a parent always make you feel wonderful. We let him have ice cream for lunch on Saturday as he seemed to have a sore throat and it was the only thing that cheered him up – but oh my you should have seen the judgement and disapproving looks coming from other people in the cafe. We weren’t too concerned and chuckled if anything, but I do wish people would mind their own!

We did lots of holiday things – played on the beach, walked the promenade and went on Cromer Pier. We played with stones on Sheringham beach and ate lots of Ice Cream! We went in the penny arcades where Monkey proved to be hugely skilful at one of the games and won enough tickets to get himself a cool glider aeroplane. He was very pleased with this and we were quite impressed by his skill/fluke! 🙂 We treated ourselves to some lovely meals out, including a yummy fry up breakfast at the local cliff top cafe in Overstrand one morning.

A couple of more detailed posts about specific places to follow, but here are a few of our fave shots of what was a lovely and relaxed few days away, at a gorgeous holiday cottage! It was a lovely little cottage in a great spot and we will definitely look to go back at some point when no.2 is here!


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Fun at the seaside – who’s the biggest kid?

On our holiday last week we spent a lot of time at the seaside. At Gorleston beach to be precise. Just south of Great Yarmouth there is free parking right next to one of the loveliest beaches I have been to in a long time. WP_20140601_09_52_32_Pro WP_20140601_12_35_26_Pro

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Corton Villas, near Lowestoft

Last week we had a very lovely holiday in Corton, near Lowestoft. We were so happy with the self-catering accommodation we booked that I thought I would write a little review to share with you all.

We found the villa through a company called Sykes Cottages, although you can also book direct at Corton Villas.

Corton Villas are a block of 6 privately owned 3 bedroom holiday homes located on the Waterside Park resort, in Corton on the outskirts of Lowestoft. The resort itself has properties owned by a whole variety of different companies and private owners, but I can only really speak about the ones we stayed in, which were of a really high standard.


Rubbish picture, didn’t think of taking one of the outside so this is the only one I have, cheesy grins and all!

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Our lovely Holiday, 2014

Last week we had a very lovely family holiday. We didn’t go anywhere glamorous or exotic but we still had a wonderful time. We stayed in some lovely self-catering accommodation in Corton, a small village in between Lowestoft, Suffolk, and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. It was a lovely place, and I shall write more about it in a separate post.



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We can see the sea! 24 months

Just a short post from me as we are on our hols at the mo (though it’s almost over, sob :() but we have a very definite Word of the Week this week!


Quite fitting as we can see the sea from our little holiday home and have been to the beach at every sunny opportunity, but mainly this is our word of the week as it is one of the words Monkey has learnt this week.

Throughout the week he has been shouting and saying “Sea” at basically every opportunity! Now there are obviously two meanings Sea and See. Most of the time it has been very definitely directed at the Sea, but as the week has gone on he seems to have started saying ‘see’ when he wants us to look at something, which is also very cute.

Anyway, I am sure I will be sharing lots more of our holiday with you, but for now I am going to go and make the most of every minute we have left! I will just leave you with a quick piccy of Monkey enjoying the beach.


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Self Catering Holiday Preparations..

I could have chosen a very obvious word of the week this week and gone with “poorly” but I feel I have written more than enough on that subject already. So I decided instead to look on the more positive side, and to look forward. The rest of this week has all been about our “preparations,” because, we are going on holiday next week! Wahoo!! 🙂

As you can tell I am ever so slightly excited, and after the week we’ve just had we are very much in need of a break!

We aren’t heading to the most glamorous of destinations this year. We loved our all inclusive holiday in Majorca last year and loved the heat and the sun, but when we were planning this year’s holiday we were very much hoping that I would be pregnant and had to take a few things into consideration. While there is nothing to say you can’t go abroad when you are pregnant, because of the troubles I had with SPD in my last pregnancy (and ending up on crutches), we were wary of what was to come this time. As it is I am managing the SPD a lot better for the moment, but even then I cannot carry anything heavy, or push anything around. This would mean that at the airport it would have been up for Hubby to do everything, t0 push all the luggage and take care of Monkey. Neither of us fancied the thought of that much!

So we decided to stay in the UK, and initially I wanted to head south to Cornwall or similar. I love it down there and hubby has never been. I even thought about visiting the wonderful Coombe Mill. But, Hubby reminded me how much I suffered with car journeys in my last pregnancy, sitting for hours isn’t great with SPD either, so we eventually decided to limit the journey to only a couple of hours. I think a Cornwall trip takes over 5 hours from us and we decided that was just too far for a preggo me. A real shame but we will have to save that for another time!

After a bit of searching we found a lovely place on the east coast – I have been saying Norfolk but it is actually technically Suffolk. We are staying in between Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) and Lowestoft (Suffolk) so right on the edge of both. It’s a little 3 bedroom holiday home on a purpose built resort, so it has a heated swimming pool (under a cover so can be used in all weather), a big childrens play area, and is very close to a lovely sandy beach. We are hoping for a least a bit of sun some days, but also have a few days out planned in the areas nearby for what I feel are some guaranteed rainy days!

I had hoped to spend some of the bank holiday weekend getting organised for the holiday, but as that went well and truly out of the window I have been feeling a bit pressed for time to get organised and packed up! The good thing about taking the car is that we can load up with all sorts of bits and bobs, and lots of Monkey’s favourite things to help keep him entertained. My list for packing is a good few pages long! I will probably go overboard, I usually do, but I’d rather take things and not need them, than forget something and wish we had it with us!


Clothes are the hardest thing to plan for this holiday I am finding. As we don’t know what the weather will be we need to plan for all eventualities. Jumpers, jeans, raincoats and wellies,  plus shorts, t-shirts, sandals and sunhats! We are going in hubbies go – as though it is older and slightly less reliable, it does work, and it has a MUCH bigger boot than my car :).

I’m also thinking about taking some foody bits – as it’s self catering. We will probs eat out a bit though certainly not every mealtime and I also don’t want to waste time on holiday in local shops or finding supermarkets  and trying to figure out what to eat. So I may take some of the regular bits – the porridge monkey loves, a couple of tins of soup. I’ve been self catering before, we went a lot as kids, but I’ve never had to plan it all for the family and with a toddler to think about before and again I will probably end up taking too much!

If anyone has any useful tips for what to take, and what not to take, it would be very much appreciated!

The Reading Residence
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