Category Archives: joy

OPEN MIC – Make Memories With Your Kids That Will Last Forever!

OPEN MIC

 

Welcome my Guest for this week’s Open Mic.

ISABEL SCOLLEN

ISABEL & AARON

My name is Isabel Scollen.  I am married to Aaron & have 3 girls.  Aaron & I met in Leeds & got married in 2001.  I am British but was born in the Northeast of Brazil in the City of Recife.  I enjoy meeting new people & developing strong friendships.

I am interested in topics that include family life, marriage, children etc.  I love God & everything related to Him.

Make Memories With Your Kids That Will Last Forever!

When my friend Lizzie asked if anyone would like to contribute in her blog my first reaction was “I would love to.”

I love sharing the wonderful things that God blessed us to do as a family.  The benefits of all those little things and big things that we do in life count for a healthy and happy child’s present and future.

As Christians, we commit our children to God, we recognize that as in Psalm 127 “Children are an inheritance from the Lord”, they are a blessing.

Beginning of our Journey

Only 7 months after getting married, I found out that I was pregnant with my first daughter(Hannah).  When we were considering what to call her, we found out how significant names are in the Bible.  Each name has a meaning and that name can have a major impact on a child’s future.

The name Hannah seemed to fit like a glove.  From the Hebrew Hannah means “helper”, “grace” and “graciousness”.  She is a very independent, talented, inventive and successful child who has always been willing to help others.

Our second child “Alicia” comes from the Spanish meaning “noble one”.  Her name was adapted from her grandmother’s name “Alice”.  Strong willed, thoughtful, powerful and intelligent would some up Alicia.  She loves technology like her Dad!

Bethany, from the Hebrew meaning “house of figs”, born from the Bible as a place name rather than a person’s name.  Bethany was the place where Jesus visited with his close friends, Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

It was also the place where Lazarus was brought back from the dead (and this resurrection story is the reason we chose this name for our Bethany – but more on this another time!). Bethany is a very happy child: communicative, creative, optimistic and sociable.

Each one is so different and unique in their own way.

Hannah and Alicia are quite close in age and I often dressed them in matching outfits. When you are a new Mum, you want to keep everything fair.  If you give something to one, you feel the need to give the same thing to the other.  But as time goes on you realize that each one has a unique character – you can buy for each according to their character needs and fashion trends.

Here are some photos.

ISABEL, AARON & KIDS

ALL 3 GIRLS

Today they are all dressed differently according to their taste.  Mum checks it out so they don’t come home with a bright pink skirt, green top and stripy socks to go to a wedding!

Making memories…

Back to the title of this post – how do we make memories with our children?

1) We have a custom in our family, that for every birthday, we start the day with a mini cake or breakfast in bed for the birthday boy or girl.  We sing “Happy Birthday”, blow out candles and gather all the cards and gifts from the family and open them up in bed.  We usually have a party within a couple of days for school and family friends to celebrate together, but we also love our little “family party” in the morning (lots of photos to keep the memories alive)!

ISABEL PARTY

2) Family weekends away or days out are a must.  We go to the beach, nature reserves and if the budget will allow theme and holiday parks.  For those with family who are not local, then visits to grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousins are great opportunities.  Our girls don’t see their cousins very often, so when they do, we make an effort to make it special and memorable for them. Lots of photos again to reinforce those memories.

3) Once a year a family holiday for a week or two is very important.  They will never forget – whether it’s camping, Disney, or a package holiday.  The budget is not as important as the time and attention that they will get from Mum and Dad.

ALL 3 GIRLS PARIS

Small memorable things

1)  One to Ones.  We try to give each child the full attention of one parent on a regular basis. For example

– clothes shopping with Mum, going to the cinema with Dad, walking the dog together or even going for a ride in the car.

2)  Having regular family meals together.  Although this can be difficult with the work pressures of many families, try to find something which works for you.  It may be breakfast every morning with the kids, dinner or supper.

3)  Highs and Lows.  Once a day at a meal time, have each family member share their high (something great that happened today) and a low (something not so good that happened).

So that’s what I wanted to share – I hope you enjoyed it!

Isabel Scollen

 

Disclaimer : Opinions raised in this Open Mic series are entirely the words, thoughts & opinions of the guest author & are not necessarily the opinion of Lizzie Somerset’s Blog.  LS XO

Five on Friday – Fever, Festival & Fiesta In June

3a538-5onfridaylogo-final-forblogsidemenu_edited-1_zps7fcf6068

Hey friends,

Linking up once again with the lovely girls, April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.  They truly are gracious hostesses so please go check out their blogs too.

Did you enjoy my guest post on Tuesday? I really see this little space belonging to all of you.  So if you have a burning issue or story to share please do get in touch.

If your story fits with the ethos of this blog; positively, motivating & encouraging others or you have a craft/recipe then maybe you can do a guest post for my Open Mic series! E-mail me on lizziesomerset@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you.

guest blog image

O N E -WORLD CUP FEVER

STARTS NOW! Wowee I am so excited as we start out on another England adventure with our boys in RIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got Sweet Harry a new tee-shirt from Florence & Fred at Tesco & a World Cup football, who knows maybe he is the next Beckham.  We sure do love our footie in blighty.

TESCO DISPLAY

Saw this display in my local Tesco store & had to share it with you.

T W O – GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL

PRIMARK DISPLAY

Primark Store Window

The festival is really near us so I always feel the atmosphere when the festival is on.

I’m praying for a  hot, hot, hot Glastonbury for my friends who are going this year as lets face it it’s better than rain.  Anything that throws Somerset in the limelight is a good thing too.

There’s an awesome line-up as always.  Although I’m not going this year I love watching the BBC coverage & looking out for my friends in the crowd.

I’ll be drinking a Somerset Cider & thinking of you all rocking the crowd & trying to soak up the magic from home.

Next year is my year friends!!!

T H R E E – WEEKEND WITH MUM & SISSY

Me & Mum are hot-footing it up to Chichester, West Sussex this weekend to spend some much needed girl time with my sister Rosie.

Shopping, coffee, cake & chat are the only things on the agenda, I’m thankful & can’t wait for this precious time together. We’re going to be making some lemonade to drink in the garden too so watch out for the recipe next week!

Did I also mention no kids?  YEEHAH.

F O U R – IT’S HOTTING UP!

Finally the temps seem to be climbing & I for one couldn’t be happier.  Time to break out the toddler pool, suncream & ice lollies.

Again, I’ve bought some summer clothing essentials from Florence & Fred at Tesco for the win.

I LOVE my new pineapple shocking pink vest at £9 it’s cool chic on a budget. I’ve got a thing about pineapples at the moment, I love that they symbolise hospitality, something very much on my heart at the moment.

pineapple top 2 f&f

F I V E – Summer Nights

Summer brings with it the opportunity to relax al fresco of an evening, I’ll be championing some of my fave mock/cocktails in the weeks ahead & my tips for dining light.

Look out my amigos as Pimm’s may be on the agenda.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend I pray it’s a great one!

Until the next time friends, have a great day!!

Lizzie XO

Five on Friday – Mama’s Day Off

09cc0-5onfriday-logooption1

 

Hey friends,

I had a much needed day off yesterday!

We’ve been so worn out recently & I’m so thankful to my husband for deciding to take the day off work so I could have some much needed time & space to myself.  I have a good man right there.

I decided to spend my day in the ancient town of Sherborne in Dorset.

It’s a town I’ve visited many times over the years & love.  We chose a hotel in the town for our Wedding Reception in 2008.

This visit I wanted to take my time, cherish the day all by myself & also regain some inspiration which has been abit lacking recently! So I decided to go off the beaten track & explore a bit.  I found some new little gems & learnt some lessons I want to share with you today.

O N E – STOP & LISTEN

I don’t normally stop & listen to people busking on the streets.

I don’t know why I stopped this time.  Maybe it was because the sun was shining & I was free to stop; but something in the sound made me pause & listen & I’m thankful for it.

BUSKER FOLK SINGER VICTOR CHETCUTI

The sound was blissful.  I listened to one song, called Together Free. It got me right. in. the. soul.

I went & spoke to the guy after he’d finished & he told me was his name was Victor & I could search for Victor’s Tunes to find him. which I did as soon as I got home.  Turned out he has 5 albums, & he chose to sing for me yesterday.  You can listen to what I heard HERE.

Victor Chetcuti – A true talent in my opinion.

Etiquette with listening to buskers on the street? If you stop & enjoy listening to their song you owe them a coin or two! Just sayin’!

Website // Facebook

T W O – EDWARD OLIVER VINTAGE FURNITURE

TRENDLE STREET

I went exploring down some side streets I wouldn’t normally wander down.  Aside from that, isn’t just ‘wandering’ a great thing?  I don’t wander anywhere, usually I dash!

Anyway I’ve digressed.  I wandered down Trendle Street through an archway &  into this lovely vintage furniture place.  It had a cool, young & calm vibe.  Old fashioned & restored furniture & vintage pieces carried out with thought, design & obvious experience in every piece.  Set in an old stable I wanted to buy everything in there!

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER SIGN

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER LAMPS

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER ARTWORK

My eyes came upon a large painting of Pulteney Bridge in Bath in a repainted frame tucked in the corner.  I saw it & I bought it!  It now hangs in my kitchen & I know it will give me joy for years.

Think you know a town? Go down the side streets you’ve never gone down before, you never know what you might find.

Website // Facebook //

T H R E E – GATHERED HANDMADE

I saw a sign in the street saying Champagne & Macaroons, come upstairs! How could I refuse an offer like that?!

I went up the stairs & found myself being warmly welcomed by the two girls of Gathered Handmade situated on Cheap Street & being offered a glass of pink prosecco & an English macaroon.

GATHERED HOMEMADE CLOCKS

I instantly liked the style the shop offered for babies, kids & cool lifestyle. Since I’m gathering ideas for a mood board for a playroom for my littles, I asked if I could take pictures, which they obliged.  I must say I didn’t expect to find design like this, I love these lights! I’ll be popping these on my Pinterest Play Room Ideas Board.

GATHERED HANDMADE LAMPS

I also fell for these bright, dotty cusions!

GATHERED HANDMADE CUSHIONS

Pop in for a browse & get a warm welcome or visit them on their website

Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest //

F O U R – LUNCH ON A BENCH

Lunch on my own in the sunshine? Oh if you insist!

I popped into Waitrose & treated myself to sushi, Pellegrino & a lemon yumyum & sat on a bench with the sun shining & just watched the world go by for half an hour.

SHERBORNE LUNCH ON A BENCH

My sushi was delicious & my yumyum pleasantly surprised me by having lemon curd in the middle.

Lunch usually consists of a soft cheese sandwich & a packet of Quavers which are hovered up asap, so you can see how this is a different league luncheon.

This was my view from the bench.

SHERBORNE VIEW FROM A BENCH

SHERBORNE VIEW FROM A BENCH 2

F I V E – BUY A PLANT & LEARN HOW TO LOOK AFTER IT

I was driving home after my lovely day & remembered that I saw a plant cutting for sale outside a house last week.  I’d not seen a plant like it in this country before it’s shocking pink! I knocked & asked what it is, it’s a Bourganvillea I’ve mostly seen in France & Spain, not cold & wet England!

We don’t have a conservatory or green house, so I may need you to join me in praying this beautiful shocking pink thing stays with me for longer than 5 minutes, because I really want this plant to live & thrive.

BOURGAINVILLEA 2BOURGAINVILLEA

I’m thinking that maybe I haven’t done so well with plants before because I haven’t taken the time to learn to look after them.  So I’m going to do my research & look after it as best I can. If you have any tips for me, comment below! I sure could use the help.

Is there anything more lovely after a great day, than rounding it up buying a plant or flowers for your home? I’m not sure there is.

I went in search of inspiration yesterday & found it in the most unlikely places.  Where will your adventures take you today?

Thanks as always to April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.

With my inspiration & positive socks well & truly back on, I hope you have an amazing weekend!!

Lizzie XOXO

As always this post is not sponsored, all opinions expressed on this post are entirely my own. LS xo

It’s the Little Things – May Bank Holiday

imageHey friends,

Here are some snaps from the time we spent in the garden as a family this weekend.  We love bank holidays, to us they are perfect opportunities to have real family time together.  Weekends are often full of swimming lessons & Church.SH Train

sweet bea train Sweet Bea garden rolypoly

Both the sweet kids just love this Thomas the Tank Engine we got from a Table Top Sale.

We took advantage of this precious day off & played in the garden & had a barbeque!

Mr S

Mr S having a well deserved beer!

I tried so hard to make homemade lamb burgers, but unfortunately I didn’t bind them together well enough & as Mr S tried to turn them they fell apart! We decided to cook them anyway in the frying pan & creatively I turned them into lamb hash.  That’s what life is all about, if life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

burgers lamb after

In other news I didn’t get shortlisted for the BIB awards, & I felt abit sad about that.  Then I got really excited about voting fot the amazing bloggers that did make the shortlist!

I was totally blown away to be nominated by the lovely & ever so encouraging Kathy at IB Designs Blog for not only the BIB awards in the Family category but also for the Team Member Readership Award!  Kathy has liked every single one of my posts since I started blogging in August, I have so appreciated her encouragement from across the pond!

Here are the rules:

  1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award shall display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.
  2. The nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days. This can be done at any rate during the week.
  3. The nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award Nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day period
  4. The nominee shall make these rules or amended rules keeping to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award known to each reader he nominates.
  5. The nominee must finish this sentence and post: “A great reader is ……

wonderful team award

A great reader is……a person who really invests in & believes in the writer.

That’s my mid week friends! I’ll leave you with a precious photo of the sweet siblings, I hardly ever manage to get them together & I just love the look SH is giving SB! Sweet precious moments that are to be treasured.

kids garden

Until the next time friends, have a happy hump day & Happy May!

Thanks to Jess & Ashley for the link up!

Lizzie XOXO

 

 

Five on Friday – Best Foot Forward Spring/Summer 2014

09cc0-5onfriday-logooption1

Holla! How are you on this fine day? (grey UK-side).

My mind is a bit of a muddle today, being up with Sweet Bea in the night has made my brain a bit fuzzy! That’s where blogging is brilliant.  I know that by the time I have these ideas down & out in the blogosphere I will feel better & be able to think a bit clearer.

If you don’t already write, I can tell you writing everything down is free therapy! You’re welcome.

Today FEET!  The part of the body I feel we easily neglect & yet we are on them all day & we put them through a lot.

Here are my 5 tips & product suggestions to help you put your best feet forward this Spring/Summer 2014!!!

O N E – GET A PEDICURE

Even if you only have time for one treatment this Spring/Summer go & get yourself a pedicure, your feet will seriously thank you.

Think an hour or more getting your feet painted is a little too luxurious?  Most salons offer mini Pedi’s which should take around 30 minutes & are a little cheaper.  That’s more than enough to set you up & perk up your tootsies for the warmer weather!

20130828-190648.jpg

T W O – WASH YOUR FEET

This is a tip for every day not just when your feet are out for all to see.  Even though this seems abit top level, I bet you forget regularly!

Next time you have a shower wash those feet! In between the toes too, no cheating! Dry them properly too, then move onto Step Three.

T H R E E – FOOT CREAM/FOOT BALM

My feet get so hot in the warmer weather & add walking/running around the house/garden a thousand times a day with the Sweet Kids  & they are d-i-r-t-y! Like proper and my ankles hurt too!

Washing your feet, spraying with a cooling spray & moisturising them will cool them down & take care of those tooties.  I love anything with a cooling element to it.

I’ve tried a few products over the years  but lately I’m loving Burt’s Bee’s range.  I was given a tube of Burt’s Bees Foot Balm as a gift .  One for the evening when you have a bit more time, it takes awhile to sink in, but it’s luxury in a tube.  The smell is heavenly, a mix of coconut & mint (although it states just coconut).  You can get this lovely foot balm at various outlets.

Now I’m sold on the range I need to decide between these two beauties when my little tube runs out!

bees bees2

Peppermint

Coconut

You can find the range at John Lewis, Boots, Debenhams or Amazon amongst others.

F O U R – REST YOUR FEET

Ever feel like the kids have gone to bed & you’re still rushing around like a loony trying to tidy up?

Take a break, put your feet up for 5 minutes, read a blog post or two. Have a cup of tea & then I recommend you  read this seriously funny post before tidying the kids toys away for the night.

playmobil flip flops

Photograph courtesy of Hurrah for Gin.

Katie at Hurrah for Gin  will get you into the swing of tidying with style, I promise it’ll set you up for the next day of free play with your Sweet Kids!

F I V E – TREAT YOUR FEET

Every year needs a new pair of sandals.

I’ve scoured Pinterest & the internet for you & fallen for these lovelies for 2014, what do you think? Strappy or strappy? Strappy it is! These are my favourite, the expensive ones of course!

Most likely you’ll find me at buying my next pair at River Island or Topshop although I wish I could afford the Tory Burch pair!

Thanks to my sweet hosts, April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.

Don’t forget to read their lovely posts.

Until the next time friends have a sweet day!

Lizzie XOXO

nb. This post is not sponsored & all thoughts & opinions are entirely my own, LS XO

 

Take a Moment – He is With Us

It’s Monday morning friends!

Time to pause (just for a second or two), reflect, place everything in perspective & move forwards into our day, before the hectic takes over.

Sometimes Monday morning can be the most hectic of all!

Let’s do this together, because we’re family.

Pause
Breathe (in the Holy Spirit)
Focus (on Him/pray)
Give thanks (count your blessings)
Move forwards

Because God wants us to live life to the full.

20140428-110129.jpg

It only takes a moment. He is with us. It’s promised.

Until the next time friends
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

Have we met?

Hi! I’m Lizzie,

Hot Couple

A sweet South-Western girl from the UK! Wife & Mama to two gorgeous sweet babes known on here as Sweet Harry & Sweet Bea.

20130901-180252.jpg

I live in Somerset the most beautiful county (I think) of the United Kingdom.

If we haven’t met already, HI THERE! The blog is here to encourage you (& me) in this journey called life.

Before you decide to join me on the ride here are some things you might like to know!

– I love coffee, especially Starbucks & Costa. I also think you can’t beat an English cuppa & a digestive!
– I love Jesus, not negotiable.
– I love shopping & trends in home décor, gifting & fashion.
– I love my husband & kids, they are like treasure to me.
– I believe in counting my blessings daily.

Are we friends yet?

Follow on along at lizziesomerset.wordpress.com (soon to be lizziesomerset.com) Exciting times ahead!

Lizzie XOXO

It’s the Little Things – Easter Weekend Recap

imageHey friends,

Linking up with Ashley & Jess on this lovely Wednesday!

We have so enjoyed our long Easter weekend.

Being together as a family just filled me with joy.  Also, help with the kids was a godsend after a long two weeks off preschool for Sweet Harry.

We saw both families, ate ALOT of Easter eggs, praised God at Church on Easter Sunday & relaxed at home. Apart from Sunday we’ve had lovely weather, so have been outside most of the time, playing, weeding, planting new plants & having  the first BBQ of the year.

Good Friday was especially fun.  Some quality time together was well overdue so we decided to head out to Montacute House for their Egg Hunt.

We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day & my Mum was able to join us too!

Here’s some photo’s of the egg hunt (sponsored by Cadbury).

Base Camp

We got our trail pack which included a map, pencil & a grid. Daddy, Grandma & SH went round together (while I tramped on slowly behind with SB in buggy + bags) finding the clues & drawing them in the right squares.  There were loads of families doing the trail & it created a lovely atmosphere.

Start

Setting off On the trail

When all 6 squares had been drawn in you got the whole picture.  As you can see it was a bunny!  SH absolutely loved it & when we asked him what the picture was he said it was a donkey!!!  We laughed so hard at that, I guess Mr Somerset isn’t such a Picasso.  Thankfully there is a donkey in the Easter story!

Looking at the clues

Beautiful Donkey

SH then took the picture back to the Trail Start to get his Cadbury Easter egg.  It was so well organised, we’ll definitely go again next year.

The clue was at the end We were there too! Eggsplorer

What did you do over Easter? I hope you all had a great Easter weekend!

Until the next time friends

Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

Take a Moment – Good Friday 2014

Hey friends,

I hope you are all looking forward to an Easter weekend with friends & family as much as we are?!

For me as a follower of Christ, I love Easter. It’s by far my favourite holiday!

I think this is mainly due to the fact that Jesus actually gets a mention here & there, & that warms my heart!

I think Easter is so much fun for children too.

For some reason I’ve been thinking a lot about passion recently. I think sometimes life can seem a bit blah & like nothing exciting is happening.

I believe in those moments of feeling stagnant that it actually may be Jesus asking us to stay still for a little while.

We’ve had a lot of changes in the Somerset ranch lately, lots of extra learned confidence, starting the blog, Sweet Harry starting preschool & Sweet Bea starting nursery. I’ve finally gotten to goal weight at Weight Watchers & feeling great!

So I’m seeing this season as letting things shake down & settle for a bit. Letting go & trusting God.

If I want passion I only have to look to the Cross. To the One who loves me passionately without limits & who knows me so well.

This Good Friday I’m reminded again of His goodness to me everyday, not just on this special day, but everyday where I get to share in the victory of His resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Today we’re going on an Easter egg hunt at Montacute House with the sweet kiddos! Quality family time is what we need.

To Jesus all the honour, praise & fame.

Until the next time friends.

Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO

20140418-125555.jpg

Take a Moment – A View of Perfectionism

20140414-222942.jpg

Perfectionism. Sounds perfect doesn’t it?

A person who has perfectionism must always be top of their game. Top of everything in fact!

Their house must be spotless, beautifully decorated, their kids are polite, well dressed, destined for great things.

They’re successful.
Popular.
Throw the best parties.

They have prospects & aim high!

The problem is they have perfectionism. It’s the core. Trust me, it’s like an illness.

It won’t kill you, it will just make shame part of every day life.

People who suffer with perfectionism are not perfectionists. A perfectionist is someone who is good with the finer points, the detail.

This is much, much more complex.

Perfectionism sees what the world wants you to be, magnifies it x10000 & sets that as the target, if you can’t hit the target? Yep, shame!

The sad thing about it is the person with perfectionism will never reach the lofty heights they set themselves because the high expectations are so high they are literally unreachable!!

They want to be the best. But when the best isn’t possible & they fail again, because it’s exhausting or just totally unacheivable…there it is again, shame.

I’m popping the spotlight on perfectionism today because at the end of last year I realised I suffered with this personality trait. When I read the definition for it, everything clicked into place.

When I had Sweet Harry I was desperate to be a Yummy Mummy. One of those women who looked amazing, had an easy baby, well dressed, house up together, hair & make up beautifully done. I would bake & cook nutritious meals. Clean & decorate. Host coffee mornings & laugh easily with other Mother’s on buggy walks.

Then I had the baby.

The dream that I would be a perfect mother crumbled. Yummy Mummy? More like Crummy Mummy!

Who knew having a baby would
1. Knock you for six.
2. Leave you feeling exhausted, inadequate & totally clueless.

For a person with perfectionism, tiredness was not an option because tiredness equalled failure. If you’re exhausted, you can’t be doing it right.

Ever heard of procrastination? Perfectionism is procrastination just in a prettier word.

I’m at the point now where I know when it flares up & how to control it. But when I didn’t even know what it was or that I had it, it held me back.

If this resonates with you look up perfectionism & start on the road to combat it.

It’s not what God wants for your life.

He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross at Easter so that I can be free. He loves me for who I am, not what I achieve.

For my children He wants a Mother who is THERE & shows LOVE. Not a beautifully decorated home.

For my husband, he asks me to be a PRESENT wife, ready to hear. Not a beautifully made up dolly bird.

For my friends he asks me to PRAY & stand with them in all aspects of their lives. Not to be the centre of attention or the perfect hostess.

Let’s be real. What is perfect anyway? I know now I am enough.

Celebrate the small successes. Count your blessings. Live in the moment.

Let Grace deal with the rest.

Until the next time friends
Have a great day

Lizzie XOXO