Sunday, 30 June 2013

365 Project Week 26

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

I am taking part in the 365 photo challenge for 2013, linking in with The Boy And Me.
You can join in here.

I will add pictures each week.

365 Project

Week 26

Days 174 - 180

Saturday, 29 June 2013


We or should I say, Mr W sells quite a bit of stuff on eBay.
Fairly recently we have had a lot of baby stuff to sell, cots, baby baths and stuff like that. We have sold lots of girls and boys clothes, things that were just too nice to send off in the charity bags, that would easily be worn lots more times. Sterilizers, rattles and baby toys like gyms and bouncy chairs. Clarks shoes, that have hardly been worn, before little feet grew. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! And trust me when I say the loft is FULL of stuff to sell!
The great thing about eBay is that it is so easy to sell on. The one thing that we have found though is it can be more difficult to find a reliable parcel company, that doesn't cost the earth. Previously we have boxed up, packaged up and wrapped items that were being posted and have took them to the post office ourselves. This can be a pain though, as we don't always have to hand the right size box, or bubble wrap and more than anything, we don't always have the time to go to the post office to post items.
 Mr W works full time, leaving in the morning before the post office opens and back when it is closed, making him getting there just not an option. I work part time and on my days off, in between school drop offs and pick ups, playgroup drop offs and pick ups and everything in between, such as my new Phoenix business, I don't have time to be running off to the post office on a regular basis.
So finding a decent parcel company has become quite a priority, especially now I am selling Phoenix cards as I may have customers who live further away who order cards, stationary, or organiser boxes from me and I need to post their order to them. That is why Rapid Parcel looks like it might fit the bill. They have great prices on delivering your parcels, you are able to track where the parcels are and fantastically for me, they pick up the parcels you are posting from your house! No traipsing to the post office on my days off!
The company also provides boxes, bubble wrap, tape and padded envelopes straight to you so you have it when you need it and you won't be hunting around for the tape when you need it (like I frequently am!)
So it looks as though I have found an answer to how we can post both our bigger items and the smaller cards and bits I will hopefully be selling to my Phoenix customers.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

I Fancy A Cruise

As many of you will know we are really into camping here in the Wright household.
The fact that I really do enjoy camping came as a huge shock to me, as I never thought I would!
But our tent is that well equipped now that we 'glamp', more than 'camp!' (Note the toilet, which I didn't want (but now couldn't imagine not having!)) The heater, and our very new addition of camp beds!
Camping though, is a relatively new way of holidaying for us. We have only been doing it for about six years, since Megan was about two. Before that, myself and Mr W spent a number of years holidaying in Greece, either on our own or with my parents.
We love Greece. We have been to loads of the islands, with Andros, Thassos and Kefalonia being just a few of our favourites. My idea of heaven is lying on a beach, and simultaneously watching the world go by and people watching whilst tanning a gorgeous brown colour!
Having children has put a bit of a hold on this type of holiday, hence the fact we go on camping holidays. Not that I am complaining, or not much...!
However, I have been thinking of ways to combine my love of sunning myself, whilst keeping the children busy and seeing a bit more of beautiful Greece.
With that in mind I started thinking of a cruise. A couple of our family members have been on a few cruises and came home raving about it. They loved the ships themselves, which were the height of luxury and especially the stop offs in different places and having the opportunity to experience a number of different cultures and countries with tourist 'hot spots' to explore and find out about.
I remember asking whether they got bored of being on the ship all the time and they told me it was like being on holiday in a resort or a restaurant or bar anywhere. There are swimming pools to sunbathe round, different activities to join in with, if you would like to, and importantly in my opinion, a choice of places to eat and drink, and, depending on the type of cruise you pick, it can be as formal (or not) as you want it to be.
Children are entertained too by qualified childcare experts in the kids clubs, so that would give me a small window of opportunity to get started on my tan!
Lots of cruise holidays travel to a number of different places in and around Europe in one holiday and some of them focus specifically on one area, for example Greece. There are a couple of different cruises that take in places in Greece that we haven't visited yet, but would be on my 'places to go' list as they would be amazing to visit. Or would it be nice to return to a favourite island, like Santorini that we would just love to go back to???
Decisions, decisions!

Have you been on a cruise? What did you think? Would you recommend one? And if so where?!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

365 Project Week 25

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

I am taking part in the 365 photo challenge for 2013, linking in with The Boy And Me.
You can join in here.

I will add pictures each week.

365 Project

Week 25

Day 167
We went to Sale Festival at Worthington Park with Laura, Jack and Grace.
It was great fun, loads of stalls and rides and bouncy castles.

Day 168
I went  with the class on a trip to Knowsley Safari Park and  we saw loads of animals, including this gorgeous giraffe.
Day 169
One of my lovely plants in the garden, flowering beautifully.

Day 170
At the new Sealife Centre at the Trafford Centre.
You can read about that here.

Day 171
Megan and a tired Grace.

Day 172
Ben was calling me and I couldn't see him until I spotted his legs!

Day 173
This was the scene that greeted me when I got out of bed! Ben had made a trail of books!


The perfect end to our holiday. We went to friends for a BBQ. The sun was shining, the kids were playing, the Pimms was pouring(thanks Fran!) and the kebabs were cooking nicely! (Thanks Al!)

Mmmmm Pimms! Yes please!
Lovely friends!

Bouncing fun!
The lovely Alison!

All the gang!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Being A Grown Up!

Thinking about planning ahead and for the future is so very grown up! So this week I have decided I am going to be very grown up! With two children, that is our family complete now. We can now focus on moving forward, with our children growing up and moving away from the lovely tantrums (hopefully very soon!) And that means thinking like a grown up and making a Will. Not a very lighthearted thought, but one that does need to be thought through when you have a family. I remember talking to a financial advisor about a Will, and he asked me what would happen to the children and our assets if the worst happened. I replied that the children would go and live with my sister and the house would be sold to help pay for their upbringing and hopefully some kept aside for them when they are older. He told me, that was fine, but if that intention wasn't put in a Will, how would everyone else know? Even though my sister knew, he said other people could contest that request if it wasn't written in a Will.
So with that in mind I had a look here and realised the whole process can be very simple and easily put into place. It means the whole thing can be sorted out and can easily be updated if needed and reviewed every few years to accommodate new changes in your family, life and circumstances. So that is something I am going to get sorted very soon.
Whilst I was looking here, I didn't realise all the other services that were on offer. I personally have only used a solicitor once before, and that was when we bought our house and you have to use one to sort through the legal jargon and mountain of paperwork that is involved in house buying.
Hopefully I won't need to use a solicitor for anything other than Will making in the near future, but it is always reassuring to know that the are a number of services from help with lots of different employment issues to company laws available to you if needed.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sealife Centre at The Trafford Centre

We have just got home from a couple of fab hours at the new sealife centre that has opened in the Trafford Centre next to Legoland.
We have been to the sealife centre at Blackpool, and whenever we go to Alton Towers, we always pop into the aquarium there.

When you arrive there, you have your picture taken. We were all sat down with a green wall behind us, arms in the air, shouting "shark". You can then view the picture in the gift shop at the end and purchase it if you would like to.

After this you go into a small, dark room, where there is a short presentation about turtles, using a light show, lasers and a globe with a film of turtles in.

The mummy turtle.
Watching the turtle show.
That was amazing. It was just long enough to give you some important facts and information about turtles but not too long that little ones are restless and want to move on. The glowy lights are brilliant at mimicing baby turtles and the mummy turtle is very realistic, so much so the Megan enquired as to whether it was real!

Megan explaining to Ben.
After the show you are free to wander around and the first room we went to was a round room with lots of fish swimming around the outside.

The room of fish!
The centre follows a pathway, taking in lots of different fish displays, including, sea horses, turtles and the big turtle, 'Ernie', jelly fish to name a few.
Each display has an interactive information screen next to it, which tells you all about the fish, habitat, food, community etc. Megan really enjoyed reading these and kept providing us with titbits of information about the different sea creatures.

Happy faces.

Children are kept busy too as when they enter the centre they are provided with 'passports' and they have to find 9 information boards and stamp their passports as they go around to receive a badge on completion. There information boards have snippets of information about how you can help to protect sea life, such as not dropping litter as it can harm sea creatures to what transport helps to protect sea creatures the most (cycling).

Jelly fish!
There is an underwater tunnel where you can watch lots of different types of fish, including rays, sharks and of course, Ernie! We spent a lot of time in here and kept popping back to see Ernie.

The Underwater Tunnel.
In the tunnel
There is a viewing window too, where we can see these same fish from a different angle.

The viewing window.
Throughout the day there are talks at various different parts of the centre on a range of topics:

Shipwreck - about the life of the octopus and clown fish.
Turtle World - find out about Ernie, the resident Green Sea Turtle.
Ocean Talk - discover sharks, rays and tropical fish.
Sea Trek and Breed, Rescue and Protect - conservation work at Manchester Sealife Centre.
Ray Talk - find out about the 3 different types of ray.
Turtle Tea Time - watch Ernie having his tea!
Shark Talk/Feed - tea time for the sharks and tropical fish.

There is also a small children's soft play area, so the kids can let off steam. This is located next to the toilets so it provided a great opportunity to stop for a short break.

One of the sharks.

Towards the end of the centre there is a rock pool that gives you the chance to get hands on with some of the creatures. Today there were crabs in there and we had a chance to touch them and learnt how to see whether they are male or female!

The Hermit Crabs.
We saw hermit crabs and as there were small there was a camera in the water to project the pictures onto a tv screen for clearer viewing.
At the end, there was a seating area and screen that showed lots of clips of turtles and other sea creatures and information on where they live and breeding projects.

Finding out about turtles.
We had a look around the gift shop, which had a variety of stuffed toys, little trinkets and sweets.
It was a lovely visit for us all, which we all enjoyed.
The one thing that surprised me was that I had imagined it would be bigger, but it still had a huge amount to offer and would be a great place for you to visit with children for a day out.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Camping day 3. Off to the beach!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I am linking up with Fiona from Country Kids From Coombe Mill, which is all about getting outside with the kids and having fun! That is something we love doing here and try and get out on a regular basis.

We woke up to another beautiful day and decided to head off to Saundersfoot beach.
After making up a picnic lunch and loading up our granny bags with wetsuits, buckets and spades, towels, spare clothes, beach tents and filling the cool bags with enough food for 9 people we were ready to go. Saundersfoot was only about 10 minutes away in the car. When we arrived, it looked lovely, a beautiful bay, bright and sunny and not overcrowded in the slightest. A proper beachy resort.
We unloaded everything and walked straight onto the beach where we set up beach tents and within 2 minutes all the children had changed into wetsuits and headed off to the edge of the sea to squeal when the water touched them!
We spent a lovely time building sandcastles, eating and relaxing.
The dads and the older four children went off for a wander around Saundersfoot and to search for a couple of geocaches that Mr W had found out about.
Whilst they were searching, Suzanne and I had a lovely relaxing time, sunbathing and keeping an eye on Molly.
We came off the beach about half 5 and had an ice cream sitting overlooking the beach. Delicious!
We headed back to our camp site for a late fry up tea. The kids had a bit of chilling time, watching DVDs and playing before bed and we relaxed with a drink or two.
Another fab day - just like camping should be.