Category Archives: extra mile

A Cotswold Getaway

Hey friends,

We’ve just been away sans kids for a birthday/Christmas getaway!  We practically ran out of the door, suitcase in hand for a night away in the Cotswold Regency Town of Cheltenham.

It’s a town we know well having many friends & countless visits over the years. We’ve always stayed with friends, this time we decided to find a hotel, rather last minute as a treat.  We didn’t take into account that is was a Race Weekend though & everywhere I tried was booked! Hubby took over & boy am I glad he did!

Ravenhurst B & B is new, I absolutely believe that’s the only reason we got a room here, because once the secret is out I guarantee it’ll be booked up months in advance!!

Ravenhurst House

Can you imagine my face when we drew up to this house? Uh huh, jaw to the ground moment, the boy did good.

Ravenhurst Door Ravenhurst Stairs Ravenhurst Banksy style Ravenhurst Ercol

I don’t think I’ve ever stayed anywhere so nice, the house is beautiful.

The home decor is tasteful, modern with a Banksy feel but not too cold, a lovely mix of personal & designer pieces! I especially loved the painted Ercol chairs. A look I’ll be stealing for my Ercol chairs so watch out for that next year!

The welcome here is very warm. Alex is the lady of the house & we met Andy soon after.

As it was such a busy weekend we hadn’t factored in getting a taxi to our restaurant to celebrate our friend Lady Corrie’s 30th (yup, a real lady). We alerted Andy & Alex to the fact that all the taxis were booked up & Andy immediately offered us a lift, no problems. You all know how much I appreciate above & beyond!

The room we were given is HUGE! We stayed in Fig Tree, with a little hall in the middle & a bathroom with underfloor heating, a massive shower head & Orla Kiely complimentary bathroom bits.  The bed was extremely comfortable & again massive, I lost hubby in it. Fantastic!

The hospitality continued with a fry up English breakfast, toast, juice & an endless supply of coffee & tea.  Very much needed after an evening celebrating with a lot of red wine!

Ravenhurst Lizzie

We left feeling very happy that everywhere else had been booked. It’s a little gem!! Look at the website here or follow them on Twitter

Until the next time friends
Have a great day!

Lizzie xoxoxo

nb as always, this post is not sponsored & all photos & opinions are my own. Have a great day! L xo

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Hard Going

Ever feel like you’re wading through treacle?

Today is that day for me friends! No matter how hard I try to stay positive the next thing happens & tries to knock me down again.

This post may turn into a ramble, just to warn you…

Today started with my baby girl at 3am who decided to be wide awake when usually she sleeps great!

So I woke this morning already a bit tired. Then….the catalogue of events!!

Firstly I bit my tongue, ouch. No biggie.

Then I left the bottle of milk in the microwave too long & it exploded & burnt my hand. I screamed out loud it popped so loudly! Still, no use crying over spilt milk.

Then the cat bit me. Dealt with that & moved on.

Decided to walk to the shop for fresh air with the kids in the double buggy! The shop had put out loads of advertising boards & I struggled to get the buggy through, started to feel a bit irritated.

Inside the shop the aisles were all blocked with something. Starting to get very irritated. Mentioned it nicely to the shop lady.

Then the icing, an older guy in a electric buggy, I thought ‘he’ll never make it through those boards outside the shop’ heroically I moved into action!! Moved the very heavy boards out of the way & thought my day is getting better, what a great person I am doing a good deed for this guy!

Erm no, he wasn’t exactly appreciative that I’d assumed he wasn’t going to leave his buggy outside & walk in with his stick!

I must admit I sighed deeply in my heart at that point.

Thankfully once I’d apologised he thawed a bit & we had quite a nice chat.

Do you have days that just don’t seem to go well?

I could choose at this point to give the day up as lost & let the catalogue of events make my whole day unravel, but I choose not.

I choose to stay positive, to see the good in people, & to trust that God has a plan for me, even in the niggly, tired & downright annoying times!

I can’t control some of the things that happen to me in a day (or morning all before 11am!!) but I can control my attitude & my heart for people.

Hoping you’re all having a great day, I’m hopeful mine will get better from now, with my soft heart still in tact.

Until the next time friends.
Have a great day!

Lizzie xx

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Where is my Peace?

This morning I woke up feeling frazzled.

Every morning we get woken by Sweet Harry, shouting ‘Morning’! really loudly. this is then followed up with ‘Muuuuma’, ‘Daddddid’ also very loudly until we get up at 6.30am.

note: I am not a morning person by choice!

I turned to Jon & said, I know what I want for our anniversary, ‘a bit of peace & quiet’! He grimaced.

It’s a pre-school day & before 9am I had got up, showered, dried hair, got dressed, put on make-up, changed pull-up’s/nappies, got children dressed, fed Sweet Bea breakfast, had breakfast & packed bags & made lunch for Sweet Harry, got the kids in the car & driven to pre-school (late)!

note: I know this describes morning for a lot of you!

I got home, I ironed a pile(ish) of clothes & just felt a bit exhausted really. The mundane just got to me a bit.

Everyone hits a wall, & I hit mine in that moment.

Then I heard that small inner voice saying, sit down & write about peace. What’s that now?! I have no peace (or time to sit down) so how can I write about it!

I think it’s really easy to think of peace as in peace & quiet. But actually the peace talked about by Jesus is quite different to that.

I went on Pinterest to see if there were any quotes, & I found these little gems!

I hope they help you find your inner peace today, I know I need some!

I’m working on it.

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What do you do when you need some peace? I’d love to know.

Until the next time friends.

Have a peaceful day!

Lizzie xx

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Much A Flu about Nothing

It’s the start of flu season, so I rang to get an appointment for us all to be vaccinated.

I was surprised when the Receptionist said she needed to check if I could have one as I didn’t fit the immediate criteria of over 65, children of a certain age & people with known breathing conditions like asthma.

I really thought I would be eligible, but the answer came back from the Doctor, it was a no. I’m not one to complain (ish) so I just shuffled off to Boots & paid for one.

However, I feel a flu jab should be offered to anyone who wants one, & here’s why.

In March 2012 I got flu. No big deal you might say, loads of people get the flu virus every year & survive. But here’s where my story goes on further.

My flu started much like anyone else’s, quickly! One minute I felt fine, the next I was laid up in bed with hubby called home from work to watch Harry.

A week later & there was no sign of it letting up. Then…..it got worse!

Sigh!!!

I started to become incoherent, just trailing off mid sentence & then looking at my Mum or hubby thinking ‘finish what you’re saying then’!

I was unsteady & during a bath my Mum had to sit on the loo seat & supervise me.

I just wasn’t right.

Jon & Mum got me to the surgery pronto!

I was referred straight to A&E, & after a lot of very worried looks & consultation with Jon I was admitted for observation. I ended up staying for 6 days!

I had to have a lumber puncture to determine what I had, it was not pleasant I was extremely distressed & very ill. They tested for all sorts of things but it came back with Post Influenza Encephalitis. Basically a brain virus caused by the flu infection.

I wasn’t a well girl at all.

But with the diagnosis came swift action & I was put on the right medication. Thank God!

The problems then came from the side effects of the lumber puncture. The worst headache you can imagine! The doctor described it as the worst hangover you could ever have. I’ve never had a hangover like that one!! I couldn’t lift my head without being sick.

The doctor prescribed coca cola for it as the sugar & caffeine really helped! The doctor endured a ribbing from the nurses as they’d never seen coke prescribed before!

Even when I was discharged on my birthday, I went home with the headache still raging.

In total I was unwell for a month. A month of not being able to look after my son. A month of my family having to drop everything & ferry Harry to & from nursery so Jon could work etc.

It was not a happy time for us.

Here’s where the good bit of the story comes in (& where I think God can make good out of every situation).

I was in a hospital ward of 6. The ones who stick in my mind are Nan & Olive. Elderly ladies, lovely.

It was through watching their care & my own treatment that I got an overview of the staff & how the hospital dept ran.

They did their best, of that I am sure!

I was next to a lady who passed away during my stay, I was able to pray quietly for her & her family.

I was able to pray for all the ladies, as needs became apparent. It was while in hospital in the pit of my own desperate situation that God revealed the pain in their situations too.

Goodness what an insular person I had become! This experience taught me such a valuable lesson in life. There really is always someone else worse off.

At least I had visitors. 26 in total over 6 days, & sooo many texts. I was so touched. Some of the other patients had 1, 2 or even no visitors at all.

I was also prayed for by the whole church. I felt loved in the midst of my desperation.

The nursery that sweet Harry went to gave him free childcare, for that week & for a bit of time afterwards so I could recover.

People cooked meals for Jon & sweet Harry.

People are so kind, when given the opportunity to be.

In regards to the NHS I think we have a way to go. The dept was over stretched & reactions not always as quick as they could have been. But all the doctors & nurses were so nice & really caring.

They do their best with the resources & time they have. At the end of the day I went in sick & came out better.

Yes I think everyone who wants one should have a flu jab for free on the NHS!

My illness mostly happens in old people & children, as per the vaccination criteria. I think we all know life isn’t that black & white!!

To finish though I am grateful to live in a country, that offers free health care, to the best of their ability & with sometimes limited or political restrictions.

If you’re eligible for a flu jab have one. If you’re not I’d advise you to pay for one.

Having flu is just not worth it.

Bless you all.
Until the next time friends.

Have a great day!
Lizzie xx

Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve been meaning to do a link up to these lovely & encouraging US blogs, but wanted to wait until this newbie blogger had the know-how to do it! I’m learning as I go!!

These ladies have been blogging for years & have a huge following. I can only dream of blogging at this level!

April, Christina, Natasha & Darci  (a. liz adventures, carolina charm, hello! happiness & the good life blog) allow others to link up with them to give our own five joys or things we’re loving, every Friday.

Natasha’s blog, Hello! Happiness, is the first blog I ever read (& loved)!

So here we go with my own ‘Five on Friday’!

1. Montacute House & Gardens – The National Trust

This large Elizabethan house & gardens is literally down the road from my house & whenever we have nothing else organised this is our ‘go to’ place every time.

The Tea Rooms are lovely & super child friendly.

The gardens are beautiful & Sweet Harry loves the giant chess board!

I just love the history of the place & my Mum works here doing tour guides and conservation cleaning!

Scenes from ‘Sense & Sensibility’ were filmed here & I’m grateful to have it on my doorstep.

2. My Sweet Bea is 7 Months Old!

This one makes my heart sink & soar at the same time. I just can’t believe the time is going so fast.

SB is now sitting in her high chair, chomping away on steamed veg sticks & bread & butter soldiers!

She also started saying ‘Dada’ yesterday, dot on her 7 ‘monthersary’.

Slow down a little bit, my beautiful Sweet Bea, you’re growing too fast for this mama!

3. I Love…Mango & Papaya Handwash

This Handwash smells & looks amazing!

The bright colour really cheers up my bathroom & is perfect for Autumn. Sweet Harry also loves using it! That’s got to be a Win/Win situation! 20131004-111956.jpg

You can read my review of this orange popping handwash here

4. Love & Wonder

My post ‘Love & Wonder’ tells about this wonderful shop of the same name in my hometown.

I bought a birthday gift for my girlfriend, Em, here! I really enjoyed the experience. I decided on the baking kit with windmill toppers you see pictured below! So cute!

It’s a breath of fresh air to have somewhere local to purchase wonderful gifts & accessories for my home.20131004-112148.jpg

You can shop online here

See my review here

5. Clarins – Beauty Flash Balm

I’m grateful to have this product in my life! It brightens my sometimes tired & stessed skin & really zings it up a notch!

I use it when I want to refresh my make up without re-applying foundation.

It helps that one of my oldest & dearest friends, Helen, is the Account Manager on the Clarins Counter. I know I will always get honest, good customer service & a winning smile!

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Meet my friend Helen & read my post here

Many, many, thanks to April, Christina, Darci & Natasha for allowing me to link up today!!!

Until the next time friends.

Have a great day!
Lizzie xx

Friendship that Brightens

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I have some really amazing friends in my life. Each & every one blesses me in some way.

You’ll be sure to hear about my friends over time, but for now I’d like to introduce you to one of my oldest & dearest friends.

Around for the longest & such a gem, meet Helen!

Helen is the type of girl who radiates & brightens a room, so much so her nickname is Belle. Her friends & family know she’s lovely inside & out.

Working for the last couple of years as Account Manager on the Clarins Counter in our local department store (Beales), Helen has been sure to pass on some skincare knowledge & love of the range to me.

The items I purchase every time, are the moisturiser Multi Active Jour & fragrance. I first came across the fragrance Eau Dynamisante 12 years ago, I was given it as a gift to take with me when I travelled for a year to Australia.

I went in the October & carried it around with me unopened until Christmas morning! By then I was in Sydney in blazing sunshine!

The fragrance always takes me back to sunshine & relaxation, we had our Christmas on the beach that day!

My hubby always knows what to get me for birthdays/Christmas gifts if I’ve nearly run out! It’s always handy for a bloke to have those ‘go to’ gifts that will always go down well & he knows Helen will look after him & guide him.

Because I bought some items the other day I got gift (buy two items, one to be skincare, & choose three gifts for free) & one of the ‘gifts’ I chose was the Baume Beaute Eclair Beauty Flash Balm, & this is the product I want to share with you today! It’s amazing!!

It instantly brightens my skin, I used it yesterday as I didn’t want to wear a full face of make up. I used it instead of my foundation.

I’ve also used it on an evening out, when I didn’t want to reapply my foundation. I just used Beauty Flash Balm & topped up my blusher & I was good to go!

The balm instantly makes my skin brighter & look less tired! A trick all tired mama’s need to know.

The gifts were all a really good size too, perfect for a Christmas gift maybe!

As well as getting great skincare & advice, you’ll also be welcomed with that warm winning smile!

Clarins gift is on until 12th October in Beales Department Store, Yeovil.

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Until the next time friends.

Have a great day!

Lizzie xx

Nb This post is not sponsored & all thoughts & opinions on this post are entirely my own. L xx

Love & Wonder

Shopping in my hometown centre has been a bit sporadic for me the last few years.

Sweet Harry never quite took to being pushed around from shop to shop.

Now SH is safely at pre-school two mornings a week, I can walk into town for my appointments, shopping & even a coffee! Hello!!

So I’ve missed quite a few changes about town. As I was wondering around looking for a birthday gift for my girlfriend Em I stumbled across a wonderful shop full to the brim of really stunning giftware & accessories.

Love & Wonder has been around for a little while now, totally missed by me due to having been in a pregnancy/childcare fog!

I was ably helped by the owner who was super friendly, I gave her my budget & was asked what kind of person my friend was & what she liked!

I was then shown items in that genre & it was really tough to choose from all the really lovely gifts! I was not guided towards more expensive items.

I chose a baking set & tea light holder because Em loves to bake & I couldn’t resist the little windmill toppers!

I was impressed by the owner Chloe’s gentle & friendly approach. There was no hard sell & I went away very happy.

My friend loved the gifts & all is well with the world!!

If you need a thoughtful gift for that special friend, pop a long to Love & Wonder or visit the website.

Until the next time friends!

Have a great day.
Lizzie xx

http://www.facebook.com/loveandwonder
http://www.loveandwonder.co.uk

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Nb This post is not sponsored & all thoughts & opinions on this post are entirely my own. L xx

Conkers

Happy October everyone!!!

My recommendation today if you are at home with your kids, is get outside every day. Even just for a little while.

I find that if we don’t get abit of fresh air every day we can go abit crazy!!

Sweet Harry especially enjoys getting out to our local park. He loves watching the ducks & since its Autumn, picking up lots of leaves!

I learnt from a very wise child minder that you don’t need a lot of toys to keep children happy & thoroughly enthralled.

Kids learn through play, but my friend has taught me that play doesn’t have to be with loads of plasticky toys, although they can be good too.

A walk in the fresh air looking at nature & seeing people out & about working is teaching SH far more.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sell myself as the perfect Mama, there are days we don’t make it out & the telly is on far longer than it should!

But the days we do make it out always seem to go that bit better, & even if we only get out for half an hour I feel like I’ve achieved something!

Yesterday we popped out to a park & noticed a huge horse chestnut tree in the corner!

We got ourselves a hoard of treasure yesterday!

Follow my favourite childminder for ideas & tips on how to utilise outside play on Twitter!! @LookaftermeMe

Until the next time friends.

Have a great day!

Lizzie xx

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Sweet Harry is 3!

I can’t quite believe my sweet Harry is 3! It feels ages ago & like yesterday all at once.

The one thing I know is that on the 25th September 2010 our lives changed, irrevocably for the better.

I can’t say that every day has been easy, in fact a lot of days were the hardest of my life.

I’ve also learnt the most about myself in these last 3 years than at any other time in my life. Some good things, some not so hot!

Harry (& now Bea) have changed who I am, what I stand for. Will I fight more? Stand up for what I believe is right? Oh yes!

Will I change because I don’t want my faults & failings to become my children’s inheritance? Yes again!

I’ll do whatever it takes to give my kids the opportunities, education & ability to handle life the best way possible.

I know I have made & will make mistakes, but with family, friends & God by my side I will try my hardest.

That’s a Mama’s fighting talk.

Phew, sorry friends I totally went off on one there.

On a lighter note, Harry loved his presents, an IKEA kitchen + the fruit & veg & pots & pans!

We’re really looking forward to tomorrow afternoon for Harry’s Peppa Pig themed birthday party!

Look out of action shots on the bouncy castle next post.

Have a great day everyone!

Lizzie xx

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