2016 Bucket List

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions. They always seem to target the negative or can turn themselves into a chore. “Lose weight” is usually a popular one, but one that’s often broken first. Unless you want to do it, or would have done it without the resolution, don’t do it. You’ll just feel rubbish about breaking it. If you’re one of the odd balls that can make and stick to resolutions, good for you!

For this reason, we haven’t made resolutions for quite some time but that’s not to say we haven’t set ourselves little targets for the year. Things like; give blood, being meat free twice a week, or screen free Wednesday’s have been some of the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

Inspired by a fellow blogger, and to expand on our yearly “taskings”, we’ve decided to write a Bucket List for 2016.

It’s likely we’ll add to it over the coming weeks, but so far we’re pretty happy with it. Some tasks are more achievable than others, but then that’s the fun of it!

Here’s what our bucket list looks like…

Take part in a photo challenge to document T’s growth through the year • Visit somewhere new at least once a month • Go to a blogging event • Treat ourselves to a new sofa • Complete / fill in T’s baby book • Cook something new • Have a day at the beach • Video more • Fly a kite • Do something selfless • Meet more blogging / twitter friends in person • Spend more time in the garden • Read (and complete) a book (or three) • Go on holiday • Make macaroons • Get T a passport • Get on a ferry to France • Take more photos on the camera (not the phone) • Take the grandparents out to lunch. Give blood • Learn a new skill •

What I like about a bucket list is that there are no limitations. Yes some objectives look like something off of an every day to-do list, but at least this way I’ll be pushed to do it!

Do you make bucket lists? What’s on yours?

K

Our 2015

2015 was a huge one for us with the arrival of T, after trying for two years to meet him.

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2016 will no doubt be just as busy what with T starting nursery, me returning to work, and T making general milestones like walking and, possibly, talking!

But before we start moving forward, here’s what our 2015 looked like.

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New Traditions. 

This year will be T’s first Christmas, and our first Christmas as a family. 

We are SO excited. 

  
Although we’ve always enjoyed Christmas for the time we have off together, the food, the general merriment, we’re fully aware that Christmas is primarily a children’s holiday. 

Now T is here, S is in her element. Christmas is her favourite time of year and she has so many plans to make Christmas as exciting for T as can be. Although we’ve agreed not to go mad this year present-wise; after all, T has NO idea what’s going on, we’re still going to make a start on some new Christmas traditions. 

  
Tradition 1 – Buy new pyjammas for Christmas Eve so T can wake up in new pyjammas. Later on this will expand to a Christmas Eve box that will contain a Christmas DVD, new book, snack pot, and drink so the mums can have a lay in!

Tradition 2 – Set out a special plate on Christmas Eve (which has already been bought!) containing a mince pie, baileys (that’s our Santa’s favourite), and a carrot. 

Tradition 3 – Buy a new Christmas Day jumper for us, and a smart outfit for T. 

Tradition 4 – Take a family photo every Christmas Day.

Tradition 5 – Buy a new Christmas decoration for the tree each year. This year, we’re going to buy the traditional ‘Baby’s first Christmas’ bauble. 

It’s likely over the years we’ll create more traditions and start the ones that have waited for T to become old enough: such as stockings, but so far we’re pretty happy with these ones. 

What Christmas traditions do you have in your family?

Days Out – Scotney Castle, Kent {National Trust}

Whilst we were in Tunbridge Wells for T’s Photoshoot, we decided to make the most out of our National Trust membership and visit a local attraction.

Shamefully, we don’t know much about our country’s history apart from the well known periods of time; which is one of the reasons we took the membership out, not to mention being able to visit new beauty hotspots.
So when we saw that Scotney Castle was just down the road we decided to go there.

Scotney Castle is a stunning period property that only got taken over by the NT in the 1950’s. A small, albeit ruined, castle is also situated within the 700+ acres and is surrounded by a stunning lake and moat.

During our visit we walked around the house, the green spaces around the property, and then the castle. I decided to wear T although apart from the house, it was extremely buggy friendly if I hadn’t worn him.  Despite not visiting the property before, it was easy to see that it’s seen best within the autumnal colours – it’s a photographers paradise!

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Before leaving, we squeezed in a visit to the cafe (something we need to try and avoid if we’re going to be visiting NT sites weekly!) and the gift shop.

Off to a good start already with our National Trust membership, we hope to visit a NT site every weekend, if not every fortnight, to encourage us to go out and visit somewhere new.

Have you got a NT membership? Where have you been recently? Where do you recommend?

K

We were given no compensation for the purpose of this post – we just love our National Trust membership!

Travelling with Gro – The Gro Anywhere Blind (Review) [AD]

When we went on holiday, we were really nervous about how T would sleep whilst staying in a caravan.

Although he can nap during the day, at nighttime it has to be calm and dark before he drifts off until 7am.

In the summer months, T used to wake up every morning at 4am as soon as the light came through the windows. Thankfully we could usually get him back off until 6am/7am after a feed, but he woke up nonetheless.

Caravans are notorious for thin curtains – so light would definitely be an issue. Plus, being somewhere new is a distraction in itself.

Thankfully, the guys at Gro passed on their Gro Anywhere Blind to assist with this problem.

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The Gro Anywhere Blind is simply a sheet of thick fabric that can stick to any window using the suckers attached, blocking out any light.

Before going on holiday we decided to give it a test run in our bedroom to see how easy it was to install and to see how dark it would actually make our room.

The blind comes with a generous amount of suckers and pieces of Velcro to make sure the blind fits accordingly to the window.

This also means you can have the blind installed vertically or horizontally. At home we installed in horizontally, on holiday; vertically. At home it just about fit our bay window which is really impressive as we have quite a large bay-like window.

After installing it at home we immediately saw how it earnt it’s name as a blackout blind.

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Notice our cream curtains? They’re the culprits of many early mornings. Notice how dark it is in the middle? That’ll be the Gro Anywhere Blind.

 

As soon as it was installed it was an instant transformation. Our room was completely dark and remained that way until little bits of light peeked through the edges of the bay window where the blind couldn’t reach.

The installation was really easy and despite having rather *coughs* dirty windows, the suckers on the blind managed to stay on the window and without falling off.

Using it on holiday was an absolute breeze as well.

It really made a massive difference not only to the light entering our bedroom but it also created a nice layer between the window and the curtains; meaning our room was extra warm. We even noticed that when the light hit the blind it actually warmed it up to a degree where you think it’s actually a radiator! Very impressive!

When we finally had to take it down it was simply a case of pulling at the suckers and folding it away. The bag the blind comes with is a generous size and there’s no struggling to get the blind into the exact shape it was in the shop to fit the bag.

We really like the Gro Anywhere Blind. It’s light, easy to travel with, and does what it says. We’d highly recommend it if your little one needs darkness to sleep.

K

We were given the Gro Anywhere Blind for the purpose of this review. All opinions, however, are our own. 

Our First Family Holiday 

We’ve been going to Cornwall every year since the wife and I got together. It was our place to escape. To relax. We’ve been to other parts of the West Country but Cornwall is and will always be our favourite. So naturally, when it came to having our first family holiday, we wanted to go to Cornwall.

It was a sudden booking as we’d already booked a holiday to Wales, but with S having a stressful time at work and not really having a proper family “break” since her paternity leave (if you can count it as a break), we needed to get away before our break to Wales.

After packing everything bar the kitchen sink we were ready to go. We left at 8am by the time T woke and had breakfast on the way. For a 6 hour journey we planned 2-3 stops depending on how T was, this seemed pretty reasonable as T is guaranteed to sleep whenever he’s in the car.

Our first two stops went according to plan – T had slept from home and between both stops. As we arrived at Exeter this is where it went a bit downhill. As we drove to our final destination, only a mere 90 minutes to go, T was getting fed up of being in the car seat. We were so close and yet so far. This then lead to lots of tears (from both parties), singing, and desperate attempts to keep T happy, but we finally arrived.

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We stayed in your typical holiday park caravan (as it tells us we’re definitely on holiday!) which we promptly made our own, and did something every day. We visited Lands End, Penzance, Paradise Park, St. Ives, and Cyder Farms. We gorged on cream teas, fudge, ice cream, and pasties. We also went swimming on site a few times. We had such a great time.

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The journey back was unfortunately hellish as we left a bit late which meant that we were still driving by the time T’s bedtime rolled round. This lead to us unpacking and repacking the car somewhere near Southampton so that S could keep T company in the back which worked.

We’ll certainly think about distance next time we go on holiday but nevertheless, we still had a great time and really didn’t want to go home!

K

We received no compensation for using the links in this post, we just think they’re great places to visit!