Over the past 12 months, I’ve developed a real love affair with Instagram. The thing I love most about it is the fact that it’s so wonderful to look back on. One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was a gorgeous photo album. It will make me get around to printing some photos, so I’ve used the opportunity to reflect on our year.
In January, I decided we needed to make the most of the time with Libby before she went back to school. So on a random weekday, we all headed to the beach. There are no beaches nearby as we’re in the midlands but it was well worth the journey to see the girls running around on the sand.
There is no greater freedom than running. Not to get anywhere or keep fit, but just to experience the fun of the journey. #winterfun #littlemoments #littlefierceones #running #beach #seaside #coast #instakids #kidsofinstagram #fun #joy #wintersun #daysout #outdoorfun #outdoors #freedom #travel #uktravel
In February we had a fabulous day out at Drayton Manor Thomas Land. Despite the rather bracing temperature, we all had a brilliant time.
Sometimes it's important just to say yes. I thought a theme park on my own with these two would be hard work but the staff have been amazing and we're having a fabulous time at @Draytonmanor for the Thomas Land weekend. #winterfun #daysout #dayout #outdoorfun #outdoors #hibernot #themepark #littlemoments #happy #fun #smile #aeroplane #plane #ride #draytonmanor #thomasland
March was all about stopping to smell the flowers. I love this time of year when the temperature finally starts to rise and the daffodils come out.
Rushing around with your nose to the ground, Troubles, stress and problems abound. How can you halt the tick of the clock? Just stop. Smell the flowers, hear the birds in the trees, It's your life, you can do as you please. #flowers #daffodils #springtime #springfun #beautiful #2016incolour #springflowers #bright #yellow #green #countryside #outdoorfun #outdoors #getoutdoors #littlemoments #littlefierceones #nature #natural #bluesky #sunnydays #hibernot #malvern #Worcestershire #wintergardens
In April, the highlight was a day out at a local miniature steam railway where my uncle volunteers. It was a brilliant opportunity to spend the day with family away from technology, just enjoying each other’s company.
We spent this afternoon with family, totally incommunicado with no phone signal. We rode a little steam train, had a picnic and the children played tag and took turns on the swing. Has life really taken a step forward with the development of new technology or are we now missing out on life's simple pleasures?
In May we spent a week at beautiful Blairmore Farm in Scotland. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and spent lots of time outside at the farm. We also explored Loch Levens and Loch of the Lowes.
June brought another fabulous holiday, this time to Bluestone in West Wales. We weren’t quite so lucky with the weather there, but we still made it to the beach as well as using their fantastic leisure facilities.
July was my birthday month and I headed to The Malvern Spa for a day. It was quite literally the best birthday I’ve had as an adult. I had an amazing hot stone massage and felt thoroughly relaxed afterwards.
In August, I spent a few days away from the girls for the first time ever, as I headed to the Black Forest on a press trip. It was a lovely area and I intend to go back with the girls really soon.
September was all about the first day of school for Libby, and we had an exciting day out at Eastnor Castle where the girls learned hobby horse jousting!
For me, October was all about going for a run with the dog. But it wasn’t an ordinary run – or an ordinary dog! Bubbles accompanied me on the Run Walk Crawl Gower 50 ultramarathon – a 50 mile circumnavigation of the Gower coastline.
I had another trip on my own in November, this time I headed to WTM London – a global travel conference. It was great to meet some fellow bloggers and catch up with my sister.
This year was the first time both girls have totally bought into Christmas and it was truly magical. The highlight for me was a ride on the Telford Steam Railway Polar Express. I’ll be reviewing this in the spring when this year’s tickets go on sale. It sold out so quickly this year that I ended up removing it from my West Midlands Christmas days out roundup as it had sold out by September!
Looking back over the year has made me realise how many fantastic opportunities we’ve all had this year. It has been a year of holidays, days out and weekends away. If 2017 brings more of the same I’ll be delighted!