Final Project 365 Post for 2014

Hello all. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and want to wish you all a very Happy New Year! We'll we've only gone and done it and managed a whole year of taking a photo a day and sharing them in a weekly post. How awesome is that. I'm planning on doing the same again next year and wish to thank The Boy and Me for hosting such a fab linky each week and welcoming us to take part. Since I posted my last #365 round up we have of couse celebrated Christmas, been out and about and are planning a quiet night in on New Years Eve, where we'll toast in the New Year watching the fireworks on TV. Here's our final round up for 2014.
Day 355. After our Santa Special Trip at Audley End we stopped at a garden center and these were some of the Christmas lights on display.
Day 356. The lounge looking all festive ready for the big day. Last day at work for me too before Christmas.
Day 357. Dad and I took the monkeys out to keep them busy amongst the mounting excitement. This is at Thorndon Park on their Gruffalo Trail. A great morning out.
Day 358. Christmas Eve and we'd recently returned from watching Paddington at the cinema. The monkeys saw Santa fly past and are sat together in their new PJ's before going to bed.
Day 359. The BIG day itself, I took lots of photo's but this one show's off big monkeys football skills in his new kit, new football boots and with his new ball. To say he was delighted with this get up from Santa is an understatement.
Day 360. Boxing Day morning saw me building little monkeys main present. A remote control Lego train which he was chuffed to bits to get. It's great.
Day 361. After a morning of play and entertaining the inlaws in the afternoon and evening, a peaceful sit down in front of the TV was needed Saturday night.
Day 362. The Hyacinth I got for Christmas is starting to bloom on the Kitchen window sill. Now fully open it smells devine.
Day 363. A very heavy frost but what a great day to travel to Surrey to see friends. Lovely and sunny and crisp but freezing cold.
Day 364. A quiet day indoors for the monkeys and I today whilst daddy was back at work. They played with new toys including this play-doh clown that little monkey got.
Day 365. Yay we got there! My world, my monkeys! 

Thanks again for reading everyone. See you next year!
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

A look back over 2014 and Hopes for 2015

As 2014 draws to a close, I sit and reflect over the year. It's been pretty good I'd say. Sad to begin with with the funeral of my last remaining Grandparent but good overall otherwise. Work continues to be good for Daddy. 
Big monkey has loved playing for an under 7's football team with his mates and is doing really well. He loves school and made the transistion into year 2 really well. I can't belive he'll be staring year 3 in juniors next year! It only seems five minutes ago since he started school.
Big monkey had a successful operation on his ears to fit grommets back at Easter. His speech and development have improved so much since then. He continues to be my lively little monkey but I wouldn't have him any other way. Preschool is going well for him and he loves it. 
I have spent most of the year doing what Mums do but am delighted to have started exercising and eating healthy in a bid to get the old me back and lose some weight. I feel so much better for it, both mentally and physically. 
We've enjoyed some great family days out and have just enjoyed doing what families do! Highlights include hubby and I getting a child free weekend away in Suffolk, taking the monkeys on a break back at Easter to the Suffolk Coast and visiting London to visit the Poppies at Tower of London. Of course there were many more highlights.  Too many to include!
Next year looks set to be a good one! Starting with little monkey turning four, he is having a party which I need to start planning. I intend to continue to exercise regularly and lose more weight, which will hopefully result in a big clothes shopping spree! 
We have a family holiday already booked which I cannot wait to go on. Little monkey starts school next September and his brother moves up into Junior School. 
I will find both those milestones pretty emotive but of cousre they will happen so I have to embrace the change. Maybe I'll find myslef another job or more work once they are both settled in? Finally I hope the blog continues to grow and grow and continue to move in the right direction. How has 2014 been for you? Anything big happening in 2015?
Happy New Year one and all and thank you so much for reading.


December Book Buddies Book - A Treasury of Christmas Story's and Songs

We are loving being Parragon Book Buddies and got a lovely surprise through the post just before Christmas. A wonderful Treasury of Christmas Stories and Songs
Such a beautiful book full of six Christmas stories and 12 classic carols and rhymes. Our most favourite Christmas story of all has to be the Night Before Christmas, by Clement C Moore. It's so magical and big monkey has read it so often and listened to it so much he has been able to recite the story since about the age of 4 years old. I'm so delighted it's in this book. 
We've enjoyed reading A Letter To Santa by Gaby Goldsack too. Another great Christmas story with some amazing illustrations. The entire treasury is full of gorgeous illustations by seven international children's illustrators, which add magic to the whole book.
Some of the songs included in the book are Silent Night, Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger and O Come All Ye Faithful. My own personal favourite is Silent Night. Hard backed, with a lovely sleeve the book has 191 pages and is definitely a book to treasure for many years to come. We absolutely love it.


Christmas Our Way!

Well, what a busy time we have had! My parents arrived for Christmas on the 18th December, big monkey finished school on the 19th and then we began our Christmas celebrations. 
We had a fab family meal out on the Friday night, which saw the monkeys being very well catered for and looked after, so they didn't get bored whilst the adults tucked into their 3 course meal. A late night for the monkeys but all good fun.
The Saturday night saw hubby and I eating out with friends, whilst my parents baby sat. A lovely evening and great to get out as a couple for a change. 
On the Sunday we all went to Audley End Railway for the Santa Special which was awesome. We all loved it.
Tuesday my Dad and I took the monkeys on the Gruffalo Trail at Thorndon Park. The idea was to keep them busy and blow away the cobwebs. We did both! Another great outing and Grandad, who had never been before loved it there.
On Christmas Eve we all went to the cinema to watch Paddington, How awesome is that film?! We thought it was great fun and then the monkeys saw Santa and his sleigh soon after on the way home. Impeccable timing, thanks ISS! Now I have to say I was as excited as the boys were about seeing that.
After the monkeys had got into their new PJ's they left milk out for Santa, a carrot for the reindeer and a mince pie or two for Santa also. Little monkey left some reindeer food outside glistening in the moonlight. Then off to bed they went on the most exciting night of the year.
At exactly 3.33am on Christmas morning I was woken by the dulcet tones of both monkeys loudly exclaiming that it was Christmas Day. You can guess what happened next. They were ushered back to bed with a quick "yes, but he might not have been yet", which seemed to be enough to get them back to sleep until a slightly more reasonable hour! 
We were all downsatirs soon after 6am though, opening presents and trying hard to keep both monkeys calm....an almost impossible task! It was a delight to see their faces upon opening their presents delivered by Santa that they had asked for. Just priceless. 
My Dad cooked a fab tradional roast Christmas dinner with all the trimmings which we sat down to eat about 1pm and then the rest of the day was spent eating yet more food, drinking and playing with the monkeys and their new toys. We were all shattered by bedtime! 
Boxing Day was a quiet one, Saturday the inlaws came for tea and today we've been to see friends in Surrey. So there you have it, a snap shot of our family Christmas! 
How was yours?


All Aboard the Santa Express - Audley End Railway

Another Sunday and another family train ride. This one with Nanny and Grandad and on Santa's Special Steam Train! A winning formular if ever there was one.
We booked in advance and arrived early enough to have a bite to eat for lunch first. Then a short queue before boarding the steam train, supplied with blankets for chilly laps and then we were off! 
The train steamed past festive cuddly toys and displays, through tunnels and onto Santa's Grotto. There we were welcomed by dancing elfs, Mrs Claus who was going down past the train giving out sweets and then the big man himself. 
Santa walked along the platform chatting to all the children and gave them each a small gift. The monkeys loved this and both got a cuddly toy dog. The experience was then over once the train returned to the station. It was all very festive, very well done and the Christmas music playing made it all the more magical. As did the jollyness of the staff. 
Another great Santa experience worth a visit Christmas 2015!  
Merry Christmas everyone. Have a great time. I'm off to spend some time with my family.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Batteries Not Included

I'm not sure about you but we've bought at least one of the monkey's toys that require batteries over Christnas. Of course being super organised I do have some ready (and I got more today, just in case). Duracell have kindly sent me some too. Have you got your batteries? Don't forget the batteries, or there could be tears on Christmas day and not just from the kids!
89% of UK children have received a battery operated toy at Christmas with batteries not included…whilst 71% of parents admitted that they have forgotten to buy those all-important batteries!

Luckily Duracell are on hand to help parents avoid Christmas morning disappointment! They have a selection of batteries for all sorts of different shaped and sized toys. Take a look and get them bought tomorrow, before it's too late and you get those tears!! I'm looking forward to using our batteries on this baby!
Happy Christmas Everyone.
I was sent some batteries for the purpose of this post.


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