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Victoria Sully Nov 2018 Circle Logo


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. August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup

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    Can you believe it is back to school already?  The start of the summer holidays feel like such a long time ago now as well as that glorious never seemingly ending heatwave!  Unfortunately we had a dark gloomy morning yesterday and lots of rain just in time for the return of the school runs.

    Today I will share with you my monthly family roundup for August 2018.  Time as always with kids is flying by faster than we could ever imagine.  Reuben now starts his preschool year and Bella is in the last year of infants – year two.  Madness!

    August did not seem as hectic as July for some reason.  I think we had a lot more day trips and holidays in July, but we’ll see now as I look back through my photos and calendar to see everything we did in August.  Perhaps it was more hectic than I remember, it usually is!

    Ben took the first few days of August off as it was the end of his two week annual summer leave, then everything was sort of back to normal.  I work full time from home and it’s impossible to get any work done with the children here, so Reuben was put in for some extra times at nursery and Bella went to their holiday club four days per week.  I kept them at home on Wednesdays for a home rest/play day.

    Read on to see what we did as a family in August 2018.


    Catch up on some of my previous family roundups here: 
    January 2018
    February 2018
    March 2018
    April 2018
    May and June 2018
    July 2018

    Welcome to my latest monthly family roundup.  Once a month I look back through our photos and my planner to record the highlights of the previous month.  It’s a great way to create an online scrapbook that I, hubby and the children can look back on for years to come.  I always think that even if the rest of my blog fails somehow one day, I’d still write these posts and use my blog as an online memory book for me and the children.  I bet they’ll love reading through this category when they’re grown up!

    August 2018 Mont­­hly Family Roundup

    Center Parcs

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - super happy reuben center parcs longle

    We started the month at Center Parcs.  We went at the end of July and first couple of days of August.  It’s a lovely place and we had a great time, but it was very expensive!  I picked the most expensive week of the year!  I’d return, but with enough spending money to make the most of lots of the activities and I’d try to avoid such an expensive week for accommodation (£300 per night).

    Even with limited budget there are a few things to do.  Read my blog post 7 free things to do with kids at Center Parcs Longleat

    My birthday

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - bongo campervan victoria sully

    Whilst at Center Parcs, it was my birthday. All the threes.  I’m now 33.  I’m never very fussed about my birthday and just like a nice day out with my husband and children along with a tasty meal in a restaurant.  We were planning on going to Bella Italia which is in the park itself and didn’t book as we usually go for dinner really early with the kids.  Big mistake as we ended up going for a huge walk round the complex and arriving at Bella Italia much later than anticipated, so they were fully booked!

    Center Parcs do dining in though so we ordered some Indian to the lodge.  The Indian vegetable curries are vegan!  Yum!

    We did pop to Bristol when we got back home as we had to take our Bongo to be fixed at a specialist garage, so we popped to Peppeneros for some of our favourite vegan pizza!

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - bristol

    Ben went to Poland

    As soon as we got back from Center Parcs, Ben went to Poland for three days with work!  He must have been sick of going away – two camping trips in a row, Center Parcs and then Poland, one after the other!

    Hopefully enjoyed a break from the kids and a stay in a hotel by himself!  I got to stay up late blogging without feeling guilty!

    Vix books dental work

    My braces and false teeth saga is coming to an end!  I had two consultations in August back at a private cosmetic dentist in Cheltenham after I was massively unimpressed with the denture I received from my usual NHS dentist.

    So I decided to go to a specialist dentist with more of a cosmetic focus, as that’s a big part of the reason I had the braces, and I have a date at the end of September to fit two bridges which will in effect give me six false teeth in a row!  But they should look amazing!

    Catch up on my blog post here:

    Braces at 30 experience - only 5 weeks until I get my bridges!

    Vegan Campout 2018

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - filthy vegan burgers

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - vegan campout booja booja vegan ice cr

    We went to Vegan Campout which is a small vegan festival in its third year.  I believe it changes location, but it was in Nottingham this year and will be again next year.  I’ve already booked my tickets for next year!  Though I won’t be taking the kids next year and I explain why in my review below.

    Read what I thought from a family point of view here:

    My Very Honest UK Vegan Campout Review­ (as a family)

    TheVeganKind Monthly Subscription Box

    Marriage anniversary

    Whilst at Vegan campout it was our wedding anniversary!  We’re honestly not too fussed by our birthdays and anniversaries.  We just enjoy spending the day together perhaps a family day out to an attraction and meal out.  We didn’t buy each other presents and remembered after about three days to give each other the cards we had bought!

    Cotswold Wildlife Park

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - cotswold wildlife park giant leaves

    I had the kids on Wednesdays in the holidays and we booked to go to Cotswold Wildlife Park with my mum and sister (aka Nana and Auntie Jess to the kids).  I really love it at Cotswold Wildlife Park.  There’s a lot to see and I can happily spend the whole day there.  I’m never 100% sure how I feel about zoos, particularly when you see some of the smaller cages and tanks, but I think when animals have been rescued from captivity and are being rehabilitated then it can be a great thing.  Many of them I understand cannot go back into the wild, so at least they are being well cared for, I hope.

    Cotswold Wildlife Park is somewhere we’ve visited with the children each year by ourselves or with family members, so it’s becoming a yearly family tradition.

    Stratford Park

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - stratford park stroud

    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup - stratford park

    Another place I visited with the kids and my mum was Stratford Park in Stroud.  This is a place my mum took me and my sister too regularly as children.  There’s a lake, ducks to feed, bridge to play Pooh Sticks, woodland, arboretum, museum, lido, sports center, café, fields and then a huge playpark with a zip wire!  It’s a great place for a few hours to play, walk around and stop for a picnic or pop into the café or pub across the road.  It was the first time I’ve been with my mum and my kids, so it was quite a special day to have three generations at the park that’s always been loved.  Even my mum was taken there as a youngster so it’s a special place for her.

    So we did get up to a fair amount in August, but not as much as July!  It felt like a pretty normal month really as the kids were in holiday club four days per week and I worked.  Our summer holiday was mostly the last two weeks of July.  We also had some family visits, play dates and kids birthday parties as is normal.  We also go to the gym 4-5 times a week and the kids go to kids club there, but that’s just a standard part of our weekly routine now.  Life is busy!

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    August 2018 Monthly Family Roundup

  2. July 2018 Monthly Family Roundup

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    July was a super busy month!  The summer months usually are as we make more holiday plans and have days out thanks to the good weather.  The weather this year has been particularly good with around one whole month of nonstop sunshine and temperatures hitting 30 degrees!  A real summer for once in Britain!

    Life is usually hectic busy all the time with me and Ben both working full time, Bella at school and Reuben at two settings, both a nursery and pre-school, kids swimming lessons, going to the gym at least four times a week and cooking homemade meals every day.  Just all that alone keeps us so busy and fills each day along with keeping on top of the house, chickens, Ben trying to do woodwork and keeping up to date with friends, family and so on.

    We’ve also surprisingly crammed in several mini breaks and a holiday this month.  Read below to see what we’ve been up to!

    Catch up on some of my previous family roundups here: 
    January 2018
    February 2018
    March 2018
    April 2018
    May and June 2018

    Welcome to my latest monthly family roundup.  Once a month I look back through our photos and my planner to record the highlights of the previous month.  It’s a great way to create an online scrapbook that I, hubby and the children can look back on for years to come.  I always think that even if the rest of my blog fails somehow one day, I’d still write these posts and use my blog as an online memory book for me and the children.  I bet they’ll love reading through this category when they’re grown up!

    July 2018 Mont­­hly Family Roundup

    Sold Ben’s car to We Buy Any Car

    photo of new mazda bongo with pop top up in camping site in oxwich bay devo

    Our new Bongo - King Bongo!

    You may have seen me mention in previous posts about selling Ben’s old car, but we finally did.  Unfortunately we had to use We Buy Any Car.  We already knew we wanted a Mazda Bongo and had started looking.  The plan was to sell Ben’s car and then use the money to fund the purchase.  We thought we could get £3500-4000 for Ben’s car and a Bongo for around £4500-5000.  Thing was, we’d already started looking at Bongos and saw a really good condition one with low mileage that was the same price as others in terrible condition with twice the mileage!  So we had to go and look at it.  Big mistake as we went ahead and put a deposit down, turning our funding options around.  We used all our savings to buy the Bongo, listed at £5000 but we got it down to £4500, with the plan to pay it back with Ben’s car sale.

    Then, of course, an engine light came on almost immediately in Ben’s car.  Probably to teach us a lesson for doing things backwards with the finance side of things.  After several garage trips, some paid, to find someone with the right car reader to read the fault we found out it would cost around £1500 to fix and most garages seemed to be quoting high as it was such a pain of a job they weren’t keen to do it at all.  Gah!

    Then of course, we’d still have to sell Ben’s car for the maximum price possible and who knew how long that would take.

    So, begrudgingly, but for a quick sale, Ben used We Buy Any Car who gave us a whopping £1500, but I guess after the cost of repairs this would have worked out about the same if we couldn’t sell Ben’s car for the maximum possible price, though maybe £500-£1000 less than we could have got in the end.

    So the car is gone, thankfully, but I feel like we lost out on quite a bit of money from our original plan so our emergency fund savings took quite a hit.  Luckily we had them to cover it and I’ve been desperately trying to top them up and working as much as possible, even until the early hours some nights, to try and replace the funds.  I want to save six months’ worth of wages in our emergency fund and within three years.  I was hoping to be a third there by the end of this year and still plan to.  Being self-employed means I’m always anxious about money so I want the security of a large lump sum sat there in case anything ever changes with my income.  Plus, of course, it can cover any household or car emergencies.

    Next time we will sell the car first and then buy the new car!

    See why I’m saving an emergency find here: Why saving an emergency fund is a great idea

    Bella runs on sports day!

    Woohoo, Bella runs on sports day!  Looking back at her last sports day here, she did so much better!  Last year she stopped and cried and the teaching assistant had to grab her and run to the end with her!  This year she was really panicking before and not wanting to practice in her P.E lessons.  We gave her lots of encouragement, Ben practiced with her in the garden, we upped her sports activites at the gym, and it all must have worked as on the day she ran no problem, she didn’t come last (which I know doesn’t matter but it did give her a big confidence boost) and she was SO chuffed with herself!  Go Bella!  Hopefully that’s the fear of sports day over now and she’ll enjoy it a little more from now on.  We try to encourage the taking part and not that winning is the most important factor.

    Bella has first hair cut and I go shorter

    photo of bella getting her hair cut for the first time age 6 for blog post

    Bella’s hair just does not grow!  It’s got to just below shoulder length when straight, but it’s super curly so it sits above her shoulders to look at.  This is the longest it’s got in her six years of life!  Lots of her classmates have had their hair cut, some several times, and she was asking when she could have hers done, so I booked a hairdresser appointment and she had her first trim!  Her hair grows into a point in the middle so this was straightened out and the hairdresser is confident with regular 12 week trims we can get it to grow down healthily and start to get a little more length.  She loved her first haircut and must have felt very grown up!

    photo of my new hair cut for July 2018 Monthly Family Roundup

    I also had my haircut even shorter, so short, the shortest it's ever been!


    photo of the entrance to diggerland devon for blog post July 2018 Monthly F

    I was lucky to be invited to Diggerland to review on my blog so we attended at the start of July.  We had a great time and chose one of the most boiling hot days to go!  Luckily that day one of the England World Cup football games was on so it was dead quiet.

    Click here to read my full thoughts: Diggerland Devon review

    Vix orthodontic treatment over

    July 2018 Monthly Family Roundup brace off

    Brace off, retainer with two temporary false teeth (can you spot which ones, it's quite obvious?!)

    photo of essix retainer with two false lateral incisor teeth for blog post

    My orthodontic treatment is over.  I had my braces on for over two years and they are now both removed.  I now have my retainers full time, but that might only be until October.  Then I’ll need to wear them part time in the evenings only.  This is forever more to hold the teeth in their new positions.  Many people stop wearing their retainers and then their teeth start to move again, so after spending £3000 on braces I will be wearing my retainers part time forever more!

    My teeth aren’t perfect yet though.  I had to have my peg tooth removed so now I have no lateral incisors at all which are the teeth next to the top front teeth.  Ben says I look like a pirate!  Luckily I have a retainer with two false teeth to cover the gaps temporarily.  I have an appointment with a cosmetic dentist next week to discuss my options which will probably be two bridges.

    I can’t wait.  I just want my mouth back and to be able to eat socially, as well as my new perfect smile of course!

    Here are all my blog updates from July:

    Peg tooth extraction
    No more braces after 28 months (but it's not over yet)
    12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer
    Upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment
    The partial denture disappointment

    Kid-free trip to the Gower

    photo of me and my husband ben in oxwich bay gower wales for blog post July

    Before taking the kids camping in our new Bongo, we thought we’d better test it out for a night ourselves, so me and Ben went to the Gower for one night.  It was the first night we’d had away by ourselves, kid-free, this whole year, so we really enjoyed it!

    Here’s what we got up to: Kid-free travel review – Our first campervan trip to Greenways of Gower, Oxwich Bay

    Bella finishes year one

    photo of my daughter bella on last day in year two for blog post July 2018

    I can’t believe it, but Bella has completed two full school years and will be entering her final year of infants in September!  This school year was twice as fast as last year I swear!  This means it’s only one year until Reuben starts school too and we’ll be applying for his school place this autumn.  Wow!

    Ben goes camping with Pete

    As is becoming their yearly tradition, Ben and his best friend went camping.  They went somewhere in mid Wales for two nights, both in their campervans this time!  They went climbing, which Pete is becoming an expert at, and got lost in some mountains on a mega trek!

    Funnily I just looked at my family roundup from July 2017, one year ago, and we did a lot of the same things.  Obviously school ended and Bella had sports day, but it was the same month that we had a kid-free trip and Ben went camping with Pete!  Deja vu!

    First family camping trip in the campervan to Devon

    July 2018 Monthly Family Roundup branscombe bay photo

    Branscombe Bay

    photo of my kids on a cruise in devon for blog post July 2018 Monthly Famil

    After the success of mine and Ben’s first campout in the Bongo, we took the kids to try one night camping with them.  We visited Devon for one night and spent two full days exploring a few beaches.  It was successful and the kids loved it.  We only forgot to take Bella’s nightlight so she ended up down with us half way through the night, so I had a squished night’s sleep, but next time we’ll not forget some torches and nightlights for them!

    Here’s my full two day diary: Branscombe Airfield and Campsite review and two day Devon travel diary

    Fat Toni’s date night

    photo of giant pizza at fat tonis cheltenham pizzeria for blog post July 20

    Ben and I luckily had a date night out, thanks to Ben’s brother babysitting for us as a treat for our birthdays.  I’m hoping to find a local babysitter as I love the luxury of someone coming to our home and us being able to pop out for a meal for a couple of hours every now and then.  We went to Fat Toni’s which is a pizzeria in Gloucestershire that we’ve only had takeaways from before.  We’re quite far out so have only had cold takeaways from their so far, but we knew piping hot it would be amazing.  They make the largest pizzas ever to share and have loads of vegan options.  We had a huge vegan pizza to share with vegan pesto, asparagus, wild mushroom, spinach, tomatoes and more!  It was delicious and amazing piping hot as we had thought!  We went to the Cheltenham restaurant, but they also have takeaway only outlets in Stroud and Gloucester.

    Center Parcs, Longleat

    We finished off July with the start of our summer holiday to Center Parcs in Longleat.  It was the first time we’d been to Center Parcs and wanted to see if it lived up to the hype!  We did have a great time, but I won’t pick the most expensive week of the year next time.  As it cost so much to go, around £300 per night, we didn’t have much spending money left, or really I couldn’t justify much more.  So we enjoyed a few meals out as a treat, a pedalo ride and crazy golf, but didn’t take part in any of the booked activities.  If we go again, which I’m sure we will, I’ll aim for a cheaper week if they exist in the school holidays and pre-book some activities before we go to spread the cost.  It is an amazing place, but I feel you need to take part in some activities to really get the most out of it.

    That said, here are 7 free things to do with kids at Center Parcs Longleat

    photo of lake beach at center parcs longleat for blog post July 2018 Monthl

    photot of pedalo at center parcs longleat for blog post July 2018 Monthly F

    A super busy month with so many trips and days out!  August is looking pretty much the same with weekend plans galore whilst it’s the summer holidays, then things will start to quieten down as the kids go back to school and the weather starts to cool.

    July 2018 Monthly Family Roundup

  3. Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018

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    So I was about to say how I’ve only just got round to writing my June roundup as I usually try to write it on the first of the month and I’ve realised I never even did a May roundup!  It must have totally slipped my mind.  So I’m going to go back through my May and June planner now to see what we got up to and share it all in this blog post.

    Welcome to my latest monthly family roundup.  Once a month I look back through our photos and my planner to record the highlights of the previous month.  It’s a great way to create an online scrapbook that I, hubby and the children can look back on for years to come.  I always think that even if the rest of my blog fails somehow one day, I’d still write these posts and use my blog as an online memory book for me and the children.  I bet they’ll love reading through this category when they’re grown up!

    Catch up on some of my previous family roundups here: 
    December 2017
    January 2018
    February 2018
    March 2018
    April 2018

    Mont­­hly Family Roundup: May and June 2018

    Bella’s birthday

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 11

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 10

    At the start on June, Bella turned six!  It’s crazy to think we have a six year old.  In four years she’ll be in double figures!  She’s also nearly at the end of year one which has of course whizzed by faster than we could ever imagine.

    For her birthday we went to Legoland and All Things Wild as days out in the half term.  Her birthday has always fallen in half term so far which is great.  On her actual birthday we invited two of her cousins to ours for a sleepover and to go bowling and to the soft play.  We picked up pizza on the way home (Pizza Hut do a vegan cheese now!).  She had a great time and said she wanted it to be her birthday every day!

    All Things Wild

    Reuben dinosaur

    We spent a day at All Things Wild Nature Centre and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Reuben loved the dinosaur section – he was in his element!  There is so much to do their for kids from a large soft play to a dinosaur train, pond dipping to a lemur walkthrough, a giant indoor sandpit to a stamp trail and so much more.  We hope to return again this year as the kids loved it.

    LEGOLAND Windsor

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 Legoland Windsor

    We visited  LEGOLAND Windsor for two days and had an OK time.  We were expecting a bit more from the famous LEGOLAND and our expectations were high.  To be honest we won’t be going back and I think somewhere like All Things Wild as mentioned above is more suited to us.  I just can’t stand all the ridiculous queuing at these ‘big’ theme parks for disappointingly short and run down rides.

    Sacroiliac joint injury healed

    It’s mad to look back through my blog posts and see I still had a really bad sacroiliac joint injury.  It took 5-6 weeks to totally heal and now it’s all forgotten about!  It was the longest and worst injury I’ve ever had.  It was agony!  I’m glad it’s gone and hopefully I won’t do it again.

    Campervan purchase

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 2

    We purchased a Mazda Bongo campervan!  We’d been looking for a while and saw a good one so went for it!  It was a bit backwards as we were meant to sell Ben’s car first to fund it, but decided to get the good van we saw first, then pay it back after.  Unfortunately or rather typically, a warning light then came on it Ben’s car. Grrr!  So we haven’t been able to put all our savings back yet and so we’ll be manically saving at the end of the year to replace all the money we lost on his car to get our emergency fund savings back on track.

    But the van is great and we are going for our first one night camping trip in the van mid-July and then have more planned throughout the summer.

    Bella sports day

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 Bella Superhero Cape with Rug Role

    Bella had her second sports day now she’s in year one.  In reception she hated it and stopped and cried so we were all panicking this year!  Even the teacher said she got upset in the practice and didn’t want to do it.  We gave lots of encouragement and amazingly she didn’t stop and ran right to the end of each race, even enjoying it!  Yay!  Well done Bella!

    Changed energy supplier

    For the first time ever we switched energy suppliers and changed to a renewable energy company called Bulb.  We will save £264 in the next year so I’m glad we finally got around to seeing what all the fuss about switching was!

    You can get £50 credit as well as saving around £200 per year (we’ll save £264) by joining Bulb with my referral link by clicking here

    Top brace off

    I finally had my top brace removed, but it wasn’t as happy as I had thought.  Read why here.  I’ve got even more craziness going on with my teeth in July.  But regardless of the temporary missing teeth, it’s one step closer to my perfect teeth and smile!  I’ve had braces 28 months now so it’s been a long journey and I have up to NINE months left!

    Purton Hulks

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 9

    When we got the Bongo campervan the kids wanted to immediately visit somewhere, so we drove to Purton Hulks to see the ship graveyard.  It’s so much fun driving around in the sun in the Bongo.  If another goes past they always wave!

    Purton Hulks is a lovely walk along the canal or river, or both as they are next to each other and it’s amazing to see the old beached boats.

    Lots of gyming

    As my back had healed I was back to the gym in full swing. We are trying to go for 4-5 hours now a week to see if we can see more of a difference.  3 hours a week just doesn’t feel enough.  The kids also do mini active or multi sports so they get to exercise too in the kids club!

    Quotes for house extension

    I tried to arrange some quotes for an extension on our home and discovered builders are terrible at organising things or turning up.  One did turn up and we got a quote, but it’s so much money.  We’d be looking at £50000 with this one company to add a kitchen/family room extension and convert the old kitchen to a toilet and utility.  I don’t think I want to do anything until we have our emergency fund saved as I’m self-employed and am conscious my earnings aren’t reliable.  So house moving or house alterations are on hold until I have some security.

    Aine Carlin vegan talk

    I went to a vegan talk by Aine Carlin with a friend.  I watch a lot of vegan documentaries so it was nice to hear someone in person talking.  It was probably better for someone at the start of their journey and even a more conventional vegan.  I don’t like to eat soy and avoid white foods and sugar, so I fit into a more wholefood plant based vegan category.  She still had some interesting things to say and I like how she said millennials get a bad reputation all the time, but actually they are the ones pushing this vegan movement and they care a lot more about the environment than older folk which is so true.  It got me excited for Vegan Campout though where we will be camping for two nights in August and hearing lots of vegan talkers hopefully!

    For my thoughts on all things healthy and tips/advice then please check out my second blog:

    Outside seating area

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 5

    House things have been fairly slow.  We got some furniture for our veranda and that’s about it.  We just need to do decking and new patio slabs now to complete the look.  Ben has been busy making furniture instead so things have stopped around the house…

    Coombe Hill Nature Reserve in Deerhurst

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 1

    We discovered somewhere we never knew existed that we pass all the time!  Coombe Hill Nature Reserve is at the bottom of a country lane we always drive past and just assumed had a few houses down it.  It’s a lovely reserve with a disused canal that has overgrown and now is bustling with wildlife.  We saw damsel flies, ducklings, butterflies galore, herons and all sorts.  There’s a wetlands with a hide that can be reached over a winding bridge style path.  It’s a beautiful place for a walk and we’ll be returning lots I imagine.

    Lots of healthy eating and reading

    I’ve now been vegan all year and the kids and Ben are officially ovo-vegetarians which means they don’t eat meat or dairy. They do still eat eggs from our chickens and a little fish when out and about or from the chip shop.  It makes eating and cooking so much easier now we are all doing it together.  I wonder if Ben will totally cut out eggs too, but I’m really happy about the meat and dairy decision as I believe that has the biggest impact on our health, the planet’s health and the welfare of animals.

    A real actual summer and heatwave

    It’s been super sunny for around one month now and reaching 30 degrees nearly every day.  We usually have two days of this in a row in the summer and that’s it, so this is amazing and it’s meant to continue.  I wish it was like this every year.  Let’s just hope the summer holidays stay like it.

    Nuthill walk and pillbox

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 pillbox nuthill gloucester

    Ben and I explored a little more of the countryside behind our home and walked up Nuthill where we found a pillbox from the war.  I thought it was a bunker, but it’s a pillbox that they used to peep out of to look for enemies.  We have so much countryside behind our home that we need to investigate, but with having two young children it’s not been possible.  Now Reuben is three it should get a bit easier and walks can get a bit further.

    Bella rides a bike!

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 8

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 7

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 6

    We bought Bella a bike and she has managed to balance on it by herself for a short distance!  Reuben has a bike too but with stabilisers.  I’m hoping we can take them out lots and get them riding bikes ASAP.

    Vix hair cut shortest ever

    Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018 (2)

    I had my hair cut to its shortest length ever!   I’ve always had waist length or at least rib length hair.  I now see how ratty it looks in lots of old photos as I just used to grow it and not have it cut for 1-2 years at a time!  Now I’ve gone shorter I love it.  It’s so much easier for the gym and swimming.  I can’t be bothered with the hassle or time spent styling my hair every day.  I’m too busy and other things are more of a priority for me.

    Phew!  That was a biggie!  Two months’ worth of updates.  Follow me here on Instagram to have a sneak peek into my life and see these updates as they happen.


     Monthly Family Roundup May and June 2018

  4. Monthly Family Roundup: April 2018

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    Welcome to my latest monthly family roundup.  Once a month I look back through our photos and my planner to record the highlights of the previous month.  It’s a great way to create an online scrapbook that I, hubby and the children can look back on for years to come.  I always think that even if the rest of my blog fails somehow one day, I’d still write these posts and use my blog as an online memory book for me and the children.  I bet they’ll love reading through this category when they’re grown up!

    Catch up on some of my previous family roundups here: 
    November 2017
    December 2017
    January 2018
    February 2018
    March 2018

    Goodbye April and hello May, hopefully, finally, the start of warm weather?  I can’t believe it snowed TWICE in March.  It was crazy.  April wasn’t much better.  There was no snow, but it’s been freezing.  No spring in sight.  I’ve been in my winter boots, about four layered tops, a blanket scarf and winter coat almost every single day.  To say I’m a little bored of winter is an understatement!  I’ve even seen people referring to this spring as ‘Sprinter’!  As I type this it’s the 4th May and after another nippy week we are set to have some hot sunshine this bank holiday weekend.  I really hope so.

    Anyway, let’s take a look at what we got up to in April.

    Monthly Family Roundup: April 2018

    Monthly Family Roundup April 2018 Lylia Rose Victoria Sully Lifestyle Famil

    Monthly Family Roundup April 2018 Lylia Rose Victoria Sully Lifestyle Famil

    Family holiday to Fuerteventura

    The highlight of April was our long awaited holiday to Fuerteventura.  We’d booked it a year in advance to give us enough time to pay it off and so it was a very long wait!   I’m not sure how much of a ‘holiday’ it was with two young kids, but they had a great time and it was so nice to get some sunshine.

    Related reads
    Holiday Review: Club Jandia Princess Hotel in Fuerteventura
    Is Fuerteventura a family friendly holiday destination?

    One year rhinoplasty appointment

    I had a trip by myself to Guildford for my one year rhinoplasty appointment.  I can’t believe it’s been one year already!  I have my photos from all three of my post-op appointments, but I’m undecided if I’ll share them on my blog.  I think I might as when I was searching online I loved seeing before and after photos, so it might be nice to share my experience and images too.

    Beano Guildford Vegan vegetarian Cafe Monthly Family Roundup April 2018 Lyl

    Whilst in Guildford I had a really delicious lunch at Beano – Guildford’s only vegan and vegetarian café.  It’s in The Guildford Institute so it’s not somewhere to go if you’re looking for ambiance, but for really delicious vegan food in the day time I’d highly recommend it!  I tried the vegan curry and some vegan cauliflower coconut with salad and it was scrumptious!  Proper home cooked loveliness and friendly staff.  I took my laptop and managed to connect to some free WiFi, so it’s the perfect spot for some day time working and meat-free food.  I’d definitely go back if I’m ever that way again, but I probably won’t be as I’m signed off!  I can see my surgeon whenever I need to if I have concerns, but everything is healing well and all the swelling is nearly gone, so time to just get on with my new nose and be happy!

    Vegan Subscription Boxes For Everyone

    Twisted sacroiliac joint injury

    Unfortunately on holiday I twisted my sacroiliac joint.  Eugh.  It’s been the longest and most painful injury I’ve ever had.  It’s been over five weeks now and it’s finally starting to feel normal.  I can at last get my own socks on!  It’s still a little tender, but I can move about freely now and it’s not agony to sneeze or cough.  The muscles feel like they’re relaxing and I hope by next week (6 weeks) I can return to yoga and running.  It would seem my online research was right and this injury takes 4-6 weeks to heal.

    Read more about my injury here
    My experience of a twisted sacroiliac joint injury (and visit to a chiropractor and osteopath)
    Four weeks with a twisted sacroiliac joint and my second osteopath appointment

    Reuben 30 hours at nursery

    It’s now the term after Reuben turned three so we get 30 free hours at nursery for Reuben.  He was already doing 21 hours at a playgroup, but the maximum they do is 24, so he’s now going to two settings.  He does one on a Monday and Friday and the other Tuesday to Thursday.  We’ll not save any money just yet as I’m saving the childcare vouchers to cover our huge summer holiday bill, but as of September the 30 free hours should make a difference to our outgoings and leave them a little lighter.

    It’s great for me as I work from home, so the extra nine hours are really making a difference to how much work I can complete in the day.  I don’t feel so pressured to continue with work once I’ve picked the kids up as I know I have some set hours to work every working day.

    Reuben is getting on great so far.  He’s a little quiet at the new setting, but I assume just because it’s only been a couple of weeks and he doesn’t really know anyone yet.  He knows the setting as it’s where he and Bella go for holiday care and he also went there for a day a week when he was one.  It’s crazy to think he’ll be starting school next September 2019!  Though also great too as I’m so ready to leave the toddler years behind us and he’ll hopefully grow out of this terrible two/three stage ASAP!

    Day out – We The Curious

    Monthly Family Roundup April 2018 Lylia Rose Victoria Sully Lifestyle Famil

    Aside from our holiday, we didn’t do many days out or travel for the rest of the month aside from visiting the interactive science museum in Bristol called We The Curious.  I knew it as At Bristol, but it’s had a name change.  It’s somewhere we’ve wanted to visit for a while but we were waiting for Reuben to be at an age to get enjoyment out of it too.  We had a blast and I go into more detail in my blog post We The Curious Bristol Science Museum Review

    Bella’s last term in year one

    It’s so crazy it’s the summer term at school already and Bella’s last term in year one.  Then she’ll be in the last year of infants!  Madness!  I’m sure it will whizz by as the past 6 years already have!  The difference between Bella in reception and year one is incredible and I can’t wait to see how she changes in year two.  Her reading is always what impresses me the most.  A year ago I was reading her bedtime stories to her and now she can read them all to me!

    Monthly Family Roundup April 2018 Lylia Rose Victoria Sully Lifestyle Famil

    5 year blog anniversary (and 1 year full time)

    April 2018 marked 5 years since I started this blog!  Wow!  My Lylia Rose shop business has been running longer than this, since August 2012, but I didn’t start the blog until April 2013.  I also quit my last part time job in May 2017 so it’s also one year of being officially full time on my blog only and relying on no other source of employed income.  Being a freelance blogger for one year has been amazing and I hope it continues.  See the below blog posts for a chance to win £25 to celebrate my 5 year anniversary and also check out the 5 ways I made money from home for a whole year.

    Related reads
    5 Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway: Win £25 Cash
    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018

    Monthly Family Roundup_ April 2018


  5. Monthly Family Roundup: March 2018

    Posted on

    Welcome to my latest monthly family roundup.  Once a month I look back through our photos and my planner to record the highlights of the previous month.  It’s a great way to create an online scrapbook that I, hubby and the children can look back on for years to come.  I always think that even if the rest of my blog fails somehow one day, I’d still write these posts and use my blog as an online memory book for me and the children.  I bet they’ll love reading through this category when they’re grown up!

    Catch up on some of my previous family roundups here: 
    October 2017
    November 2017
    December 2017
    January 2018
    February 2018

    March has disappeared in a flash!  I’m not sure it was as eventful as February with as many day trips or outings, but I think this every month then look back through my photos and calendar and surprise myself!  I just can’t believe it’s nearly the fourth month of 2018 already.  We were just sent home Bella’s PE kit to wash as it’s now the Easter holidays as of today for us, yet I remember clear as day Ben asking me what the PE kit was doing at home just 6 weeks ago when it was the last half term!  That feels like a week ago, not six.  I’m a broken record, but just wait until you have kids at school.  It’s scary how the time goes so quickly.  I guess that’s what happens when life is hectic and busy every day full of events and activities, work, play, school runs, gym sessions, housework and planning.  There’s never enough time and there’s always a huge to-do list that never gets complete!

    Anyway, let’s take a look at what we got up to in March.

    Monthly Family Roundup: March 2018

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (93)


    Unbelievably we had two bouts of snow in March.  The time when we were hoping for warmer weather and the sun to make an appearance, but instead we had so much snow the children’s school and nursery closed early and then shut for an entire day the next!  It’s the first proper snow we’ve had here for around 5 years.  I remember seeing snow when Bella was a baby, but she was too young to remember, so this is the first snow she has seen and played in.  We had a light sprinkle last year, but nothing like this.  It was easily a foot deep in places.  Then when we thought spring might start, two weeks later, it snowed again!  It was over a weekend and so we had no snow day off school this time round, but it was still exciting to see a white blanket covering our garden in the morning.

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (50)

    Reuben is 3

    Reuben turned three at the start of March!  I can’t believe it, but I am also happy to be leaving the baby years behind us.  He’s now officially a pre-schooler and has just a term and a year before starting school next September.  I will now get 30 hours free childcare (term time only) and can start getting a better work-life balance I hope.

    His birthday was a quiet affair.  We took the kids to the soft play and a few family members popped over with gifts.  Both of the snow weekends we had planned to go to All Things Wild for Reuben’s birthday and had to cancel because of the weather.  We will still go as he’s obsessed with dinosaurs and there’s a dino section, but perhaps I won’t plan it as it may snow again!  Reuben did get around 15 new dinosaur toys, clothes and books, so he was in his element!

    Happy birthday Reuben!

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (76)

    Playroom update

    I was very kindly sent some boards for the playroom walls (read my review here) and so we had a little update of the playroom.  We took everything off the walls and repainted them as the children had also drawn everywhere over the years.  I cleared out a load of their toys to the charity shop and now they have just a row of toys up high on a shelf in boxes and one tub down at a time each.  I’m a minimal person, but it’s tricky being so minimal with kids and toys.  They build up so much over the years and with having a three year age gap I find we save a lot for Reuben to play with so can never clear out quite as many as I’d like to!  I want to buy more from charity shops, then return them after use, then we can recycle the toys and freshen them up a lot more without spending a fortune and feeling like we have to hold on to them.

    We also treated the kids to a TV in their playroom.  We recently got Netflix and they love watching kids programmes.  It gives us the freedom to watch something ourselves in the living room whilst they watch their shows in their playroom.  It also means I can shut off the living room and keep all things kids in the playroom.  It will be great as they grow up and they want to hang out with their friends in there.  Bella has asked for a TV in her bedroom a few times before, but I’m not ready for that, so a shared playroom TV is a better choice for now.

    The playroom is looking great with their new boards, layout, fresh lick of paint and TV.  Fingers crossed they don’t draw all over everything again!

    Read my review of the new notice boards here: An Eco-Friendly Playroom Makeover with Sundeala Notice Boards

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (77)


    The never ending wardrobe saga!  We originally had a wardrobe each in our bedroom, but I’d cut down my clothes so much I wanted me and Ben to share a triple wardrobe and create a bit more space in our bedroom.  Ben, loving woodwork and DIY, wanted to build our wardrobe himself.  That was probably over two years ago I reckon and it’s still in progress.  He did build one and it looked great, but the doors were a bit of an odd design and we ended up having to take them off.  Then we had no doors for ages, maybe a year.  Now he’s finally making doors out of recycled pallets, but had to rip out his original design and start again.  Needless to say I wasn’t impressed when I returned home to a bedroom one evening as above (considering I had no idea he was doing this).  Hopefully we might finally have a wardrobe this year!  The joys of living with a DIY fanatic!

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (18)

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (153)

    Countryside & Canal Walks

    I’ve not been in the countryside as much as I’d have liked this month, but we did manage a short walk at the top of May Hill near the Forest of Dean.  On the very first day of the clocks going forward we had a beautiful sunny and even warm day!  The kids refused to even wear their coats it felt so much warmer.  Pretty mad considering the week before was full on snow!  We made the most of the warm weather by firstly me and Ben walking up May Hill kid free where we saw the tallest trees ever at the top.  Then we picked the kids up and popped to The Bell Inn pub in Frampton upon Severn and had a short stroll down the canal afterwards which the kids loved.  Bella can remember the canal, but Reuben being only three probably can’t remember our last canal walks back in the previous summers.  He was so excited by the boats and swans.  It’s made me wish for warmer weather even more.  Unfortunately that was the only warm and sunny day, it’s now forecast rain for the next 10 days at least.  Meh.

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (129)

    Vegan restaurants in Gloucestershire

    As Ben is continuing on his meat and dairy free diet, we decided to check out some local vegan friendly restaurants in Gloucestershire as we had a kid free afternoon, morning and evening.  We enjoyed food at Portivo Lounge in Gloucester Docks, Vinnie’s Eatery in Cheltenham and The Olive Tree in Nailsworth.  My absolute favourite is Vinnie’s Eatery where they focus on a plant based diet and don’t use refined sugar in their food.  They score the best for food.  I do love the décor in Portivo Lounge and they have a large range of vegan food which is always yummy.  The Olive Tree is a gorgeous little cosy place with several vegan options.  We had the pizza here which was a bit tricky to cut with a very crispy crunchy base, almost like biscuit, but yummy once we could cut a slice away!  I’d like to go back and try something else off the menu as the actual place, staff and ambience were really impressive.

    Read my Vinnie’s review here: Vinnie’s Eatery Review: Plant Based Restaurant in Cheltenham

    TheVeganKind Monthly Subscription Box

    March 2018 The Sully Family Monthly Roundup Lifestyle Blog UK Parent (126)

    Litter picking

    When we had our kid free time this month we went to clean up the brook at the end of our road.  It’s been a mess since we moved here four years ago and I was hoping the council would do something about it, but no.  It’s such a shame and I didn’t want our kids to think it’s acceptable to treat nature and wildlife like this, so me and Ben cleaned some up.  We cleaned as far as the kids can see over the bridge at the end of our road and we were amazed to fill FIVE bin bags in around 10 metres!  What a disgrace!  I want to clear more, but we filled our bins and they’re only collected every two weeks.  It’s mental the amount of rubbish that was embedded in the banks of the brook.  We could tell no one has EVER litter picked or cleaned the rubbish up as there was litter deep in the soil.  It really makes me angry. 

    Monthly Family Roundup_ March 2018