Happy Sunday | Week Twenty Eight

Whether or not you think Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning of a new one, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back on the week that has just past and to look at the things that have made me happy and made me smile.
I think it can be easy to look back on a hard week and miss out on those things. A week of bad weather for example can really make it seem as though the whole week was a complete fail. But it probably wasn't. We must all smile at least once a day. I know I do, even if I forget it.

Things that made me happy this week:

Denim Dresses

I posted last week about the mini shopping spree I went on at Outfit. Well, I loved the denim dress so much that I accidentally went online and accidentally bought the same dress in a different pattern (daisies). This is another dress I have been swooning over for months and as I now knew that it suited me and that a 14 would fit (woohoo!) I couldn't resist. I think these will look lovely in the winter with a chunky knit and ankle boots....or maybe even my Uggs!

Happy Jackson Notebooks

Following on from my therapy appointments, my homework is to now keep a diary of positives in my life. If I have a bad day I can also go to this book and write down positive moments despite the negatives too. I would also write about positive ways I dealt with things. So, for example, if the boys have a tantrum over something I would write about how well I handled it and what I did right.
I have become obsessed with Happy Jackson notebooks recently and wanted one with a positive message on the front. This one was ideal.


My mother in law came over this week and after dropping my husband off to pick his car up at the MOT station I used her to my full advantage. I wanted to buy a couple of Barry M Gelly polishes so popped into Boots with Harry whilst Charles stayed in the car with her. I got the Kiwi and . They both go so well with my Greenberry colour, next to each other it looks like a paint chart!

New Icons

Once again I have changed colours on my blog. One day I will be happy with it I am sure.
I love the new social media icons I found on Google. The colour is so pretty and definitely reflects me more than pink does, I think.

Summer Memories

I was looking through some of my photos from the Summer this weekend to use in my little series "Goodbye Summer" and just felt so content with how much we did together. As someone who would usually opt with staying at home I feel we really crammed so much in and I want to relive again as it was so wonderful yet so busy that at the time I didn't appreciate it all as much as I should have done.



Goodbye Summer | Sealife Centre Great Yarmouth

When I was little there was always one place we would go if we wanted a family day out but the weather was rubbish, and that was the Sea Life Centre in Great Yarmouth.
My brother and I would enjoy being able to touch the Rays (which you can't do now), exploring the touch pool and just watching the sharks and turtles swimming in the large tank, hoping the glass wouldn't smash and fall on us.

Taking my children there was exciting, reliving the memories I made when I was little.
In the Summer holidays, when my family were visiting from Somerset, we decided to go to the Sea Life Centre for the day. The weather was really windy so a walk along the seafront or a trip to the Pleasure Beach wasn't really on the cards but the Sea Life Centre was the perfect place to go.
It was really busy, and the queue was going out of the door. I suppose the thing about an undercover attraction is that on a day where the weather is quite poor everyone will have the same idea.
Still we didn't have to queue for too long and once my Aunty had paid we made our way to the entrance which lead to the tanks.
We were hit by another queue and did feel quite disappointed that we were held up due to a photography opportunity the Sea Life Centre had for families. You didn't have to do it but it was basically a green screen which you sit in front of and have your photo taken, at the end when you've seen all the tanks you go and view your photo and pay for it if you like it. This wasn't something we were interested in but there was no way to get passed because the photo shoot area completely blocked the entrance.
After 15 minutes of waiting around I was feeling quite frustrated and as the tape was moved across for the next family to sit down I ushered my family through, much to the annoyance of the photographer, and we were able to finally enjoy the attraction.

It was very busy, and it did feel quite closed in because of this. We just paired up and took our time going through. Because it's obviously not well lit it is easy to lose the other people you are with so it is a good idea to take your time and to pair up as we did.
The boys were really interested in the various tanks. We liked the variety of tanks, and how they are all decorated to suit each type of fish inside and to make each enclosure exciting. The tanks are well lit so you can see the fish clearly. We also liked the information boards next to each tank.

There are enough tanks and variety of Sealife that you can be in there for quite a while. There are various talks and feeds throughout the day. It was so busy that we weren't able to make any of the talks. We were hoping to get to the shark talk but despite sitting there for a while no one turned up and we didn't quite know if we were sitting in the wrong place or if the talk had been cancelled.

The touch pool was also incredibly busy, and it was an absolute free for all. I couldn't help but to feel frustrated at a lack of organisation here, especially as I watched Harry get pushed and squashed as other children were eager to touch the starfish. Once I could get to him after we were seperated, and stand my ground enough for him to get a chance to touch the starfish he then got upset as he wasn't given a medal, like all the other children (if you touch the starfish you are given a medal for being brave) I had to ask a couple of times if he could have one and eventually he was given one. Due to the madness of this we didn't make it round to the other touch pool.
It was a real shame as I felt this was one thing that I really enjoyed as a child and I'm sad that my boys didn't get the chance to make the same memories as me.

We did like that the boys were given an information sheet to take around with them to collect stamps. I think that sheets like this are great to get children involved and it makes them more aware of the varieties of species and the different tanks in the Centre.

I think when we visit again we would definitely go when it's likely to be less busy so we can stay longer and enjoy ourselves and the attraction a lot more.

We were given complimentary tickets for the Sealife Centre Great Yarmouth.


Exploring Suffolk | Thorpeness

After visiting Snape Maltings we headed over to Thorpeness. I can't remember ever visiting here before despite the name being familiar.
It was a beautiful sunny day and we struggled to find a parking space due to lots of other people taking advantage of the weather and heading here to make the most of it.

An artificial lake, 'meare' or boating lake, was created in the village and besides a large main pond, there are several channels with landings marked with names of the Peter Pan theme. Tiny islands on the Meare contain locations found in J. M. Barrie's novel 'Peter Pan' such as the pirates lair, Wendy's home, and many others which children are encouraged to play on. The Meare was dug to a shallow depth for increased safety.

There is a beautiful horse which, along with his owner of course, pulls a cart and offers rides around the village for visitors. We didn't do this as it seemed quite expensive for what it was, but we were able to go up to the horse and give it a little stroke. Harry loved this as he has always liked horses so the chance to get up close to one was a really special treat.

We were on the hunt for an ice cream but the cafe near the lake was so busy so we instead went across the road to the tea rooms there. Woah, the cake looked amazing and I couldn't resist a slice of the coffee, toffee and walnut flavour, served with a black Americano. Oh what a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

We briefly walked to the stoney beach, had a sit down and watched the boys throw stones as far as they could into the sea, seeing who could make the biggest splash.
Then it was time to go, and we felt quite sad really.

Thorpeness certainly has a lot more for us to experience and I can definitely see us returning again soon to explore some more (and eat some more of that cake of course!)



Happy Sunday | Week Twenty Seven

Whether or not you think Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning of a new one, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back on the week that has just past and to look at the things that have made me happy and made me smile.
I think it can be easy to look back on a hard week and miss out on those things. A week of bad weather for example can really make it seem as though the whole week was a complete fail. But it probably wasn't. We must all smile at least once a day. I know I do, even if I forget it.

Things that made me happy this week:

Mini Spending Spree

I was very kindly given some money from my in laws for my birthday and with a child free weekend I decided to make the most of my time and pop to our local Outfit store. I ended up leaving with a denim dress, which I've looked at online for so long and loved but wasn't sure how it would fit so I was really pleased when it fit perfectly, and that it is a size 14 and is a tiny bit roomy! Woohoo!!
I also bought a black dress. It's in a waffle fabric which is cosy and will be warm in the colder months.
And, as Autumn hits I would obviously by some denim shorts.....we'll ignore the fact that the sun is about to disappear. I wanted some denim shorts all summer but couldn't find any I liked and didn't want to spend over £20 on a pair (yes I am that tight!) so when I found these ones for £12 I couldn't resist. I got them a size too big because I think it's nice to have shorts a bit loose, and with a belt added. Hopefully we will get an extra week or so of sun so I can wear them.
I also bought 2 tshirts, one in a mint colour and one in a pretty deep purple and a cute necklace with bright flowers.

Iced Drinks and a Naughty Breakfast

On Saturday evening I headed down to the boat to meet my husband. On the way I couldn't resist stopping off at Costa for an Iced Cappuccino. On the way home from the boat I went to a retail park to go to Outfit, it wasn't open so I popped to McDonalds and was supposed to only get a drink, but I couldn't resist a Sausage and Egg McMuffin. Judge all you want, but it was goooood.


This year I have eaten a lot of salads. I've had a lot of fun mixing ingredients and odd flavours together and did worry about how I would cope in the winter when I don't really want to eat cold meals.
I received this book for a blog post and it is amazing! It gives so many ideas for salad recipes for all of the seasons and I'm sure that soon enough I would have made the majority of the dishes.
This week I made the Warm Salad of Roasted Carrots with feta, pine nuts, and a sweet chilli glaze. Oh it was BEAUTIFUL! I served it with smoked salmon and a toasted muffin which just made it a little more filling for an evening meal.
I also made stir-fried tofu, ginger, garlic and broccoli. I haven't had tofu before and although it wasn't horrible I did feel like it didn't add much to the salad so would probably not use it again. The broccoli with ginger and garlic was amazing.


I wrote in my Week Eight post about the friends we made through sailing. We met them in the boat shed and they really helped us with our confidence whilst we were preparing our boat for the water and they were so supportive and helpful the day the boat entered the water.
For a number of reasons we didn't get to see them over the Summer but with their boat now moored near ours due to it coming to the end of the season we were delighted to catch up with them briefly on Friday night.
Then, on Saturday night, they had left us a bottle of wine on our boat and some snacks. We popped out for a sail and when we came back and moored up our friend came over to our boat and requested us to join him and his wife in their boat at 8.15 that evening.
So after our quick dinner we grabbed our wine and we went along and talked, joked, laughed, cried (yeah, totes emosh I am) and learnt so much about each other for hours, eventually going back to our boat at 2.15am. It was just such a wonderful wonderful night and they are the most amazing people and we feel honoured to be friends with them.


I was so excited and happy to find out on Friday night that my friends had won awards at the MADS!
I'm not one of those people who feels really disappointed if my blog isn't featured anyway and instead I really get such a wonderful feeling when friends of mine are shortlisted, or finalists in any blog awards and feel immensely proud when they win. I might have cried.....as I said 'totes emosh'.



Exploring Suffolk | Snape Maltings

Do you have particular places you continuously drive past and always say "we should go there!"?
I have a few places like this. Most of which seem to be in Suffolk. Although we live in Suffolk we do tend to head into Norfolk more often and almost kind of neglect Suffolk.
So last Saturday it was our last day of spending time with my brother and he suggested we go to Thorpeness. My mum fancied Snape Maltings so....we did both.

Snape Maltings is beautiful. It has such beautiful buildings, some are homes, some are holiday accommodation, some are shops, some are bars/restaurants and there is even a concert hall.
The original purpose of the Maltings was the malting of barley for the brewing of beer; local barley, once malted, was sent from here to London and exported to mainland Europe.


The Maltings process at Snape came to an end in the 1960s as Swonnell and Son went into liquidation and seven acres of industrial buildings were left vacant. Thirty acres of land was offered for sale, including dwellings and an inn. It was difficult to imagine how such functional structures could be put to different use. However George Gooderham, a local farmer and businessman, recognised the potential. He purchased the site and set about finding alternative uses for the buildings.
By the 1960s the Aldeburgh Music Festival was outgrowing the limited space available in the Jubilee Hall. Benjamin Britten started to look around for somewhere to build a concert hall. Britten had the vision to see the largest Malthouse, in its magnificent setting overlooking the saltings as a possible site. Negotiations began with George Gooderham and after little more than a year Snape Maltings Concert Hall was ready to be opened by the Queen at the start of the 1967 Aldeburgh Festival.
Snape Maltings is a leading destination on the Suffolk Coast with the world famous Concert Hall and rehearsal space as well as independent shops, galleries, restaurants, art exhibitions and workshops. A calendar of events operate throughout the year from the June Festival and August Proms to guided river walks, boat trips, farmers markets and the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival.

The shops are amazing. There is a toy shop which from the outside looks quite small but it is really quite big inside and is full of the most amazing treasure. A lot of the stock is vintage design which is beautiful and there are a range of products from cheaper pocket money pieces to those which are saved for special occasions.
We were limited with which shops we could go in because of the boys, us wanting to get to Thorpeness and my lack of funds (I am a self confessed sulker if I find something I want to buy but can't afford it) so as my brother went and played on a nearby garden area with Charles and a pocket money plane he kindly bought him, my mum, Harry and I popped into one of the local craft style shops.
Oh it was heaven, and I ended up having a mini sulk as I wanted so many things.

After a walk around some more we stopped off for a pint and some juice in the on site pub. The atmosphere was wonderful, it was one of those places you could sit all day if you had nothing else to do.
We didn't eat here but looking at the lunch plates coming out from the kitchen it is definitely on our list of places to eat.

In peak season they run river trips along the River Alde, the times of these trips vary because the river is tidal.
If the weather is nice you can enjoy a choice of walks with varying distances. Snape Warren along the river is a 2 mile return walk, Sailors Path walk from the Maltings to Aldeburgh is a 12 mile return walk, Iken Cliff walk is approximately a 2 mile return walk, and Iken Church walk is approximately a 4.6 miles return walk.
The buildings are so stunning and the juxtaposition of the buildings really makes you stand back and just stare and almost entices you in to explore further.

My mum and I have promised that we will be making a special visit towards Christmas to buy presents for the boys from the toy shop and some special pieces for family from the other shops there.

If you are ever in Suffolk and want somewhere to visit you must definitely put Snape Maltings on your list.

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