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Monthly family roundup: what we got up to in July 2017

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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

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.

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.

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!

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

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!

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.