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!
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
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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
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.