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Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog.  My name is Victoria Sully.  I'm a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker who’s always trying to make and save more money.  I’m passionate about making money online, healthy living and blogging.  I’m a mama on a mission to be healthier and wealthier!  Please join me on my journey.

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Category: Monthly Family Roundups

  1. Monthly Family Roundup: What we got up to in August 2017

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    Monthly Family Roundup: What we got up to in August 2017

    Eek we’re a third of the way through September and I’ve only just found the time to sit down and share what we got up to in August.  This involves looking back through my planner to remember everything as with mum brain I just can’t remember it all off the top of my head!  I know we did an awful lot though as it was the summer holidays.  Ben is sat next to me now as I type as I’ve badgered him for his photos.  I don’t even think I’ve looked through his photos for the whole summer holidays so it’s a great way for me to recall everything we did and have a nosey through his pics!

    Catch up on my previous family roundups here:
    What we got up to in June 2017

    What we got up to in July 2017

    Here’s what we got up to in August 2017:

    Visit family in Germany

    The first Monday to Friday we went to Germany to visit some of Ben’s family.  Ben’s mum is German and we visit Ben’s gran (who is 93, wow), his uncle and cousins.  It was the first time we’ve been since Ben’s mum passed away last year so I think we both felt a little emotional about going.  The last time we went was August last year and we’d been with Ben’s mum.  It was the fifth time we’ve been as a family and three of the times were with Ben’s mum, so it is a big reminder.  We had a great time and it’s so great to see Ben’s gran and how happy she is to see us and spend time with the children.

    fluggenhofsee swimming lake munster Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up

    Oh, the kids were ill for two days!  The first day Reuben was sick all over the car!  We arrived late on the Monday, like past midnight into Tuesday, and they still got up early before 7am.  So I think lack of sleep and travelling just got to him!  He’s never sick in the car, so we weren’t prepared at all.  We had nothing with us and had to drive back to Ben’s uncle’s where we were staying to get everything washed and Reuben changed!  The next day Reuben was fine, but Bella threw up!  So perhaps it was a bug, we just don't know, but Bella was also fine the next day.

    A poorly Bella:

    A poorly bella in munster germany - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up

    We didn’t do too much whilst there as the children were sick and it’s mostly to visit family, but we did manage a trip to Soltau Therme.  It has a huge pool and kids swimming pool, but the best part is the salt pools.  There’s a separate salt swimming pool which has natural salty mineral water.  There’s a salty pool to swim in both indoors and out, plus there are several Jacuzzi type pools with different temperatures and salt concentrations.  The best thing is they allow kids in all the pools.  I don’t know of anything in the UK that allows children and has so many different types of spa pools.

    Fluggenhofsee munster germany swimming lake beach - Monthly Family Roundup

    We also visited Fluggenhofsee which was walking distance from Ben’s uncle’s house in Munster.  Fluggenhofsee is a clear swimming lake with a beach to two sides – one for families and another for dogs.  On the larger family side there is a great adventure playpark.  There’s a path around the lake for a walk and some animals to see on the other side.  The German children had gone back to school a day or so before we went so we had the place to ourselves!  Oh, one lady did turn up on her bicycle, strip off and go for a swim in the lake!  It’s in the middle of residential areas, so I thought how amazing the locals can just come here for a swim every day for free and surrounded by nature – bliss!

    Soltau Germany - Radish Mouse - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to

    My 32nd birthday

    Whilst we were in Germany it was my 32nd birthday!  We had thought of going to Heide Park which is a huge theme park near where we were staying.  Ben has lots of memories of going as a child so he was keen to revisit.  My birthday was the day Bella was poorly though, so we thought it best to keep her at Ben’s uncles for the morning and visited Ben’s gran after lunch.  We usually just visit the beach when in the UK for my birthday.  Me and Ben did go to Chepstow Quarry at the end of July which was sort of our treat for both our birthdays.  I’m never that fussed about making a big deal out of my birthday.

    Reuben’s last month at nursery

    Reuben has been going to nursery once per week since the end of December 2016.  He was going every Thursday morning.  He also goes to playgroup three mornings, but this is term time only so he did extra at nursery for the summer holidays.  They do a summer club too so Bella was able to go.  They both went for three mornings for the summer holidays and had a great time.  Bella was disappointed when it was her last day, so I’m glad she felt settled there.  Reuben has now left nursery as he’ll be doing 18 hours a week at the playgroup instead.  It’s attached to Bella’s school so it’s more convenient for pickups and drop offs if they’re at the same place.  I felt a little sad on his last day of nursery as it is a lovely place and he’s been going for 9 months.  They may be back there for the summer holidays next year though so it might not be bye forever.

    Catch up with friends

    I have quite a few friends I only really see in the school holidays now, so it was great to catch up with these folk and for all the kids to see each other and play.  We enjoyed park trips, soft play and visiting one another’s houses.  I always love to see how the kids interact with each other and the conversations they have!

    Peppa Pig World

    We went to Peppa Pig world for one day, but we stayed nearby for two nights.  You can read all about our Peppa Pig trip and bargain accommodation here.

    Peppa Pig World Paultons Park - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to

    Peppa Pig World - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in August 2017

    Rhinoplasty follow up (4 months)

    Once we checked out of the inn after our Peppa Pig weekend, we went to Guildford before returning home.  This is where I had my rhinoplasty and I tied my ‘three’ month check in with our weekend away.  It was meant to be a three month check, but it was actually four months when I went.  It’s healing well and he was impressed with the lack of swelling.  As so much was done to my nose (4.5 hour surgery) he expected a lot more swelling still.  I was also told to imagine my nose with 30% less soft tissue swelling as that will be the final result.  It may also take a little longer than one year for all my swelling to subside.  I already notice such a difference, even in the last month, so it will be great to see it continue to change and the swelling lessen.

    They took photos and it was incredible to see the before and after photos side by side.  I bet it will be even more incredible at my 12 month check!  Unfortunately I lost nearly ALL my photos and only have a handful left.  So annoying!  I’d even made a video diary and I’ve lost the lot.  The doctor is going to send me all his photos so I may, one day, share them on my blog.  I haven’t decided yet.

    A quick look at Guildford Castle:

    Guildford Castle - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in August 201

    Guildford Castle Surrey - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in Aug

    Me trying to get Reuben to smile with me, but he's saying 'NO MUMMY, look castle!'

    Guildford Castle Visit - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in Augu

    Lunch at Zizzis:

    Zizzi Guildford - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in August 2017

    2 year wedding anniversary

    Me and Ben have been married for two years!  It’s one of those funny things where it’s gone quickly, but it also feels like forever at the same time!  Our anniversary is the 18th August.  We didn’t do anything special on the day – we actually went to Ben’s work summer party!  But my mum had the kids for one night the following week and so we stayed in a made a curry!  We were going out for a meal, but I think I felt quite tired, plus eating out is tricky as I stopped eating refined sugar this year and I’m vegetarian.  It makes it quite impossible to find food when out as almost everything has sugar added!  I’d been craving a curry, so we decided to make our own and enjoy the house in rare peace and quiet!

    Ben’s work summer party

    Ben’s work put on a family summer party every year – Superdry Fest.  He works at Superdry head office and it’s where we met.  I worked there for almost 10 years before going on maternity leave!  There’s free food, a bar, a stage with a band, lots of inflatables for the children, circus activities and more.  It’s so good of his work to put on such an event.  Only thing is it chucked it down with rain at the start and it felt freezing that day!  I didn’t stay too long as I just felt so cold, so I left them to it.

    Candyfloss nose:

    Superdry Fest - Candyfloss Nose - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up t

    Beach days

    I managed three beach days this year, woohoo!  Two of these were in August.  Usually we only have one trip per year to the beach, so three is great!  It’s still nowhere near enough.  I love the fresh sea air and feel like I can breathe at the beach.  I’d love to live near the beach.  It would be a dream to have a beach in walking distance and we’d certainly make the most of it.

    Weston-super-mud pier, my mum and sis with Bella and Reuben:

    Pic of Weston Pier - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in August 2

    Vegan fair

    I went to my first vegan fair and it was the first one they’ve held in Cheltenham at the Town Hall.  It was packed!  I had such a great day I’m going to dedicate a whole post to it asap.  Just trying to get round to it!

    Berrows Beach - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in August 2017 -

    August was a bust hectic month and I did struggle to work and look after the kids more which meant working nearly every evening and abandoning my husband Ben!  I think next year I may have to put them into childcare five mornings per week if I still have as much work on, which I really hope I do as I love working for myself!  It’s also a great way for them to still see lots of friends during the holidays and play lots, so I don’t feel too guilty if we just stick a film on in the afternoon if I have lots of work to do and no friends to visit.  We survived the summer holidays though!  Now we’re settling back into school and playgroup with the first full week of normality starting tomorrow.

    Here are my awesome carrots I pulled up in August:

    Homegrown Carrots - Monthly Family Roundup - What we got up to in August 20

    Did you have a great August?  What did you get up to?  Let me know in the comments.

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     Monthly Family Roundup What we got up to in August 2017

  2. Monthly Family Roundup: What we got up to in July 2017

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    Monthly Family Roundup: What we got up to in July 2017

    July was another busy family month full of days out and Ben’s birthday.  It was also the end of the school year for Bella and the start of the summer holidays.  Bella was shattered by the end of the year as they do so much in the last couple of weeks.  Bella had sports day, 3 performances of a whole school summer show, a fun day and class swap day to meet her new teacher for year one.  It’s crazy she has completed a whole year of school and will no longer be in reception class.  It’s unbelievable how fast it goes once they are in school.   It feels like she only just started and is still a newbie!

    Did you miss last month’s family roundup?  Catch up here: What we got up to in June 2017

    Last Day of School - Lylia Rose Monthly Family Roundup What we got up to in

    Here’s what we got up to in July 2017:

    Midsummer Fiesta, Cheltenham

    The first day of July started with a fun free event in Cheltenham called Midsummer Fiesta.  It’s in Montpellier Gardens and runs for the whole day from 12pm to 9pm.  This year they had a stage with live music all day, more music on the bandstand, entertainment from local dance groups, a classic car show, fairground rides, plenty of bouncy castles, food stalls, market stalls, circus skills and more!  It’s such a fun day out and so amazing it’s free.

    Pigs Gloucester Docks - Lylia Rose Monthly Family Roundup What we got up to

    Sports Day

    Bella had her first ever sports day!  The school organised a lovely afternoon where we could meet Bella for lunch at 12pm and share a picnic on the school field.  Ben was able to get the afternoon off work, so it really was a whole family event.  Bella took part in two races – a normal running race and an obstacle race.  She’s fab at running and loves to run around the park when we go for our exercise nights, but she doesn’t like to lose!  On the running race she stopped and fake cried once the other children started running past her as she didn’t like losing!  The teaching assistant had to run over and run with her to the end!  Luckily she didn’t stop in the obstacle race and enjoyed this one more.

    Victoria Sully Selfie - Lylia Rose Monthly Family Roundup What we got up to

    New hair

    This month I had around 4-5 inches cut off my hair and it feels so short!  I love it though and it’s much quicker to wash and dry.  Ben, in true man style, didn’t even notice!  For me it’s the shortest my hair has been since I was 18 so I’m surprised he didn’t realise.  It feels a bit more grown up and more mum like, not that I had an aim, I just decided on the spur of the moment to do it, whilst in the hairdressers’ seat!   I might even have a couple more inches off next time to see what it looks like.  I’ve always had below the boob hair so it’s very strange for me!

    Ben’s weekend away

    Each year Ben goes camping for a long weekend with his best friend Pete.  This year they went somewhere in Wales near the Brecon Beacons and camped in a tent each.  I think they picked a pretty soggy weekend, but still had fun on the waterfall walk and visiting an old coal mine.  I’ve not yet stayed away and not sure I have anyone to stay away with, so I always get a bit jealous!  I often go out for meals with friends and walks, but there’s never been an opportunity to stay away yet.  Perhaps I should book myself a spa weekend away by myself?  I do love the time at home to myself though and I stayed up late blogging every night without feeling guilty!

    Bella’s first swimming badge

    I was gushing with pride this month as Bella got her first swimming badge!  She’s been swimming since the start of January, but is definitely not a natural in the water, bless her.  She has now passed Duckling 1 and has nearly passed Duckling 2.  Before starting lessons she would cling to us in a pool and be terrified to let go.  Now she will swim across the whole length of a pool by herself with arm bands.  It’s such an achievement and we are so proud!

    Ben wearing a huge happy birthday badge - Lylia Rose Monthly Family Roundup

    Kid free weekend glamping

    For Ben’s birthday we went glamping in a wooden wigwam with a hot tub at Chepstow Quarry!  It was so much fun and the best part was having our own private hot tub with views across the quarry, but being surrounded by trees and nature.  It was a great idea for a unique gift for him.  I also love having a night away, just the two of us every couple of months, to remember we are in a relationship and not just parents!

    Warwick Castle - Lylia Rose Monthly Family Roundup What we got up to in Jul

    Warwick Castle

    Towards the end of July our good friends took us for a day out to Warwick Castle.  Mine and Ben’s birthdays are only nine days apart, so it was our birthday treat.  I hadn’t been to Warwick Castle since being a young teenager or perhaps even younger, so I had no idea what to expect.  We had such a good day out!  It’s more than just looking around a castle as they have bird shows and events throughout the day to watch.

    The kids absolutely loved the peacock gardens and would have happily stayed there all day!  Reuben also loved the stocks and we couldn’t get him out of them after he posed for a photo, he would have stayed there too!

    Round Mirrors The Range Interiors - Lylia Rose Monthly Family Roundup What

    Upcycled White Mirror Ikea - Lylia Rose Monthly Family Roundup What we got

    Excuse the washing!

    Home and garden

    Ben put up new fence panels across the bottom of the garden which looks so much better than the old rotting ones.  Now the end of the garden is ready for project ‘garden annexe’!  But first Ben wants to build a roofed veranda on the back of our house.  This will give us somewhere to make a cool seating area we can enjoy in all weathers outdoors, but also means he can crack on with house projects even if it’s raining.  Right now he’s limited to dry days only whilst chopping wood, upcycling items, staining, painting, etc.

    In the home we have added three round mirrors behind the sofa from The Range which look great!  It’s been a blank wall for three years as I had no idea what to add there.  Now the room is really coming together.  We just need the horrid artex plastered over!  I’d like to get a quote soon and just get it done.

    We also bought three mirrors from furniture recycling shops when we were in the forest for our glamping weekend recently; two for our bedroom and one for the living room.  They were battered and old, but we saw Ben could sand them, paint them and save us a ton of money upcycling instead of buying new.  We got all three for £45 I think.  I was looking at one the size of the largest we bought for around £100 new, so we made quite a saving and its great practice for Ben who wants to professionally upcycle one day.

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    Pin Me - Monthly Family Roundup What we got up to in July 2017




  3. Monthly Family Roundup: June 2017

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    What we got up to in June 2017

    Wowsers, what another full month!  No wonder this year is absolutely flying by!  I think I said it before, but whenever someone says ‘what have you been up to?’ I always struggle to think what we’ve been doing, but when I write these blog posts and look back through my diary, I see it’s actually been a jam packed month and we have done a lot.

    Did you miss last month’s family roundup?  Catch up here:  What we got up to in May 2017

    The good weather has definitely helped.  Sunny days mean we do so much more.  Rather than just nestling at home after school and work, we actually get out and about. The children have been staying up later as it’s so light and warm.  We were still trying to get them to bed for 7pm, but have realised this is just an impossible task in the summer months, so it’s more like 8pm now and perhaps even 9pm by the time they have stopped messing around and trying to get out of bed!  Does anyone else just have a total battle with bedtimes in the summer months?

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (2)

    Here’s what we got up to as a family in June 2017:


    The start of June was still half term and also Bella’s birthday!  She turned 5 on the 2nd June which was a Friday and the first day of the Wychwood family festival in Cheltenham.  We went along just for the day.  It was a bit drizzly at first, but the sun came out and the atmosphere totally changed.  Bella and Reuben loved dancing near the main stage.  We had to buy some ear protectors for Bella as she found the music far too loud!  Once she had those on her ears she was in her element!  Once Reuben is a little older I’d love to go to a festival for an entire weekend and maybe even camp (or glamp if I get my way)!

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (1)

    Bella’s Birthday - Frozen Party

    The next day we celebrated Bella’s birthday with 8 of her girlfriends.  We hosted a Frozen themed party and Elsa, Anna and Olaf visited!  It was a fantastic day and you can see the setup here: Bella’s Frozen Birthday Party Setup

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (9)


    Since I left my evening cleaning job, I have started to exercise again.  Before my cleaning job I ran a few times per week, but once I was cleaning for three hours a night, five times a week, this was a lot of exercise!  I dropped a stone whilst I was a cleaner!  If you’re looking for a get fit job I can highly recommend it.  I always said I don’t see why people pay ridiculous amounts to go to the gym when instead they can earn money and clean and get fit!  I’m now walking at least 10000 steps a day and also running a couple of times a week.  We’ve been going to a local park with a picnic and some balls for the kids to play with, then we take it in turns to do a lap of the field or run around the running track if there is one.  Ben has been running lots lately too which is great as I worry he sits down all day at work.  I’ve been trying to convince him to request a standing desk!  I would if I was in an office now, or even better, a treadmill desk!  We’re really feeling the benefits of getting outdoors and exercising a few times a week.  I want to inspire the kids to be active too, and the only way we can do this is if we are active ourselves.

    If you’re looking for parks in Gloucestershire I mention some in this blog post: Free things to do with kids in Gloucestershire

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (21)


    I do love the summer and hot weather, but there is a point where it can be too much, especially with young children and a husband who isn’t great in the heat!  We had a few days where temperatures reached 33-34 degrees Celsius and our home was an oven.  Against my wishes Ben purchased an air con unit (almost £300!!) and this kind of cooled our room down so he could sleep for a couple of nights.  The children were just rolling around in their underwear saying it was too hot, so no one had very good night’s sleep that week!  They even ended up on our bedroom floor on top of a duvet one evening.  I think the mid-twenties suit us better.  I did see in America it’s been in the mid forties (!) and their wheelie bins have been melting as well as the paint off street signs!

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (6)

    Garden – enclosing chickens

    Our chickens have settled in so well and it feels like we have always had them.  Ben has taken charge of looking after them and has done a lot more research than me.  I must muck in soon and clean them out before he gets annoyed with me!  We are getting four eggs most days now so we’re really seeing the benefits of keeping chickens.  I worked out it will take approximately 1.5 years to make our money back in eggs.  We were buying lots of organic eggs before and often 3+ packs of 12 per week! 

    We have had to add some netting to the top of the little fence.  They could jump over the fence, which we didn’t mind at first, then we realised they poo everywhere!  Peck, peck, POO, peck, peck, POO!  That’s pretty much all they do and our garden was covered!  Ben and Bella were going round poopascooping every evening and getting sick of it!  They also pull all the grass up and stones and flowers and anything else they can get into, so it’s much better for us they stay in their own part of the garden!

    You can see our chicken garden set up on my husband’s new blog here: Chicken Coop and Run

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (7)

    Bottomless brunch

    We’ve enjoyed a couple of meals out this month and I even went for a Bottomless Brunch by myself with my mum and sister.  It’s great to try and get out by myself sometimes and remember I’m not just a mum!  I took advantage of this in June by also going for a carvery with a girlfriend and a really long hill walk with another friend, all by myself!

    We exchanged some Tesco club card vouchers at the start of the month and went as a family of four to Zizzi’s in Gloucester Quays.  It was delicious!  I’d emailed Zizzi’s a little while back and they confirmed their wholemeal base and pizza sauce did not contain added sugar!  Woohoo!  It was the most delicious pizza I ordered, perhaps because I could actually order one!  I’ve been having undressed salads every time we’ve gone anywhere like this.  This is because I’ve been refined sugar free this whole year!  Read my blog post Why You Need To Reduce Your Refined Sugar Intake for more information!

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (17)

    Bella’s busy month

    Bella has also had a super busy month!  She had her very first school trip to Cotswold Wildlife Park.  I’m pretty sure she had a great time, but when we ask ‘did you see *this animal*’ we just get a repy of ‘no!’  I’m sure she did see all the animals, but we can’t get anything out of her.  It’s like when you ask what she’s done at school that day and she replies ‘nothing’!  I’m pretty sure it’s just a tiredness and overwhelmed thing!

    Bella was also in a dance show with her dance group Anneli’s. It was an amazing production at a local theatre with costumes, lighting - the full works!  It was such a great event for her to be a part of and she had a blast.

    Bella had her end of year school photos too.  End of year?!!  I cannot believe she has nearly completed a whole year of school and will soon be in year one.  It has just flown by.  Time certainly speeds up when they are at school, it’s insane.

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (12)

    The Election

    We went and voted for the first time!  Awful I know, but we have never really been into politics before and I’ve never really understood it all.  I still don’t understand it fully if I’m honest, but I have a lot more interest in it recently and read a fair amount of news stories to try and stay up to date. We did vote in the EU referendum and that was our very first vote.  We’ll be regular voters now and will continue to try and get our heads around it!

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (11)

    Reuben Two Year Check

    I went for Reuben’s two year check with the Health Visitors.  A wasted journey really!  I couldn’t get a local appointment on his day off nursery, so travelled twenty minutes away to another centre.  I know he’s developing fine and reaching milestones accordingly.  I guess it’s still good for them to see everyone in case they have any concerns and can flag it up, so for child protection it’s a good idea. 

    Reuben thought I was going to leave him there, so clung to me the whole time!  They didn’t even get to see him playing or interacting as he wouldn’t let go of me!  I remember Bella’s was at our home which is a better idea.  She felt comfortable and relaxed and chatted away to the lady!  With Reuben they were fine too, even though I couldn’t put him down!  So long as I have no concerns then she’s happy with that.  It did seem quite a waste of time and as he attends two settings I’m sure they could flag up if anything seems wrong.

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (13)

    A forest walk in Flaxley

    I try to go for a long hill walk with my good friend Scott once per month.  He has an Alsatian called Lucy so we can take her for miles!  This month we went to Flaxley in the Forest of Dean.  It’s not such a touristy well known walk so in the few hours we were there we saw two other people!  BLISS!  This is my idea of escaping into the country and getting away from it all.  I find it so relaxing and refreshing.  Walking through nature just calms me instantly.

    Scott really wanted to find a wild boar!  There are lots in the forest, yet we’ve never seen one.  We’re certain we heard one rustling for ages in the forest and Scott tried his best to find it, but luckily we didn’t.  I’m not sure I’d want to come face to face with a boar, especially if it’s in a bad mood!

    We spied some incredible houses in the middle of the forest, just surrounded by trees and streams running by.  What an amazing place to live.  Pure bliss!

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (16)

    Saying goodbye

    Sadly Ben’s mum passed away last November.  It would have been her birthday in June, so we went to scatter the ashes. The spot was a beautiful location up Leckhampton Hill in Cheltenham next to a tower of large rocks.  The views around were incredible.  It’s nice we now have somewhere to go each year to reflect.

    Lylia Rose Family Roundup Blog Post June 2017 (20)

    Our house and garden

    Ben has continued working on the garden, chopping down our old shed and levelling out the ground at the bottom of the garden, ready to build an annexe!  We are going to build a garden room and he’s eager to start.  We need to replace the fence panels that are now on show since the huge shed has gone, so that will be the first job.

    In the home we haven’t done anything as far as I can remember.  Nothing major anyway.  I’ve been pottering about adding a throw here and there, creating a desk area in our bedroom and rearranging the playroom and so on.  We still have a big list of jobs to do in the house, but we’re now at the point where we can only spend a couple of hundred a month on the house so things are going much slower.  Next month will be fence panels as it’s almost £200 just for the 4.25 we need to go across the back of the garden!

    I’ll leave it there as that’s a lot of stuff!  We already have a bunch of plans for July, so it’s going to be a hectic month again.

    june 2017 monthly family roundup pin



  4. Monthly Family Roundup: May 2017

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    What we got up to in May 2017

    I realised the other day I haven’t done a family monthly roundup on my blog for exactly one year.  The last roundup I did was May 2016.  Oops.

    I don’t think I purposefully stopped them, just things perhaps got busy and I forgot and then, well, a year passed by.

    Having looked back through some of them I see it’s a really good way to document what we have been up to each month and to see just how much the children have grown!  Since my last roundup a year ago they have changed considerably!

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (10)

    They are five and two now, so quite a difference from the four and one year old from the last pictures.  Bella had not started school then, but now she has nearly completed her first full school year with just seven weeks to go!  Reuben has also been going to nursery and playgroup for six months, yet in the last roundup he couldn’t even walk or talk!

    A year in a young child’s life is a huge amount of time and so many developments happen.

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (7)

    A busy month

    I quite often feel busy, but mainly because I’m always working or have work stuff to do around family commitments and household chores.  Looking after a five and two year old can be a full time job in itself!  But although I always feel busy, I don’t necessarily feel like we have done much together as a family. 

    When someone says to me ‘what have you been up to?’ I always struggle to think what we’ve been doing!  Yet I’ve just looked back through my planner for May and we did LOADS!  May was actually a really busy month for us family and outing wise.

    Here’s what we got up to:

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (4)

    Cheese Rolling

    It was the annual cheese rolling event at Cooper’s Hill which is just behind our house.  We can usually see it from our garden, but the trees block our view in the summer. We can still view it from upstairs in Bella’s bedroom and can hear all the commotion!  We had a small family BBQ this year and in true British bank holiday style it rained!  We went ahead anyway with two gazebos and tarpaulin covering our patio!  Read more about the cheese rolling and watch a video of it in my blog post Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling Gloucestershire 2017

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (8)

    Weston Super Mare

    I took the kids for a day to Weston Super Mare in half term.  It was the only full day I had with them for the week by myself so thought it would be good to have a day out and avoid my laptop and phone for the day giving them my full attention!  It was the first time Reuben has been to the beach in almost a year and at two years old he loved it!  It reminded me of when we first took Bella to WSM and she was so happy to see everything – ‘Wheel!’ ‘Sand!’ ‘Donkey!’ ‘Sea!’ ‘Boat!’ ‘Train!’ – Reuben was exactly the same, amazed by everything!

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (6)

    The only annoying thing going on my own was trying to use the public toilets!  You have to pay 20p and go through a gate which means you can’t take a pram in.  I had to carry Reuben and our two bags of stuff in every time and leave the pram outside.  Quite inconvenient!  Especially when Bella needed the toilet no less than five times!  I’m not sure how you’d manage it if you had a small sleeping baby in a pram, or even more than one baby.

    The kids loved playing in the sand and I bought them a bucket and spade.  They would have stayed on the sand all day!  We went on the pier and Bella spent forever choosing 2p machines to spend her 20p we changed into 2ps on.  That was the longest lasting 20p ever.

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (9)

    We had some chips in the bar at the end of the pier for lunch and the children were so funny – they were sat eating their chips whilst bopping their heads to the pubs music and dancing in their seats the whole time!  The lady on a table next to us came and gave them 50p each to spend on the pier as they’d entertained her so much and made her so happy whilst she was having her lunch!

    I was hoping to have a go on the huge wheel, like a mini London Eye, but Bella didn’t fancy it so maybe next time.

    It was a great day out and aside from the petrol to get there and back we spent less than £20 and they had a fully entertained day!

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (11)

    Kid Free Camping

    Ben and I enjoyed a night away to the Vale of Glamorgan and camped in a tiny tent!  Read all about it here:  A weekend in Wales with camping, castles and beaches

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017 (2)

    False Tooth

    I had two orthodontist appointments in May and had a false tooth fitted, though it’s not 100% what I was expecting!  Read all about it in my blog post Check out my new Tic Tac tooth!

    Bella Swimming

    Bella has been swimming since the start of this year every Saturday morning.  I think she’s only missed two lessons due to being ill.  She’s in the first class for 3-4 year olds, though she’s just turned five at the start of May, and is now up to 94%.  Well done Bella!  She only has three more things to pass on which include putting her face in the water and blowing bubbles at the surface.  She really hates getting water on her face so I’m not surprised she still needs to pass these two, but I’m so proud of her and how well she is doing.

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017

    The first microwave ??!!

    2x Kids Parties

    Most months now involve a kid’s party, especially since Bella has started school, and we had two in May; a disco and a soft play.  The kid’s just have so much fun at birthday parties and it’s great to experience them interacting with lots of other children.

    I left my employed job

    I only worked at my employed job for the first two weeks of May and then officially became 100% self-employed again!  Read my plan in How I’m Going to Make £1000 a Month Working From Home

    Monthly Family Roundup May2017

    Reuben first dentist appointment

    Reuben had his very first dentist check-up!  Sadly I couldn’t go as it was when I was still working my evening employed job, but Ben tells me it went well and his teeth are fine.  At this age (2) it’s more about getting them used to the dentist so they don’t develop a fear. 

    Bella’s teeth were perfect and she’s been brushing them very well.  We’re very strict on sweets, well me more than Ben, and I don’t buy anything that contains refined sugar in our home so they don’t have much exposure to sugary foods in our house.  Bella also understands the importance of brushing her teeth well especially after any bad food, so we must have been drilling it into them and they’re taking it on board!

    Reuben hospital check-up for heart

    Reuben had a check-up for his pulmonary stenosis, which was meant to be a six month appointment in February, but for the first time we weren’t sent an appointment letter, so had to wait unti May for the next available slot.  We weren’t concerned as Reuben has been fit and well so the extra wait didn’t bother us.

    Luckily the pressure in his heart has not increased since the last appointment so we are going to wait another six months for a check-up.  It is at the pressure where they would intervene, but as it’s not bothering him the consultant wants to long it out as much as possible as the chances of another intervention being successful are higher the older he is.  It’s basically a case of keeping the pressure low enough so it doesn’t cause issue until he’s an adult and can have a valve transplant.

    I made a £50 donation to The Grand Appeal this month which brings my total to £420.  Thank you to all my blog readers and shop customers for your support!







  5. May 2016

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    May 2016 Family Roundup Lylia Rose Blog Victoria Sully

    So it’s nearly time to do June’s monthly roundup and I’m only just looking through photos from May to write this blog post!  I always think we don’t do too much, but we do always seem to be busy and time is going quicker than ever.  People have said time goes even quicker when the children are at school.  Bella starts infants in September and I just can’t believe it can pass by any quicker.  But I’ll be sure to let you know if miraculously it does.  She does 21 hours at preschool, so maybe it’s already going as quick as it will?!  Here we are now more than half way through this year and that means half way to another Christmas too!  I’m sure we only just had the last one.  You may think it’s a little early to mention this C word, but for my small online shop the buzz usually starts around September, so I’m already thinking about it!

    I always think we haven’t done very much each month, but these blog roundups are a great way to see that, actually, we have!  It’s nice to remember the lovely days out we have and look back through the photos reminiscing recent times.  I usually sit and look through all my photos for the month I’m writing about to select the ones I want to use.  This is great fun and some photos seem so long ago, but they are only a few weeks.  I also flick through my planner to see what we got up to.  I don’t know about you, but since becoming a parent and being so busy my days just blur into one big long day!  I’m also super forgetful with things like trying to remember what I did two weeks ago! I pretty much just focus on the here and now, taking one day at a time and not thinking too much about yesterday as it’s gone and I’ll look at tomorrow, well, tomorrow!  One day I’ll look back at these blog posts with fond memories of everything we did during these busy manic family days.

    We finally did our kitchen this month WOOHOO!  We’d bought new worktops, a sink, tap and tiles in JANUARY!  The sides were real wood and so needed three coats of oil before we fitted them.  Each coat takes 6 hours to dry.  They’re so heavy (and one was 3m long) that both of us were needed to carry them in and out.  We also obviously needed a dry day to do this.  It basically took us until April to find free weekends and dry days to be able to oil them all.  If we do a kitchen again I’d definitely buy pre-treated to save this hassle!  Or build a veranda or something outside so we have shelter!  Our kitchen is so much brighter and lighter now.  You can read our ceramic sink disaster story here!

    At the very start of the month I had a whole day to myself and visited a friend by train in Bristol.  It was bliss!  It was my first day out with a friend by myself, kid free too, since before I had Reuben, so well over one year!  I had such a great time and chose to take the train rather than drive so I could have even more time to myself!  I took my laptop and wrote blog posts on the train journeys.  Perfect!  I must do it more often. 

    I haven’t been doing very much friend visiting or play dates during the week at the moment as I’ve been so busy with work.  I feel pretty much like I’ve been working nonstop for a couple of months now.  Not helped by my employed morning job which starts at 5am, so I am literally working from the break of dawn (or so it feels!) until I close my eyes at night! I’ve been trying my best to take some nights off; Friday and Saturday, and sometimes Tuesday night.  It’s hard to do this all the time though as any small business owner might relate.  The best quote I’ve heard from someone running their own business is ‘I thought I always worked hard, until I ran my own business’ (Mike Pickles from Really Useful Products).

    As well as attending a couple of kids birthday parties, both family and playschool friends, we also celebrated Bella’s birthday!  Her 4th birthday was on 2nd June, but we decided to celebrate on the last May bank holiday as most people would be off work.  It was also the day of the local Cheese Rolling which is a crazy event behind our home.  We can see it from our house!  We had a BBQ, which was touch and go with the weather forecast for a while during planning, but luckily we had a dry warm day.  We have a 90 foot garden so it’s an ideal length for a garden party with lots of folk and children running around.  I expect we’ll have a yearly BBQ or garden party as the kids loved it.

    Bella had a super time and kept saying she wanted another birthday soon!  She also loved the mini cupcakes I surprised her to from The Cakery in Gloucester.  They make delicious homemade cakes (and more) with a huge free from range so I ordered no/low sugar so I could enjoy them too!  Read my review of The Cakery here!  

    The last couple of days in May were the start of Bella’s final half term at preschool.  I can’t believe how quickly it came round and knew after this half term she’d only have a few weeks left as a pre-schooler.  Only just 4 years old and we’re planning her exciting start at big school.

    May 2016 Family Roundup Lylia Rose Blog