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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 Roundup | June 2015

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    This month I said to someone 'that's happening in June'.  I think my head was still in April!  The first of the summer months has been and gone as quickly as the rest. 

    You may have seen I planned on growing veg next year once our homemade compost was ready.  Well, I felt a little impatient and was keen to start growing something, so went vegetable plant shopping!  I do plan on starting from seed once I properly get going.  After reading up on growing vegetables from seeds, I've realised it's quite an art form!  So many different rules for each veg and a lot of time and care.  I hope I'll be successful at this in the future, but for now I went for some small potted veg to start me off easier this year.  I've planted courgettes, yellow courgettes, bunched carrots, sweet peppers, bell peppers and tomatoes.  I also purchased a 'tumbling tom' to grow tomatoes from a hanging basket.  I'm excited to watch these grow and to see what veg we have at the end!
    growing veg and fruit in garden newbie - lylia rose lifestyle blog uk
    I was struggling to think what my Mum could get me for my 30th this year, but finally had a great idea.  I'm going to choose some fruit trees!  I'd like a couple of apple trees, a pear tree, blueberry bush and a plum tree.  I'm going to plant these along one side of our garden.  Very exciting.  Our garden already has an apple tree, but they seemed inedible to me last year.  I'm going to try one again this year, but perhaps they are a baking variety.  We have a mulberry tree too. I often order dried white mulberries, so I'm interested to see what the mulberries from our garden taste like.  We have raspberries which we've been picking already - so tasty! There's a cherry tree, but this too seems inedible.  Last year the birds ate all the cherries in one day!!  Oh, we also have strawberries everywhere and I have some potted ones too which are delicious!
    As you can probably tell I'm a total novice when it comes to growing fruit and veg.  I'm looking forward to learning lots and growing lots from now on!  How great it is to now have the space to grow our own.
    bella june 2015 - lylia rose lifestyle blog monthly family roundup
    The 2nd June was Bella's birthday. She turned three this year! Wow! I fear we have entered the 'troublesome threes' as she asserts her independence more and more!! I think we luckily got away with any 'terrible twos'!  She's fab though and it's amazing watching her grow and learn every day.  She's really got into dressing up and role play including sitting on her pirate ship (Reuben's change mat) and rescuing mermaids!  Here's some Bella talk for this month:
    'Mum, you've got a sausage face'
    Us - 'What would you like for breakfast/lunch/dinner?' 
    Bella - 'Sweetcorn' 
    (first answer every time, but Bella does not like sweetcorn!)
    'My Mu' 
    (meaning my Mum - she's started saying my Mum, my Dad and dropping the end of her words!)
    'I don't like talking to babies' 
    (fed up of Reuben now perhaps?!)
    reuben june 2015 - lylia rose lifestyle family blog
    Although Reuben seems fit and healthy on the outside (no problems yet, not even nappy rash!), the pressure in his poor little heart has risen quite quickly.  We've had two appointments already to check on his pulmonary stenosis and the pressure has just shot up.  He'll be having the balloon dilation procedure again in August at age 5 months.  The poor little thing!  Fingers crossed all will go well and the pressure will be reduced enough this time to stop him having the procedure again, especially so soon.  I'm very scared of going through it all again, but trying not to worry until the date and just carry on as normal.  He's a little champion!
    Our new home improvements have slowed down this month. Partially due to making the most of the lovely weather, but also a couple of birthdays, a trip to Cotswold Wildlife Park and Fathers Day.  Ben went for a round of golf with his Dad and brother whereas I enjoyed a family meal with my Grandad.  We went to The Gupshill in Tewkesbury which always serves great food with a fab choice of vegetarian dishes.  They never disappoint.
    Ben is working the first three weekends in July (boo) and then we have family birthdays and events every weekend until the end of August! So house plans are pretty much on hold!  Ben did manage to stain one door this month, so 3/7 are stained.  He also sorted through the shed.  It's beautifully organised now! Things were just dumped in there when we moved in and it was never sorted until now!  Although we have done so much to the house in a year, there seems to still be so much left to do!  I must make a list soon and see exactly what's left.  
    cotswold wildlife park pitville park pitville pump rooms
    I've been making Reuben's new bedroom cosier with a new chair and cot bumpers/toys.  I plan on adding a few more bits to Reuben's room now his cot is up and it's purely his room. I also want to complete my office with more shelves, a rug and sofa or futon.   Watch out for more 'In My Home' posts soon!
    I've had lots of fun this month creating recipes with my new Kenwood Multipro food processor & blender - an early birthday present from Ben (my 30th is sneaking up on me)!  Loads of yummy raw brownies, energy balls and soups have been created so far.  I've also experimented with some more homemade raw chocolate, but none have been as successful as my first recipe which you can view here.  I made a 93% dark chocolate and boy, was it powerful!!  It was too much for me too handle and it's just taken me a couple of weeks to get through, bravely consuming a small piece per day! Now it's all gone I'll have a go at something a little less bitter tasting!
    lylia rose food creations
    I've also been making the most of the sunny days with lots of park trips.  One of my favourite places to take Bella & Reuben is Pitville Park in Cheltenham.  It's such a great free day out with so much to do.  There's a play park on either side of the park. The park is split into two with a road running through the middle, but you can cross by going through a tunnel underground.  Bella loves to shout 'echo' at the top of her voice as we walk through!  Going through the tunnel is always a highlight of our day!  A giant lake runs through the park where there are plenty of fish, ducks and swans to see.  If you take 20p you can purchase feed for them. I've not done it yet, but you can hire a rowing boat which looks like great fun!  It's on my to do list once Reuben is older.  
    There are some picturesque bridges which Bells loves to run over, fab winding paths around the lake, small waterfalls, rocks to climb, a small golf course, skate park and all sorts!  You can picnic under the beautiful trees or on the lawn in front of the magnificent Pitville Pump Rooms and a cute band stand.  They even have some animals!  There are peacocks, birds, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and chipmunks to see!  It was a place I definitely took for granted whilst living in the centre of Cheltenham for my early adult life.  It's only now I have children I'm making the most of it and realise how lucky we are to have such a destination.  It's so magical to see it through Bella's eyes!
    Ooh I've waffled on and on in this month's roundup! I'll leave it there and wish you a happy July :)
  2. Monthly Roundup | May 2015

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    A Roundup of May

    Why hello June, the first month of a beautiful long hot summer I do hope! It is also the start of birthday season for me, Ben, Bella, plus ten more members of close family from June to August! Summer is always a fun and rather busy time!
    May was pretty fab.  Not as sunny as April, but still plenty of lovely hot days in among the rainy ones!  It's also been a very busy month and just seemed to fly by, like they all do.  
    victoria bella reuben tall ships new rug cheese rolling may blog photo lyli
    New Rug from Homesense, Tall Ships, Wedding Fun & Cheese Rolling Flyer
    We've continued with the garden & house interiors as much as possible.  We saw lots of friends and family in May, which also included a wedding and a birthday party.  Sadly we were unable to make it to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (next year hopefully), but did pop along to Gloucester Tall Ships and watched the Cheese Rolling (whilst enjoying a BBQ) from our house!   The cheese rolling is a really crazy event and those taking part must be a little crazy too!  If you've not heard of it, YouTube or Google 'cheese rolling Gloucester'!!
    bellas bubbles may blog photo lylia rose
    Bella enjoying her new bubble machine
    One of the best things we bought was a bubble machine.  Bella absolutely loves bubbles so it was a great buy.  It blows out so many bubbles it fills the garden.  It's magical to watch them all floating around and to see Bella so ecstatic!
    bella may blog photo lylia rose
    bella princess may blog photo lylia rose
    I can't believe it, but Bella will be turning three tomorrow! It's come around so fast.  We'll be off to Cotswold Wildlife Park next Saturday to enjoy a family day out.  They have a large range of animals and a fantastic park with tree houses!  You can also get up close to the giraffes which is my favourite part.  It's a full day out and lots of fun, so I can't wait.  We've been the past two years for mine & Ben's birthdays!  Bella is enjoying play school and definitely ready to start preschool in September.  She absolutely loves playing with other children and learning, so it will be a fantastic environment for her.  I know I'll treasure the time we do spend together even more.
    reuben may blog photo lylia rose
    reuben first night in cot may blog photo lylia rose
    Reuben's first night in his big cot
    Reuben will be three months old this week.  Wow!  He's now the same size Bella was at 5-6 months and we moved him into his big cot two nights ago for the very first time.  He has totally grown out of his Moses basket already!  This means I've started rearranging the room and really making it his.  You can see how it did look by clicking here I'll post an updated blog post of his room once I've added a couple more bits!  He's doing great though, becoming more aware of his surroundings and interacting with us and his toys.  I can even have a babbling conversation with him which is so cute!
    Though I'm still being pretty shattered due to broken sleep(!), I am really enjoying my maternity leave and feel very content recently!  It's such a great feeling to have.  I'm also starting to feel happy about our house; more rooms are near completion and I now get to add decor to make them homely.  It's nice to have my usual good health back now I'm no longer pregnant.  It's also so wonderful to have completed our family and be a family of four.  I feel very lucky and settled.
    My blog posts have slowed down a little as Reuben is now only waking one or two times a night!  Before he was waking at least every two hours so I used the time to write blog posts whilst he sleepily fed!  I have lots of great ones coming though including my first raw chocolate recipe, peanut butter protein balls and a Toucan Box review so pop back soon.
    May really was another great month.  2015 is definitely a great year so far :)
  3. Monthly Roundup | April 2015

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    bella & reuben april 2015 lylia rose blog post

    A Roundup of April

    I can't believe it's May and I am now two full months into my maternity leave.  I know I sound like a broken record, but I genuinely cannot believe how quickly this year is going.  I'm sure I was only just saying how fast last year went and boom, here we are in our fifth month of this year!  I remember being little and one hour seeming like forever, especially on car journeys.  Now one hour is nothing! With a huge list of things to tackle each day I wish each hour was as long as they used to feel.  Perhaps then I would be able to complete my chores in one hour and relax for the rest of the day!

    April has been a great month.  This is probably with massive thanks to the outstanding weather we have had.  It's been warm, sometimes even hot, and sunny nearly every single day; a real treat for April.  I hope this is the start of a long beautiful hot summer.  

    roman villa ruins brockworth gloucester lylia rose blog countryside walks

    We've managed to go out for family walks every weekend up hills, through woods and around a farm.  I love getting out into the countryside and exploring.  My favourite walk this month was past the Roman Villa ruins near us and up into the woody hills behind.  Bella calls the ruins her castle!  We didn't see anyone else and walked for nearly two hours.  With no other humans around and woods everywhere I start to feel like I'm in an episode of The Walking Dead or similar! Does anyone else do this?!  

    roman villa ruins brockworth gloucester lylia rose blog countryside walks b

    One of the best things I invested in this month is an AmaWrap.  I use this to carry Reuben on these walks.  He'll pretty much sleep the whole time as he's in his favourite snug to my chest position!  It leaves my hands free and I can walk around like normal.  I never bought one when I had Bella and now really regret it as it makes some outings so much easier.  Bella is a little trooper and always walks most of the way nowadays on our outings, but sometimes needs the assistance of Daddy's shoulders! 

    Reuben is now eight weeks old and coming out of his newborn stage, or so I hope!  He's quite the snacker so I'm still breastfeeding at least once every two hours.  He often falls asleep whilst feeding and can’t be awakened, so wants more a short while after!  The longest he's slept for so far is three hours straight so I'm still pretty tired.  I sometimes think I’m getting used to the tiredness and feel a lot more energised in the day, particularly the mornings.  The sheer volume of superfoods I'm now consuming daily could be helping with this energy!  Fingers and toes crossed, Reuben will start having longer feeds and sleeps now he is beyond the eight week mark.

    reuben first smiles april 2015 cute lylia rose mummy blog post

    One of the best things to happen this month is seeing Reuben smile for the first time!  The first couple of times I was unsure whether it was wind or a real smile as I couldn’t get him to do it again.  This week has confirmed it’s definitely smiles as I can now make him smile sometimes with a game of ‘boo’ or tickling his cheek!  Sometimes he just smiles when I pick him up and he gazes into my eyes.  It really is such a heart melting moment to see your baby start smiling!

    bella & reuben april 2015 lylia rose blog post crazy

    Bella is doing great, turning into a real little girl as she comes out of her toddler stage and into preschool age, eek!  We've managed to successfully potty train her during March and April which is a fab milestone.  It also makes her seem so much more grown up.  It was a little crazy, for me mainly, potty training and having a newborn needing lots of my attention!  Although a little stressful at times it did work out rather well.  It was the perfect time (newborn feeding/tiredness) for me to not mind staying at home for a couple of weeks whilst we had the bare bum and accidents stage!  I'm glad it's over though and she's now happy to use her potty or the toilet by herself.  Go Bella!

    ben hanging doors home improvements lylia rose blog post lifestyle

    The house is coming together nicely.  I've not been much help as Reuben takes up most of my time, but Ben has been cracking on willingly!  We have nearly been in our home for a year now and have changed most of it.  The kitchen is the only room we haven't really started yet.  Ben has hung the remaining five wooden doors this month and they make such a difference. They feel super cosy and welcoming.  The previous owners had heavy white fire door style doors which were really not very homely!  We just need to stain the five new doors, but rather stupidly didn’t note down the stain we used on the first two (completed a few months back).  Whoopsie.  Ben has a good idea of what it may have been, so let’s hope he’s right!

    beautiful garden lylia rose flowers blog post lifestyle

    The garden has started blooming and looks quite pretty.  We still have a lot of work to do out there and I expect most will take place next summer.  I really want to grow my own veg and Ben's going to have a go at building a wooden free standing vegetable trough.  We have started creating our own compost which should be ready in perfect timing to start growing veg next year.  I've never been green fingered before (my only surviving plants are cacti) but having a garden is inspiring me!

    lylia rose picnic eating outdoors summer strawberries nut butter kale

    One of the best things about the great weather is having 'picnics'.  Bella simply calls eating outdoors a picnic!  It's great to sit out in the garden in the fresh air to enjoy our mealtimes as much as possible now.  It somehow makes mealtimes even more pleasurable.

    I'm excited for May as we have lots of great plans including visiting many of the local festivals and traditions.  We hope to pop along to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Gloucester Tall Ships and maybe Wychwood. We will also be able to watch the famous Cheese Rolling from the comfort of our home as we live that close!

    I hope you also had a fantastic April :)