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… And just like that, it was over!

As summer draws to a close I am reflecting over these past few months… We started out in a very unorganized way, we have had very little BBQ’s this year… Really not like us, we haven’t sat out all evening drinking a chatting, again very unlike us, and I personally have just felt tired and drained… Now I can’t even blame Tate for lack of sleep as he is such a good baby… I just really feel there is something lacking about this summer… And now it’s almost Fall!

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I think my lack of energy is because I need to find a direction and. stick to it, I feel like sometimes, I just wander aimlessly around, but these past few years have been tough for our family, due to a series of events, life just seems hard in every direction… So I’m trying to find some positive vibes in each and every day, because despite everything we are a close, loving family and that means everything in life… Well that and a glass of wine, of course!

The one thing I will remember this summer for, is our pool days with our very kind friends, this year there have been a lot of fun wet days spent in their pool, and for that I am truly grateful to them… Florence’s confidence in the water has improved so much, her love for swimming has increased so much over the summer months, each pool day has seen her grow into a happy diver, swimmer, racer and her smile each time she jumps into that water is magical!

This was Tate’s first summer pool experience, although he was dubious at first I think his confidence has grown too… We even got a couple of smiles from him as he kicked his little legs, splashing away!

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This is also the summer we discovered that Florrie loves sand, the Cake Boss shop, movies in the park and Twix Bites… Now we are all totally addicted! Mabel has become a very competent swimmer and Blu has actually left his Xbox and his room and sat with us for long periods of time… We even got him to chat a little… Now that is crazy!

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Summer also saw Mabel hanging out with her friends more, movie dates, swim dates and of course shopping trips to the Mall, this was also the summer that she became a teenager and went to her first concert, which she absolutely loved!

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We have been to the beach a total of three times this summer, and I have decided that beach days out of season are the best… The long drive sat in traffic, the high costs to park your car and then the charges to get onto a extremely busy beach in the height of summer are far outweighed by our after Labor Day beach trip… The drive was easy, parking was not only easy but very cheap, 4 hours on the beach plus one hour having ice cream equalled $5 prime position parking versus $15 for a dusty long walk parking place in the height of summer. The weather was fabulous yesterday 93f, the beach was free and much quieter than it was a few weeks ago… My thoughts are summer may be almost over but I can see a few Fall beach days in our future… Maybe!

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Well school has already started for my older children, universities/colleges are back, but tomorrow truly signifies the end of summer for me… Blu heads back to High School as a Sophomore and Mabel starts her final year in the Middle School as a newly fledged teenager, I’m starting this semester with a new project, homeschooling a three year old… But that’s a story for another day!

Good luck to everyone for this new school year and to all us parents with the love and support each of our children need!

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‘Tis the season…

In tales of houses far and wide, Christmas comes but once a year and with it comes the squeals of joy as families gather to put up their tree and decorate it with frivolous glee! Not in my house this year… I admit I am a total control freak when it comes to decorating our house for Christmas, but I do usually let my children decorate the tree how they want to, then on Monday morning whilst they are safely deposited at school I change it all around and hope that they don’t notice, but they always do! Anyway back to my point our house was not full of the joys of Christmas this year, there was no festive tunes playing on the radio, and the snow had inconsiderately melted away outside, instead our house rang with the sounds of Xbox games thumping away and sulky children, Blu was totally immersed in whatever battle he was fighting in his room to even notice we were getting ready to decorate the house, and Mabel was totally over excited and then sulky about our new refrigerator arriving, she then stayed in her room whilst I, on my lonesome, well I did have a little helper at the bottom of the tree, decorated our house for this season of good joy… Ha, ha!

Every year I try to get a few new decorations to add to my collection, this year I have the mantle above the fireplace to decorate… We finally took the tv down that was above it, I am totally delighted, and love, love, love my new christmas additions for our fireplace! My table once again follows a Cath Kidston theme, much to Mabel’s dislike as it is not your traditional theme, but now it is finished she has come around, and kind of secretly likes it I think! My biggest thing this year was decorating our staircase, this is something I have never quite gotten around to in past years, but with the help of Pinterest, I was totally inspired to visit my local dollar store and create something for less than $10… This I completed last night, my staircase took 4 $1 garlands, I tied on silver and gold bells, 4 $1 packets of 9 bells, with some green gingham ribbon I already had then added larger tartan ribbon bows, present wrapping ribbon from Costco… Voila a traditional green stair garland, all for just under $10! Next on my list is red and green bunting for my tree, a fantastic idea I got from a friend back in England!

My two new favorite items of this month are my two new cookbooks, bought over by my parents from the UK… Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals and James Martin’s slow cooking, as many of you know me, you will know I love, love, love cookbooks, strange for a former anorexic to love recipes so much, but now in my 40’s I am a true Taurean foodie, and now much wiser, I realize the only way to keep healthy, maintain/lose weight is to eat a well balanced diet with of course the odd vice here and there, Starbucks salted caramel mocha, decaf, non fat with the whip being my biggest vice these days, and of course wine is still an added staple of every day around 7pm to help me relax and unwind from the chaos that is every day in our house… Happy sunny warm December days, long may they last!

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