How is it already December?!!! What happened to November? It just FLEW past didn’t it? Thankfully, it has been a much more settled month for us. I feel like we got back into a groove and we’re catching up a bit. Here are a few things we’ve been getting up to lately.
We started the month off with some bonfire night celebrations. First, we had an evening with a group of friends which finished off with a walk to our local fireworks display. Then the following day we headed to Centre Parcs for the day to celebrate our nephew’s birthday. We had such a fab time. It wasn’t cheap but I would definitely do it again. My sister spent the weekend there with her family and the rest of us joined them for the Sunday, which also happened to be bonfire night (5th November). We swam in the rapids during the morning and early afternoon. The kids loved it so much and I think the adults always enjoy being kids there too! We had a very late lunch at the Pancake House which was so yummy and then in the evening, we all watched the fireworks over the lake which were really spectacular. A birthday dinner topped off the weekend and we all headed home happy but exhausted!
The following week, our son got his first experience behind the wheel of a real car. Did you know you can buy driving experiences for children as young as 11 now? My sister and her husband gave the experience voucher to our son as a thank you for being page boy at their wedding this summer and I was amazed that it really is just like a proper driving lesson. He learned about the controls of the car, how to use the clutch and gear stick and got to spend half an hour driving around the enclosed lesson area learning how to pull away, steer, change gear and reverse. I thought it was a great idea for a present for a boy (Christmas is coming people!) and our son had a great time. I’m sure when it comes time for him to start driving lessons, it will stand him in good stead.
November is always a busy time in our area because bonfire night is always closely followed by the town carnival. I love this picture because it gives an idea of how bright these floats are! They literally light up the sky above the town on carnival night, it’s so exciting! Our daughter couldn’t make it this year as she was rehearsing for her upcoming ballet exam so I took our son and we watched with my sisters and niece. I have talked about the carnival on the blog here before but it’s always a special night for me as I have watched it year on year since I was tiny and it always brings such treasured memories and heralds the start of the Christmas build up which is such a magical time of year.
It’s been a fairly busy month too with swimming galas, school shows and a ballet exam which meant extra rehearsals. My husband has been helping family with some decorating projects outside of our home so he’s been kept well occupied as well!
We also celebrated my Dad’s birthday with a lovely family dinner (which we actually did with an early booking on a weeknight and it was surprisingly nice to have something exciting to look forward to that wasn’t at the weekend!)
So that’s life. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving lately. I’ve read 3 books in the past month or so which were all good reads, sometimes tense and a little stressful!
This was a murder mystery set in rural Australia. The descriptions of the environment are what really grabbed me about this book, I could really see the landscape and almost feel the heat which created an oppressive atmosphere of intrigue. I think this may be the first in a series of books so I will be looking out for the rest as they are released.
‘Just what kind of mother are you?’ by Paula Daly
This was quite the page turner. Based on the premise of a busy working Mum who drops the ball and finishes up being responsible for the disappearance of her best friend’s daughter, the hectic pace of her life is all too familiar a tale which makes for uncomfortable reading! It includes a couple of ‘didn’t see that coming’ twists too which added to my enjoyment of the book.
‘Good me, Bad me’ by Ali Land
I haven’t quite finished this one yet but I’m searching out opportunities wherever I can to keep going because I’m pretty hooked. The story is told from the perspective of the 16-year-old daughter of a serial killer. We are drip-fed information about the horrors this poor girl has witnessed in such a way that your imagination runs away with ideas of what that may have been. Very clever writing and a really convincing narrative voice make this one another book that I have been avoiding reading before bed!
Here are a few other things we’ve been loving in November:
Meet Alexa, the newest member of our family! We finally caved and bought an Amazon Echo in the black Friday sales! I was very tempted when they first came out and then a couple of months ago, we stayed for a weekend in a property that had one and we were all convinced we wanted to take the plunge and purchase one for ourselves. We waited for black Friday hoping that Amazon might include the Echo in their sale and we were rewarded for our patience! We decided to go for the new echo, which is a sort of middle ground between the previous echo and the dot and it was on offer for £69.99. I chose the sandstone fabric as I thought it would look great against our grey tile and I’m so glad we waited and didn’t purchase the original version, which isn’t as pretty!! #priorities
Lip balm and hand cream
This cold weather has played havoc with my skin lately and we have found ourselves as a family reaching for the lip balm and hand cream over and over. I love this one from Neal’s Yard which I use every night but I have just discovered this ultra conditioning stick which I carry in my bag and this is the one I’ve been forced to share with the whole family! I need to buy more! My favourite hand cream at this time of year is the Neal’s Yard geranium and orange one, I love putting it on before bed to soothe my dry hands before the morning.
What is November without a Christmas magazine or two? I LOVE having a little snuggle on the sofa when I get home from picking the kids up on a Friday afternoon, with a Christmas magazine and a cup of tea. Is there anything better?!
So, that’s a little catch up for this month. Do you have any favourite items lately that have been making your life a little bit easier or more enjoyable? Please do share them with me in the comments, I would love to give them a try. I am off to get my ironing done for the week and we are planning to watch a Christmas film when everyone gets home tonight – the first of the year! So exciting! Have a great December!
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