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Happy new (School) Year Goals & Plans for Autumn/ Winter 2019

As more and more children head back to school for the new school year it becomes apparent to me that for most parents or teachers September and the start of a new school year is actually more of a new start than the actual new year in January. I feel exactly the same way.

So what does this new start New school year hold for the The Spencers?

During the Summer I love to sit down on a naptime (or quite time for the big twins) with a notepad and plan the rest of the year. This year most of the planning was done while quiet time happened on our road trip.

Holidays & Outings

Holidays

One big adventure we have planned is mine and chris’s 10th wedding anniversary trip. I’m excited and anxious to be leaving the kids at home for a week in December. They will be staying with the grandparents during our trip while we head to New York. I have wanted to go to New York for most of my adult life I really want to see the famous Rockefeller christmas tree and witness winter in the city.

Every year at new year we usually head off to Lanzarote to celebrate there and I hoping to take this trip again but we will need to see if we can get some cheap flights as at the moment they are just so expensive.

Theatre

Chris and I also have a few lone theatre trips booked in. This month is Brydon, Mack and Mitchell at Sheffield which I hope will be a hilarious date night out. Later in the year is The Entertainer which stars Shane Richie. I have no Idea what this is going to be like but as a fan of Shane I think it will be a hit. I also have a trip with girlfriends to see the emotional rollercoaster that is The Girls. It will be my 4th time seeing this musical. Each time there has been slight changes and updates to the performances. With Gary Barlow being the co writer and producer though I’m sure it will still tell the amazing story of those brave Women’s Institute girls the best it can.

Memory Making

After our road trip we made a plan to spend as much time as we can outdoors and doing the things that fill our memory banks. Both for me and Chris and the kids. One of the things that we really loved on our trip was pulling up at the beach and jumping in the rock pools then heading back to the motorhome for a hot chocolate. So we are now on a mission to find a beachside carpark that we can pull into thats not too far from home.

During the colder months our van side cinema nights will be replaced by movie nights in our cinema room. Toasting marshmallows and BBQ’s will turn into Hot chocolates and Autumn snack platters in the living room surrounded by blankets and cushions.

Fitness

I have decided that I need to do something a little more than just trying to eat healthy. So as of this week I will be joining Slimming World in the hope that it will support me to eat better and lose a bit of weight. Alongside this I hope to get back into my 20 min walk a day and swimming 3 times a week. When the summer holidays descend I struggle to find the time to head out and never feel motivated enough to exercise at home. That said we did lots of walking while we were on our trip which I really enjoyed When i didn’t have a toddler to carry!

Simplify and Organization

These dont necessarily go hand in hand however I believe from simplifying routines and belongings you can feel more organised.

I have talked and talked about decluttering spaces within our house but nothing ever seems to stay that way. Drastic change within the house needs to happen for it to start making an impact.

Pantry

There are three main areas that I want to declutter and organise The first being the Pantry. The big twins are now in year three which means that school dinners now have to be paid for. Luckily they have asked for packed lunches. By creating a better organised pantry I am hoping the kids will be able to help with making their own lunches.

Office

Next up is My office / Workshop space. I really want to get this up and running this winter. At the moment this space is used for storing rubbish and garden items again there are things in there that need to be decluttered , Old paperwork that can be shredded, toys that can be given to charity, garden equipment that needs a better home. This project is quite a big one really involving replastering, rewiring and a patio door fitting in the long term. For now though I just want to concentrate on getting it empty and usable for the short term.

Toys

Finally Toys. We have an abundance of toys that rarely get played with. There are four children in the house and often that means four or at least two of most things. While we were away the kids made things from stones to play with. They actually played with their toys, They played together most of the time too. I believe the more toys they have the less they play as they feel overwhelmed by choice. There is more I want to talk about on this so at a later date I will post a seperate post about my great Toy Cull.

Work

At the moment and for the foreseeable future there is no way I could go out and get a job. The child care would be astronomical.

Blogging

So blogging is what I have been focusing on to try and make me a bit of an income. I have recently been think about other forms of income too Something I can do from home.

Social Media Management

One thing is to offer out my social media management skills to local businesses. This is something I need to work on and I would like to take a couple of courses to ensure I can offer the best service.

Public Speaking

To accompany my “Online Life” I have started on a public speaking journey too. I have only given the one talk so far but I have another written up for a keynote at a blogging event in November. I also Need to write up something for the Nottinghamshire Women’s Institute to offer my Social media talk out.

Creating

Another thing I wouldn’t mind doing is creating. Before we had kids we made concrete garden ornaments. I loved painting them up for customers. I need to look into what I could make to sell. My dad has a retail yard so could easily sell a few bits through his yard. which I why I need to declutter the office/ Workshop.

Who else thinks back to school feels like a new start? What’s on your to do list for Autumn Winter?

Nina x

Summer Road Trip – Diary – Day Twelve – California Chalet & Touring Park & Country Park

It’s the little twins birthday today though nothing special is planned just exploring the country park that we are staying at.

We woke up quite late today and the little twins woke and immediately found their presents that I had brought with us.

Emotional Day

It’s quite an emotional day for myself and Chris to be honest. I feel excited for the little twins birthday but anxious and emotional about the suvivorversary of The placenta percreata. It’s a hard one and I guess we just have to take time to heal still. I’m sure as the years countdown and the twins grow up things will ease but for now, Today , I spent a good half hour in the shower alone crying.

On to making good memories for the day. Once we had all got ready and dressed for the day it was almost lunch. We headed out to find the splash pool and play park in the country park.

California Country Park

The park is walking distance from the campsite. It looks a little like a building site at the moment as they are putting in new seating areas and better car parking facilities.

We head straight for the play areas. The big kids head to a woodland assault course and the little two to the slide then the ship climbing frame.

It wasn’t long before mason saw the splash pool and was demanding his swim clothes on.

A good hour of splashing in the freezing pool and then we decide to have a bit of lunch in the Jacksons cafe before nap time.

While nap time occurs I try and pack up some of the motorhome ready for our early departure in the morning.

Nap time over and it’s back to the pool and park for a while. It stayed open until 6pm we were there until the end. I had to drag the kids away.

Back to the Motorhome for our last night and the Twins Birthday night. It’s time to eat up everything in the fridge and cupboard.

We end the day and holiday with another cinema night. It really is these moments That I hope stay with us for a long time. Definitely something we want to try and do more of on weekends.

Nina, Chris & The Kids x

Summer Road Trip – Diary – Day Eleven – Back Up North, Calling at Dawlish Warren & Brean

Today is the day we head back up North and leave the lovely Cornwall Coast behind.

Waking up for the last time in Cornwall I felt a little sad to be leaving beach life behind as I often do when I leave the coast. I woke early this morning too. I actually saw the sun rising above the campsite.

When the rest of Camp Spencer woke we quickly packed up and headed off. Our first stop was a little unplanned stop but there were lots of traffic and roadworks making the journey pretty slow.

Dawlish Warren

After pulling into a packed car park Teignmouth the car park attendant advised us to head instead to Dawlish Warren.

Dawlish Warren is a little seaside town. Full of Beach Shops and cafes with an amusement park near the beach. A little more commercialized than the beach days we’ve had in cornwall.

Nevertheless we needed to stretch our legs and let the kids run off some steam. So we headed to the beach which was packed full of people enjoying the sunshine. We let ours run through the nature area and decided to head to the amusement park.

We spent a good hour or more on the rides and then went for ice cream

The rides were just one token each and you could get 20 tokens for £20 which is quite reasonable really I thought.

Afterwards it was time to pack up again and off to where we through we might wild camp for the night – As far as wild gets in a motorhome with al mod-cons.

Brean

We got to brean and decided that maybe we should just head to our actual camp instead. All car parks shut at night and the on street parking looked pretty cramped. So fish N Chips for dinner followed by an hour on the slots.

The kids really enjoy the 2p slots even the little two loved it. The one we found also came with a complimentary cuppa.

So on northwards to California Touring Park. Where we arrived around 10.30pm It was dark and there was no one to meet us just a key for the gate with the number for our pitch on!

After a few minutes searching we eventually found what we hope is the right one.

Friday next and the little Twins birthday!

Nina, Chris & The Kids x

Summer Road Trip – Diary – Day Ten – A very Soggy Pentire, Widemouth Bay & My First Cornish Cream Tea!

Today we woke to rain pounding down on the roof of the motorhome. It wasn’t even one of those “its sound worse than it is” rains either it was full on soaked through just on the toilet block run! Needless to say we cancelled our Eden trip.

Today Chris had another work call to do this time in the middle of the day which is less than handy really especially given the state of the weather.

So I decided that while he sat in the motorhome on his call we would go in search of a cream tea & some hot chocolate.

Fern Pit Cafe

We found a car park on top of the cliffs that had a great view. It would have been a great car park to park for a little adventure had A, The weather been better and B, Chris not been working. However we headed to a little cafe “Fern Pit Cafe”.

This place is tiny and down some steps but I managed to get the pushchair down there and found a table. I had my first cream tea of our trip and the kids shared some chips.

The cream tea was ok nothing out of the ordinary but delicious nonetheless. Afterwards it had stopped raining so we took a little walk down a few steps. The steps actually lead down to the bay and a ferry across to Crantock. We only went down a few steps but it looked as if there was a lot more to get down before getting to the bottom.

Widemouth Bay

Back to the “bus” and Chris had finished his call so we bundled in and headed to our favourite beach widemouth. Its over an hours drive from where we are but it’s our last night in Cornwall and we wanted to make it a good one.

For a while the kids were asleep and we just sat watching the surfers and boogie boarders ride the waves. Then once the kids woke and the waves calmed a little we went for a splash around ourselves. before getting dry and having a bit of a BBQ right on the beach.

The perfect way to end our little Cornwall adventure.

On to our last couple of days in the motorhome and time to head back up north.

Nina, Chris & The Kids x

Summer Road Trip – Diary – Day Nine – Lost Gardens of Heligan, Par & Watergate Bay

Today was another trip to one of my must see places The Lost Gardens Of Heligan. The stunning gardens named due to them being lost after the war to a sea of brambles and ivy. Which were then discovered and restored in the 90’s and brought back to life to create this award winning public gardens.

We got up after quite a rough night due to the little people who keep waking in the night. the thing about being in a motorhome is the walls a very thin so when someone is screaming DO, DO at 2am it’s going to be heard through other neighbouring walls like the other campers and tents. It’s happened every night so far and makes me quite anxious to get to them quick and quiet them down.

Anyway i digress we got up and made our way to Heligan having breakfast when we parked up again so we knew that we could park. We were still quite late and arrived around 9.30 it opens at 10. Luckily we seemed more organised than other motorhomers (is that even a word?) and was first in the camper bays.

After our bacon butties we headed in now I think we should have taken the pushchair and and left it at the space that were more difficult to navigate as the amount the little two needed to be carried I am now sporting sore arm muscles. They have done really well again though to keep up as much as they have.

We only managed to get around a 3rd may be even only a quarter of the gardens but I knew I wanted to show the big twins the instafamous rope bridge and take them through the adventure walk where they could climb and jump around in the forest.

Once the jungle area had been explored we climbed back up the hill and to the playpark. where they found some more energy to climb the massive play fort and slide down the slide.

Just as we were preparing to leave and head to find a cream tea (I’ve not managed to find one yet I think there is a scone shortage) I felt a tap on my shoulder.

A lady who I have “followed” online since back when I found I was pregnant with twins the first time around was there for the day with her own twins. She has helped me quite a bit with some stories she shared of her own two. Her twins are an exact year older than mine.

It was so lovely to finally meet in person she seems so lovely and her twins are a credit to her and her husband.

If only I could find somewhere for a cream tea (and had more time here) we could have a proper natter.

Back in the bus as we have called it and on to find a little harbour. We got to Mevagissey but unfortunately there was no where to park so ended up at a beach side car park in Par.

By this time I was getting tired and the place just felt a little odd. It could have been such a beautiful beach area but the stream that led to the beach looked and smelled stagnant there was even a dead bird floating in it. It seemed like the water just wasn’t flowing enough. Once we got to the beach the shore line was littered with jellyfish. So instead we headed up to the pub to get my long awaited for cream tea.

Nope No scones left! Jeeze Can I not catch a break? Instead I ordered the kids some nuggets. I headed outside to the play area where unfortunately Chris had a work call he had to be on. As dinner arrived the smell from the dogs who had been to the toilet really put me off. For the first time I feel like I dont really like this place.

It’s time to head back, As soon as we headed west again I could feel my mood changing almost like certain areas had a better atmosphere. Another detour this time to watergate bay for me and Chris to get some dinner. The car park is full of campers and cars with surfboards strapped to them and handfuls of people in wetsuits.

Watergate Bay is a tiny little bay with a few restaurants and bars. most of which require booking as we found out. One place though had space. it was now heading to 9pm but we still managed some loaded nachos and the kids managed some ice cream. The afternoon saved by Nachos.

We got back to our site quite late but a least before the 11pm driving curfew.

On to day ten and it’s looking like a wet one!

Nina, Chris & The Kids x