Archive for September 2014

Chinnor Circular Walk

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

It's been a while since we've been on a family walk but we managed to get out on Saturday.

When we went on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway a few weeks ago, we picked up a Chiltern AONB leaflet for the Chinnor Circular Walk. I always prefer circular walks so that you don't have to logistically work out how to get back to your car that you've left at the starting point!

We parked up in Chinnor (free parking) and after a quick pit-stop for a nappy change, we set off. We weren't sure how Little Miss A would get on in her carrier as she hasn't been in it for a month or so and is getting used to walking by herself more now, but she was quite happy to get in it. I think it's because she has such a good view up there! Mr MoaB was slightly less happy as each time we use the carrier, she's got heavier!!

The first part of the walk took us across and then alongside the train track. The trains were actually running that day and I was really hoping we'd see one as we'd been on that train journey recently but no such luck. We heard the train on two occasions but both times we weren't in a place where we could see the track. Shame!

It was all fairly flat and easy going to begin with. However, then it got more challenging! From 'The Lions of Bledlow' pub it was uphill towards The Ridgeway National Trail. Quite a steep climb. Got the legs going!

The path evened out again for a bit as we walked along the Ridgeway, which is described as Britain's oldest road. Lulled us into a false sense of security though as we had an even steeper bit to go in the Chinnor Reserve and Barrows. It really was head down and keep going. So glad that Mr MoaB was carrying Little Miss A and not me. Would have been very slow progress as it was a narrow path as well! I'm glad the weather was dry as well as it would have been very slippery and even more hard going.

It was worth the climb though as we got to the viewpoint at Chinnor Hill. The view would be even better on a really clear day.

Of course what goes up, must go down so then it was time to start our descent back down to Chinnor.

There is an additional part to this walk that takes in the Chalk Pits, but we'd been out for a good few hours and decided to head back. We'll try to do these another day.

So this walk is not for the faint-hearted and you definitely need a baby carrier. The steep bits will be a struggle for Little Miss A for a while yet.

Was really nice to get out for a family walk. Little Miss A was pretty good at the map reading and there was only one place where we had to backtrack our steps a little bit as the instructions weren't that clear.

Here's a direct link to the pdf of the Chinnor Circular Walk if you'd like to give it a go!

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A very special Naming Ceremony

Monday, 22 September 2014

Happy Naming Ceremony Anniversary Little Miss A!

A year ago we held an informal Naming Ceremony for our daughter with our closest family and friends. It was a really special day that we'll never forget.

I was not writing this blog last year so I thought I would post today as it's the anniversary so that she has a record of this important day in her life.

Mr MoaB and I had lots of discussions about what we should do. All we knew is we wanted some sort of celebration for Little Miss A that brought our friends and family together. Our nearest and dearest are spread far and wide around the country so this was the first time we were bringing them altogether in one place. An excuse for a party really!

We discussed a Christening but neither of us is religious or attends Church so this didn't seem right. We then investigated having a formal Naming Ceremony with a Celebrant but this would have cost over £300 yet it has no legal standing and we would be restricted on venue.

So we went down the informal Naming Ceremony route and made the whole thing up as we went along and put a plan together!

The venue:
We love the outdoors and thought it would be great to be outside for the day which led us to Wendover Woods where we booked one of the BBQ pitches.

We had everything crossed for good weather and luckily we had the perfect day. Just as well as the marquee that was ordered was a bit smaller than we thought it would be - it would have been a very very tight fit for everyone to shelter underneath it if it had rained!

The decorations:
All hand made. We didn't go overboard with decorations as we just had one marquee. We had some banners with Little Miss A's name on. I'd also handmade lots of lilies out of tissue paper and paper plates. I was pretty happy with my handiwork. It was nice to have personal touches.

The Ceremony:
I trawled the internet for ideas and poems to use and then put together the script. We asked Mr MoaB's brother-in-law to be the 'compere'. He welcomed everybody and did an introduction. Then Mr MoaB and I made some Parent Promises and each read a poem.

We had asked two of our friends to be Little Miss A's Guardians. They made a set of promises and also read a poem each. We finished the Ceremony with a Pledge of Support from everybody.

The poems we chose were:
Mother's Heart - Author Unknown
Daddy's Little Angel - Jason A. Hodges
Footprints - Anon
The Example of Parenthood – Author Unknown

Each of us who read a poem struggled. The poems were very emotional! I'm not sure how I actually got through the whole of my poem as I was crying! Mr MoaB had to clear his throat a few times to hold back the emotion and he never cries! I don't think there were many dry eyes in the audience either!

Every time I read the poems even now I end up welling up!

The food:
We asked the owner of Cafe in the Woods to cater for us with a really delicious BBQ.

My Mum and I spent all of the day before doing the puddings. We had mini banoffee pies, trifles, jellies, fairy cakes and meringue nests. I loved how the trifles looked as we put them in plastic cocktail glasses from Poundland! It was a busy day getting all the puddings done and then the next challenge was actually getting them to the Woods. Amazingly, they all survived and they went down very well (most people had at least 2 different puddings!).

We decided to have cake for the adults and cake for the kids. We did cheat with the adults cake and bought 2 cutting bar cakes from M&S. By choosing cutting bars rather than a traditional round cake, it was easier to cut into slices and meant we could personalise the bars - one with Little Miss A's first name and the other with her second name. We cut out her name from pink icing and also used ribbon and small organza lilies from Hobbycraft for additional decoration. The cakes looked really lovely.

For the kids, my Mum made a chocolate cake (always a popular choice for kids!) in the shape of a teddy bear. We had fun choosing different sweets for the decoration. So much so that we actually did this cake again for Little Miss A's 1st birthday!

We provided some refreshments including Champagne for the toast but asked everyone to bring their own drinks. A lot of people were driving (due to the location) so it was mostly soft drinks anyway!

Kids entertainment:
None was needed as they were in the Woods so more than happy to explore, climb trees etc!

The photography:
We could have managed without a professional photographer and just asked the guests for their photos, but I'm glad we asked 'Lovely Things Photography' to be there. Frankee had done a photoshoot for us when Little Miss A was tiny and captured her really well so we asked her to do the photography for the Ceremony. We decided as this was a rare occasion of getting all the families together that we should take this opportunity to get photos of Little Miss A with each of the families, the grandparents etc. We then had most of these printed as thankyou presents.

The guests:
Not sure how many of those that were able to attend will read this but would like to take this opportunity again to thank them for coming. For many it was a long way to travel but it was greatly appreciated.

The gifts:
Of course everyone ignored the part of the invitation that said 'no gifts'! We just wanted people to be there. However, Little Miss A was really spoilt and received some really thoughtful and lovely presents.

We asked all guests to write '3 wishes' for Little Miss A:

I/We hope you enjoy...
I/We hope you aren’t afraid of...
I/We hope that you...

We had some fantastic responses. I am planning on getting these bound into a book for her with some of the photos (another thing on my to do list!).

We managed to keep costs really low for the whole day but it didn't feel like we'd scrimped on anything. We saved a lot by doing lots of it ourselves with the decorations and food. By having it in the Woods, we didn't have expensive venue hire costs to worry about. It really was great to have a natural, outdoors backdrop to the whole occasion.

I'm so very glad that we chose to have this Naming Ceremony and do it ourselves in our own way. I loved it. It was all very personal and special. I wouldn't have changed anything about it. It really was such a memorable day.

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The Royal County of Berkshire Show

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Having enjoyed our time at the Bucks County Show last month, today we had the opportunity to visit the Berkshire County Show in Newbury.

It took just over an hour to drive from Aylesbury to the Show. It's very well sign-posted along the whole route. The parking is well organised and we had a good spot where we could easily remember where the car was!

Unlike many of the other Shows in the area, this one runs over 2 days and it is huge. Much much bigger than the Bucks Show, which at the time I thought was big!

As soon as we entered I got a sense that we were only going to be able to cover a fraction of the Show with Little Miss A in tow! Particularly now as she wants to walk so much on her own rather than go in the pushchair, so you really can't cover much ground, very quickly!

Luckily the weather was dry as it must be a mud-bath if it's wet! It was ideal weather for pottering around today.

Where we entered were some of the shopping stalls but we didn't dwell too long at these as we wanted to find the stand that Mr MoaB's company had as some of his staff were manning it and he was interested to see the set-up and check they were ok. The stand looked great and was really busy, which was good.

We then headed off round some of the other stalls. We spent a bit of time at the emergency services stand. Little Miss A enjoyed another chance to get into a fire engine and a police car!

We passed one stall that was giving out great freebies! Mr MoaB and I each got a bag that had a bottle of water and a really nice piece of cake! Yum! Little Miss A was given a little red toy truck. (She's played with it a lot since we got home!)

We found a great area for Little Miss A to wander around as there were some donkeys from a donkey sanctuary and lots of different animals from the Vauxhall City Farm. She got the chance to stroke a 5-day old chick. She also got nipped by a duck which upset her, I think it was more shock than actual hurt as she soon recovered!

It's best to take lots of change with you! Many of the stands are for organisations and charities who ask for a donation. As usual, we took a packed lunch with us but everywhere there are food and refreshment stalls. It all looked really tasty but we were good and stuck to our sandwiches. The only thing we succumbed to was a coffee for Mr MoaB and an ice-cream for Little Miss A!

There's just so much going on. We didn't get the chance to go around the livestock areas or see anything in the arenas. We also didn't visit the funfair area - plenty of time for things like that when Little Miss A is older and has a choice of how to spend her pocket money!!

We were fortunate enough to be able to get in to the Show for free through Mr MoaB's company. It's £20 per adult for tickets bought at the gate, £7 per child (5-16 years), under 5s are free. So not a cheap day out once you add in petrol, any refreshments and shopping you buy, plus the donations you make!

I think you need to have a definite plan of action before you go to the Show with what you really want to see and do. It's easy to just meander around but then miss the times when there are shows in the arenas.

If you're local to the area, then it is a good day out with absolutely loads to do. I think maybe there's a bit too much as it was all a bit daunting and I have come away feeling a bit like we missed out on some good stuff but we just couldn't get round it all.

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Messy Play - Jelly!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

For a bit of fun this afternoon, I let Little Miss A loose with a load of jelly!

She wasn't sure at first but then got stuck in. I'd given her a few of her toys that she uses in her sand pit along with a whisk.

She was soon busy transferring the jelly from the box to the bucket. Even attempting to do this with the whisk!

At first she was a bit reticent to actually touch the jelly. I kept putting my hands in and offering it to her. She preferred using the tools rather than getting her hands in. I'm surprised that she didn't even try to eat any! At the end though she got her feet into the box and stomped around a bit. Great fun!

Will definitely do this activity again with Little Miss A. I used two packets of jelly for this activity and made it up the day before. Maybe next time I'll try using different flavours of jelly so there are a variety of colours.

So we've now done spaghetti, shaving foam and jelly. Anyone got any ideas for other messy play?


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Big slides and small animals!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

So to top off a very busy weekend of events we also managed to fit in a Family Fun Day organised by our local Residents Association!

I took Little Miss A along last year, but as she was just 6 months, she was too young for it all really but I enjoyed the free BBQ! This year, she could get much more involved.

This event is really well organised by the Residents Association with lots of craft activities for the kids, along with animal handling and then also a big inflatable slide outside.

It was all in full swing when we got there and I got wind that they were cooking the last batch of burgers so it was straight to the BBQ as I hadn't had lunch.

Little Miss A was keen to meet the animals! I made sure that we avoided the snakes (I really don't like snakes) but she took an interest in all the other animals. She was offered the opportunity to have the mice on her lap and was surprisingly gentle when stroking and handling them!

It was then time to go outside for some goes on the inflatable slide. The trouble is that I had to take Little Miss A on this and it was exhausting getting her up to the top. The going down was fun of course!

There was then just time to pop back into the Hall for a free ice-cream and drink before coming home.

I'm so glad that I live in an area that has an active Residents Association and organises events like this (all for free!).

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Heritage Open Days - Day 2

Another busy day for Little Miss A and I today as we went into Aylesbury for the Charter Day & Tudor Fayre organised by Aylesbury Town Council. This free annual event commemorates when Queen Mary I granted Aylesbury a Market Charter, enabling the town to hold a market.

This event was also part of Heritage Open Days!

The day started with the arrival of King Henry VIII into Market Square. The Jester kept the audience amused with some fun antics until a procession of children came to entertain the King with some singing and dancing. It was nice to see local school children involved in the event.

The King then invited everyone to the Buckinghamshire County Museum so we all joined the procession through the streets. We went into the walled garden and there were lots of activities on offer. Little Miss A went straight towards the birds of prey. She spent quite a long time looking at all the different birds.

Also outside you could take aim with a bow and arrow, try your hand with a sword or learn a game of the era.

We then popped into the Museum itself for a wander. There was a trail for the older children to take part in and answer questions as they went around. There were also lots of different craft activities going on. They looked like fun. Little Miss A is still a bit too young for all this yet! Next year!

I've not been into the Museum before so it was good to have a brief look round. Must go back soon when we have more time.

On our wander we did come across a room where there was live music of the period being played by the Lumina's. As has become the norm, Little Miss A joined in with a bit of dancing! I think there was additional entertainment taking place throughout the day but we had to get back for lunch.

The highlight of the event was Little Miss A getting to meet King Henry VIII himself! She sat really still with him (I just couldn't get her to look at the camera!).

We spent a really nice couple of hours at this event. I look forward to going again next year when Little Miss A can really start getting more involved in the craft activities etc!

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Heritage Open Days - Day 1

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Heritage Open Days is a 4 day event running from 11 - 14 September. It offers free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge admission. There are loads of places across the UK that have been having Open Days.

Taking a look at the website, there was a great choice of events for us in our local area so with Mr MoaB working all weekend, I picked out some for Little Miss A and I to go to.

Our first destination this morning was St Mary's Church. This is the oldest building in Aylesbury and it's in a part of town that I've never been to before. We had a quick browse round some stalls and then headed into the Church where there's some beautiful stained glass windows.

Didn't get the chance to see too much of the church as the Brass Band started playing and that was it, Little Miss A wanted to head outside to listen to them. She hasn't seen a brass band before and she really enjoyed it. She was bopping away and it looked like she was conducting the band. When they finished the band members all commented on their new conductor!

We headed home for some lunch and then it was off again, this time in the car to go to Waddesdon Manor. We've been planning to go to this National Trust property for some time as it's just a 10 minute drive from us, but just haven't had the chance. Today was the perfect opportunity as it was free entry!

We chose to get the courtesy bus from the car park to the Main House. You can walk but it's a 15 minute walk and I didn't fancy pushing the pushchair that far. When we got off the bus and started walking down North Avenue, a band started up! Little Miss A went running over and of course started to conduct!!

In front of the House, was an Emergency Services today. All the local services were represented and there were lots of vehicles for Little Miss A to get in and explore including a fire engine and police van. She particularly enjoyed taking the driving seat and it was hard to extract her each time from the vehicle! A few mini-tantrums as I tried to get her out to let other children have a go!

We spent about an hour wandering around the different stalls and vehicles. Little Miss A was starting to get a bit tired but I thought she'd like a quick play in the Woodland Playground. The playground is set down a hill with different play equipment spread over lots of levels. There is a ramp all the way down so it's doable with a pushchair but the path isn't that wide so it was a bit tight trying to pass buggies coming the other way. The climbing frame and swings suitable for Little Miss A were at the bottom. I lost count of the number of times she went around the climbing frame and down the slide. She was in her element!

Then it was time to get the bus back to the car to come home. Little Miss A was asleep before we'd even left the car park! Worn her out!

I'd definitely like to return to Waddesdon and spend more time wandering around the grounds. There was the opportunity to go into the House today as part of the Heritage Open Days but when we arrived, there were no house tickets available. Think it might be best to save visiting the house itself until Little Miss A is older anyway - too many valuable and breakable things!

It has been a really enjoyable day but definitely exhausting. However, there's more events tomorrow so we'll be heading out again!

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Pedal Power!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Today was all about pedal power!

This morning we headed off to Black Park Country Park for our first family cycle ride. Mr MoaB had arranged the bike hire etc. through his work. Little Miss A had a bike trailer to sit in so she was being pulled along with Mr MoaB. She seemed to enjoy the journey!

I have to admit I'm really not a keen cyclist. I used to cycle to school everyday so at one time, many years ago, I must have been a confident cyclist but not so now. The last time Mr MoaB and I went on a bike ride was a couple of years ago in the New Forest. I struggled with the bike, the gears and the hills! To the point where towards the end of the ride I just got off and pushed the bike back!!

We were out for about an hour on the bikes. Long enough for me! The Park is really flat (no nasty hills) so I have to admit that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was a really nice way to get around and see more of the Park. I'd definitely cycle there again (sshhhh - don't tell Mr MoaB or he'll have me there every week!).

After a spot of lunch at the San Remo Cafe Kiosk, it was time to set off to continue our cycling theme of the day and see the Tour of Britain riders. Stage 6 was taking them through Buckinghamshire today, so we thought we would try to see them.

We planned to watch the Race in Princes Risborough. When we set off from Black Park we had lots of time but we took a slightly convoluted route back and suddenly we we found ourselves racing against the clock to get there. It then became apparent that we were probably going to miss the riders we still needed to park the car, extract Little Miss A and find a viewing spot.

Too late. We were just approaching a junction and a police motorbike stopped the traffic. We could go no further. However, we then realised that it must mean the cyclists were going to pass through the junction. So I left Mr MoaB in the car with sleeping Little Miss A and headed down the road. I actually found myself in a pretty good viewing spot. Further up the road in the town centre I could see crowds of people lining the road, but where I was I had no-one around me.

After lots and lots of police motorbikes passed by, the first 3 riders came into sight and then had passed by in a flash! It then seemed like ages before the main pack of riders appeared. Then they were there one minute, gone the next!

Was fun to see and I'm glad I saw it! Shame that Mr MoaB and Little Miss A missed out.

So a morning of using our own pedal power and then a few minutes of watching the pedal power of elite cyclists!

We have managed to tick off another of the things on Little Miss A's Things To Do Before I'm 2 list! No. 16 - Go for a bike ride.

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Awesome family day out in London

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Back from a brilliant day in London. This was the first time we've taken Little Miss A up to the big city but it was a great day.

So many sights, sounds, smells (!) and experiences for Little Miss A. To start with she had her first ride on the London Underground. She took a great interest in working out which tube we had to get!

We had 2 things we wanted to do in town today:
1) See some of the Books about Town book benches
2) To see the Poppies at the Tower of London

After a quick pit-stop for a picnic lunch by St Paul's, we started our Book Bench hunt. The benches are scattered all around London and depict lots of different literary works. I was most keen to see the benches themed on children's books (a big kid at heart!).

The benches are only there until next week. I've been wanting to visit them for a while but last time we planned to go it poured with rain all day and I didn't much fancy traipsing round London with Little Miss A stuck behind the rain-cover in her pushchair all day. I wanted her to really experience London and have fun exploring the benches!

There are 50 benches in total. I think we did pretty well in just a few hours as we managed to see 10!

Possibly unsurprisingly the books that Little Miss A is most familiar with seemed to be the benches that she enjoyed the most! This included the 'That's Not My...' bench:

And the Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler bench which had her favourite character - The Gruffalo!

I was brought up reading Dr Seuss and can still recite quite a lot of 'Green Eggs & Ham'! So this bench was a must for me and we had great fun at this bench!

We passed lots of landmarks on our wander around including seeing the Shard and HMS Belfast along with walking over the Millennium Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Our last stop was the Tower of London to see the 'Tower of London Remembers' Poppy installation. Oh my goodness. It's phenomenal. Everyone should go and see this if they can. There are already so many poppies yet they will still be planting more for another 2 months. It really is very thought provoking to think each poppy represents a life lost.

We will remember them.

I have to thank Mr MoaB as I know he's really not a fan of London. He wanted to see the Poppies but was just humouring me whilst we found all the benches! I'm so glad he was with us though. Getting around London with a lively one year old who doesn't want to stay in their pushchair is definitely easier with two and we just carried the pushchair folded up at the tube stations - so many stairs and escalators!

Originally we were going to get the train from Aylesbury to London. For two travelcards this would have cost us £48. Instead we decided to drive to Westfield Shopping Centre and parked there all day which costs £6.50 (weekdays). We then were directly on the tube line, so we could just pay for a tube travelcard. This cost us £8.90 each. So in total our travel was around the same price as just one train ticket (excluding the petrol but still a big saving!).

We've had a great summer of days out but I would have to put today as my favourite day out this year (so far!).

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Choo choo on the Steam Train! - Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

Sunday, 7 September 2014

First train ride for Little Miss A today and it was on a steam train! Not bad for a first experience!

Recently I entered a competition with Look Local Magazine and won a family ticket for the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. The tickets arrived in the post yesterday and needed to be used before the end of the year. Looking at the timetable the trains mostly run at the weekends and as Mr MoaB is going to still be working most weekends for the next couple of months, we decided to take the opportunity to go on the train today.

I was really pleased to find out I'd won as going on a train journey is no. 14 on Little Miss A's Things To Do Before I'm 2 list. I imagined that we would be going on a mainline train journey somewhere to tick this one off the list, but instead we got the chance to go on a steam train!

The trains depart from Chinnor Station which is a half hour drive away. We got to the station about 2.45pm and went straight to the ticket office. All the staff we spoke to were really friendly. They're all volunteers who run the railway.

We took a few photos on the platform before boarding the train. We showed Little Miss A the engine and she was intrigued by the steam!

The train wasn't too busy which is just as well as Little Miss A kept moving about between different seats during the journey! The train departed at 3pm and headed out of the station towards Princes Risborough. It passes through some really lovely countryside with nice views.

It's a round trip of nearly seven miles and takes about 45 minutes. There's a short stop at Thame Junction for the engine to be moved to the other end for the return journey. Here's Little Miss A watching out for the engine to pass by:

Little Miss A loved it, particularly when the train hooted! We had great fun onboard the train!

Tickets are £11 per adult, £6 per child (3-15 years). Under 3s are free. Or you can buy family tickets which are £20 for 1 adult & 2 children or £28 for 2 adults & 2 children. As we hadn't paid for our tickets to travel, we left a donation towards the Restoration Fund.

A really fun family afternoon! A nice way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Here's my favourite picture of the day:

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Books for Free! - Healthy Planet

Saturday, 6 September 2014

A few weeks ago, a couple of friends told me about a store giving away FREE books so of course I had to go and investigate!

The Books for Free Centre is at Broadfields Retail Park in Aylesbury. It's operated by Healthy Planet who collect books which would otherwise end up in landfill or as pulp.

Unfortunately, last time I went the store was closed but I thought I'd try again today and luckily we caught it open. The centre is run by volunteers so the advertised opening times are subject to volunteers being available.

They have taken over the old electrical store so it's a vast space filled with books on every subject you can imagine. There's seats and sofas around so you could quite easily spend quite a long time here browsing the shelves, having a flick through some books before making your selection.

Each person is allowed to take 3 books. When the lady was stamping my 3 books, she told me that Little Miss A could have three too so I went back and chose her some more.

I concentrated on the children's book section. I love getting Little Miss A new books and encouraging her to read. There are books that we look at together in the living room - these are mostly interactive books such as touch & feel or pop-up books. Then in her bedroom she has lots of storybooks which we read to her at bedtime.

We use the library a lot to get new books for bedtime story. I don't think Little Miss A would really care if we kept reading the same ones over and over again, but Mr MoaB and I like to have different ones to read!

We got to the centre at 3.30pm and the store was closing at 4pm so I had to have a very quick browse through. Some books are in better condition than others so it's worth looking through all the pages. A few have been drawn in or have pages missing. However, with so many books to choose from, it wasn't hard to find some that I thought Little Miss A would like. Also, it means that if she accidentally pulls a flap too hard or rips a page, it really doesn't matter!

Here's the selection I made:

A couple are to put away for her and will come out when appropriate (Halloween and Christmas). I love Miffy so was really pleased to find one of these books. The top book is a lift-the-flap Maisy book that pulls out to 2 metres!!

However, my favourite is the 'Who are you?' book which has little tabs you pull out from the corners and the animals pop-up at the top.

There is a donation box on the counter. I actually took some books we no longer wanted along with me in exchange for the ones we took. It's a great initiative to save books from landfill. I can't imagine a world without books. I hope there will always be a place for them despite the rise in the popularity of tablets etc.

If you're local to Aylesbury, then it's definitely worth paying the centre a visit. Not sure how long the store will be there for!? What's not to like when you can come away with 3 Free books!

UPDATE 15/11/14: Unfortunately, this store has now closed.

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The End of Get Good Summer Goals - Week Ten

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Crikey! Have 10 weeks been and gone already! I had such good intentions when I wrote my #getgoodsummer goals. I'm going to have to be honest and I've spectacularly failed with most. I totally underestimated the lack of time I have to myself to achieve anything with a lively 17 month year old running around.

When I set the goals I was looking at my calendar thinking we didn't have a lot planned. With all the classes and playgroups stopping for the summer, I definitely envisaged a lot more days at home. Instead of that we've had an awesome summer of days out and fun. I never appreciated how many events there are for families during the summer holidays and many of them are free.

If you missed it, here's my original list of Get Good Summer Goals.

1) Create a family photo book
Unfortunately, back to square one on this goal. Having found a great offer, I went and missed the expiry date. Whoops! Back to the research to find another offer.

We give Little Miss A lots of books for Christmas as she gets so many toys etc. from all the relatives. So I will get my act together and get this photo book created to give her as a Christmas present. Promise!

2) Redesign my blog website
Definitely a major project that needs time that I just don't have. Maybe during the winter when we are spending a bit more time indoors and at home!?

3) Read a book
This one I have ticked off! Yeay! Have now managed to read 2 books and am onto my 3rd. Hurray!

I'm so glad that I set this as a goal. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy reading and escaping into a good book. I'm trying to make sure that I turn my computer off a bit earlier each night to give myself time to read at least a chapter before I fall asleep.

4) Do a craft project
Not far off completing this one. I will post a picture as soon as this one is done.

5) Try out more recipes
Can tick this one off to. We tried a new recipe last week. a chickpea and pasta soup. Very economical and nutritious. Just what we need as the winter sets in. I have enjoyed trying some new recipes. It's making me a bit more confident in the kitchen. IThis is definitely a goal that I'll continue with so that we have more and more dishes to add to our list of meals when we do our menu planning each week.

So not a complete failure. Just a few that were a bit too ambitious for the timescale. I always have high hopes for what I'm going to get done each day and kick myself for not getting most of it done. I need to give myself a bit more slack. A 17 month old who is napping less and wanting to play more is not conducive to get stuff done, not even the housework (sorry Mr MoaB)!

So it might be the end of #GetGoodSummer but I'm hoping it's not quite the end of summer and we'll have a few more sunny days out before winter sets in!

Thanks to Claire at Clarina's Contemplations and all the other people that have been taking part in #GetGoodSummer. I've really enjoyed reading how everyone has been getting on!

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