Hunstanton 

We were all exhausted in dire need of a break, so we went to Hunstanton which is about 40 minutes from home. I booked The Lodge which is in Old Hunstanton, in the attic which was just amazing! It’s beautiful with a sea view, just what my soul needed!

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We went for a wander down to Old Hunstanton beach and along the coast to Hunstanton, taking in the beautiful views

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How adorable is this cottage?

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And then there was this…

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I happily used the bubble bath provided, and locked myself in the bathroom for an hour while Paul and L chilled in the lounge. Heaven!

And this is how I finished off the day, in the garden

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We really, really must go again soon!

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Day Trip to Wells next The Sea

Yesterday was the last day of our half term and as it was so sunny we headed up to Wells next the Sea in North Norfolk.  Wells is a lovely little fishing port and quite untouched still. The fish and chip shops are so delicious, as you’d expect in a fishing port. There are cute little shops, the brilliant Wells Deli where you can get a cracking hot chocolate and slice of cake on a chilly day.

We got there at lunchtime and headed straight to the fish and chip shop, which for a cold February Friday was packed. So we headed outside and found a bench with a great view to eat. It was as you can imagine a bit chilly to linger but it was nice finally seeing some sunshine and eating out in the open again.

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We decided to go for a walk down to the beach. Wells beach quite a way from the village and  is accessed via a seawall you walk down. You walk maybe a mile? And there it’s in front of you as far as the eye can sea when the tide is out.  We managed to get 3/4 of the way to it before Miss L was moaning about being cold and being blown about – in fairness she had a point and she also learnt a life lesson about putting your coat on when your mother tells you.  You know what kids are like she was sure that she knew best, when she refused to wear it as it wasn’t ‘cool’. We had a good giggle about how annoying it is, when your mother is right (Obviously I never tell my mother when she’s right LOL!)  But it was chilly so we headed back for hot chocolate and a wander around the village – any excuse!

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We also stopped for first mother/daughter seaside photo of the year. I’ve noticed that once again I’m slipping out of family photos, which is something I wasn’t mean to do. So I’m trying harder to get infront of the camera rather than behind it all the time!

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We had a wander around the town and saw on the front some of the terrible storm damage done by the Storm Surge in December. Thankfully most of the businesses seem to be rebuilding but it was heartbreaking to see a couple who had obviously  gone under and could no longer trade.  But luckily a lot of the smaller shops going up the hill seemed to be ok and we had a lovely time browsing them.

Then we came across a gorgeous Georgian Square which we’d somehow never seen before, couple of good looking pubs and I’m coveting ALL the houses there – love me a Georgian House! Friends have now told me how good the pub’s food are in the square, so next time we’ll have to pay them a visit.

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If you’re in North Norfolk, I can really recommend Wells for a visit – especially in the summer when it’s warmer and you can hang out on the beach. I think we might have to hire a holiday home up there this year to explore more.

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A little pot of Spring

My parents dropped over an early birthday present yesterday, in the form of two sweet little pots planted up for spring.

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They are so cute and full of spring bulbs and in my favourite colours. I love them! Thanks Mum & Dad xxxx

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How to Clean Your Oven with Baking Soda

My oven has been needing a good clean for YEARS but I’m a bit scared of those oven cleaning products. You know the ones that always seem to need you to have a gas mask and industrial strength gloves?  Our local oven cleaning man, apparently is very good but is £50 which I don’t have spare ,so I’d left it and left it.

But my oven was getting to the point where I thought that I’d probably burn down the house because it was so grotty.  Mine’s not a self cleaning one but shoving the wire racks in the dishwasher got those clean, it was mainly the door that needed the most work.  I’d been ignoring it until I saw this video on YouTube:

and then the results here

Without being mean I thought if he can do it, well then so can I!

So off I went to Amazon to order a large 450g box of Arm and Hammer baking soda for £4 (why can’t they sell it that size here in the UK?) and the next day it arrived. So it was time to play!

Here is my oven door, please don’t judge….well actually judge all you like it was pretty grim.

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As you can see…well yeah if you can’t see through it then it needs cleaning.  I followed the YouTube instructions and mixed the baking soda with water to a pancake batter consistency and you will need a lot of baking soda for this.  Once it’s batter spread it over the glass.

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Once I’d evened it out I left it for an hour. Now this is where I went a bit wrong, I probably should have left it for 2 or 3 hours but I was a bit impatient to see if it had worked!

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I started rubbing it off with a washing up sponge and well, it got it up in the thinner areas but it was taking ages and wasn’t doing much.  Then Mr VP came up with the great idea of using a metal BBQ scraper to get it off. Be careful if you do this because you don’t want to break the glass, but hopefully your’s isn’t as bad as mine so they’ll be no need to use one!

10 minutes of scraping, wiping and cleaning later….

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You can see your face it in and no nasty scary chemicals or men who cost £50! I can now actually see when my Yorkshire pubs are done 🙂  I’ve got half a box of baking soda left, just trying to figure else what to clean with it – American/Canadian readers have any ideas?

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Easter

This Easter was a real washout grey, mizzling and generally freezing.  So my parents who throw Miss L an Easter Egg hunt every year decided to do it indoors this time.  And you know what it was fantastic, Mum decorated the house with egg trees, and while Miss L  had a good old hunt round the house for chocolate, my Dad and Paul did the BBQ from the comfort of garage with a glass of wine – win/win!

Thanks Mum and Dad for such a wonderful day xxx

 

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Pots of Flowers

Now the super cold weather has finally passed – fingers crossed – I decided to refill my pots by the front door.  They were as you can see pretty dead

Classy or what?

So I went to the market, bought lots of pretties for a fiver. Got home realised that the lavenders were indeed now super dead and throwing water at them probably wasn’t going to work this year,  so headed out to the garden centre to buy some lavenders and a big bag of compost.  But they also had lots of gorgeous spring flowers, including violets – I may have gone a bit mad but I have missed colour so!  And you know I have a garden, so they could go out there too……any excuse! 🙂

An hour later my posts were transformed and now look like this

And these little Violet beauties were planted in the back garden so I can see them from the kitchen window, they smell as divine as they look.

 Only a few more weeks and I can start planning my veggie raised beds.  Here’s hoping that bitter cold weather has passed, and Spring is here!

 

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End of the Holidays

It feels like I’ve not been on here for ages and I think it’s only been a week or so.  I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter Holiday?  What have you all been up to?

We’re back to school and work on Tuesday, and I’m amazed at how quickly the holidays have flown. I was dreading having nearly 4 weeks off, but it’s actually been really brilliant.  The weather has been fabulous, we’ve visited friends, gone to the beach, gone to the Science Museum (great for older children, not so brilliant for toddlers), an Easter Egg hunt at my parents, watching the new Dr Who and of course the Royal Wedding .

We started on our raised veggie beds, but I need to infill them – not sure how I’m going to get the amount of topsoil needed to them though? My Dad reckons I need about a ton – but that is my Dad talking!  One of the beds is going to be Miss L’s and she’s got her herbs and flowers ready to go in, I just need to sort the dirt out.

The beautiful weather has meant that our garden is a month ahead of where it normally is a this time of the year. The peonies are budding and the roses are coming through too.   But it also meant that weeds have gone mad as well, and I had been trying to tackle them but not really getting anywhere.  When we went away to visit some friends, my parents came to dog and house sit, and they were supposed to be treating it as a holiday. You know sitting in the garden reading, visiting the market, playing with the dog but they didn’t do that.  Look what they did instead:

The cleared the bramble bed of doom!! Seriously I thought I’d need a week or so to do it on my own and bless them they did it in 2 days and replanted! They also de-weeded the patio, planted up some sweet peas for me and did some beautiful pink hydrangea pots.

They gave it to us as an anniversary present and frankly it’s the best one ever! All I need to do now is find some nice patio furniture this weekend and we can really enjoy it with a nice glass of Pimms.

 

 

 

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Day out in London

Yesterday I was invited down to London by Nokia for a focus group meeting with fellow geek mummies Jen (http://www.jenography.typepad.com), Liz (http://missielizzie-meandmyshadow.blogspot.com), Katie (http://www.feedingboys.wordpress.com) and Janis (http://mumversuskids.reallykidfriendly.com).  What a fabulously fun day, I don’t think I’ve laughed so much for ages discussing how we use tech in our lives.

It was mediated by Belinda who’s the founder of Lady Geek which is a fabulous female focused tech site – check it out if you want the low down on gadgets and apps from a female persepective.   It was good to hear such positivity from women about using tech gadgets and how all of us are pretty much addicted to our phones and laptops – it’s not just me! 🙂  Nokia have given me some toys to play with for 3 weeks (phone, bluetooth, mobile battery and speaker) and I’ll let you know what they’re like after the Easter Holidays.

After a wonderful sunny lunch with the ladies, I headed off to meet one of my oldest friends for a catch up. We’d not seen each other for I think about 6 years so it was great to see each other actually in person rather than on the phone or Facebook. We met up down by the river, had a good old chat and had some fabulous Italian dinner down at Borough Market – to the point I lost track of time and I forgot to go to a Blogger thing I’d been invited to at Conran’s. I feel awful but catching up with a friend was way more important.

The best bit about yesterday was rediscovering how much I love London in the spring, there’s such a cafe culture there now from Soho where the meeting was, to down by the Thames.  Everyone was out drinking and eating and having fun it was a brilliant vibe.  I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted as my phone battery died, but here’s a few that I took of such a great day.


 

 

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Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day to you all! I have been spoilt rotten today. Miss L bought me a Cath Kidston nail kit and some Violet Creams from her pocket money. I would take a photo, but they are nearly gone 😉

We decided that a Mother/Daughter shopping trip was in order. So we’ve spent the morning shopping in Cambridge – mostly it seemed in Build a Bear! But as it’s Mothers Day, I was allowed to browse the Market in peace. And I managed to finally find a plain cream tin for my dishwasher tablets – amazing how small things make me happy.

But I had to share with you all how beautiful Cambridge is in the spring. We walked past one of the collages and it was just gorgeous, so I took a snap. Happy Mother’s Day to you all xx

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Roll on Spring..

Is anyone else feeling fed up with this endless grey cold weather?  Since we took took down the Christmas decorations the house has been feeling dull and drab. So this morning I was at the market and I spotted some yellow tulips which just looked so cheerful and springlike I couldn’t resist!  Hopefully they’ll give me some inspiration for my garden!


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Easter Egg Hunt

We had out annual Easter Egg hunt over at my Mum’s. Bless her she started this when Miss L was one thinking that it’d only be for a couple of years.  However Miss L *loves* them and she’ll want them at 18 at this rate,  poor Mum!  They’d decorated the garden with eggs, chicks and lots of bunting.  Sadly it was a very cold and windy day, but it didn’t matter too much, we had a great time and then hid in the summer house from the cold Norfolk wind to get warm!  But a great time was had by all – thanks Mum & Dad xx

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