And just like that our two weeks in Wales has come to an end. For the past two weeks the girls and I have been staying with my parents in Ceredigion, West Wales. This is a little summer tradition that we look forward to every year. The kids get completely spoilt by my mum and dad, and I get a chance to relax a little (with their help). I love bringing my kids “home” to Wales every summer, it breaks up the six weeks perfectly and I’m able to share my childhood summer adventures with my girls. It also gives me the chance to relive my happy memories and make new ones with my children.

When you’re four and seven (like my older two) the summer holidays feel never ending, they go on and on. So it’s no surprise that when I think back to my own childhood most of my memories are summer based, running along a sun soaked country road in a summer dress or along a small local beach in a bright red swimming costume.

The Great British Summer has not been kind to us this year but that hasn’t stopped us from making the most of our time in Ceredigion. We may not have had long, warm days on one of the (many) local beaches but we have enjoyed lots of day trips to the coast and National Trust properties.

Here are just a few of our holiday highlights and some of my favourite pictures from the past two weeks.

Aberystwyth


New Quay Beach, Ceredigion


Llanarchaeron (National Trust)

Lampeter Agricultural Show


Aberaeron


My little home county has so much to offer the British holidaymaker. Ceredigion is full of great restaurants and beautiful beaches, as well as castles, National Trust properties and so much more! If you’re ever in the area you must try the Honey Ice Cream in Aberaeron and Conti’s Ice Cream in Lampeter. You should also check our Pizza Tipi in Cardigan and the Lobster at The Harbourmaster in Aberaeron.

Bye Ceredigion, we’ll be back for Christmas xx

When I’m away on holidays I always take way too many pictures and never really share them on here, which is a shame. Especially when I think back and remember that one of the main reasons I started this blog was to capture our special moments and document them in one place for the future.

In an attempt to resolve this issue I’ve decided to start a new section called ‘My Holiday Photo Album’. It should be quite self-explanatory, I just want to have an area where I keep all my precious moments and favourite pictures from our many adventures and jaunts across the world.

I’m going to start with our most recent trip to Vegas. We were in Las Vegas for four days in June 2017,  during a heatwave that saw temperatures soar to 45 degrees. I’ve never known heat like it!

Anyway, here are my favourite snaps from Las Vegas…

The Vegas Eiffel Tower.

The Las Vegas strip.

Outside the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace.

The Mirage Hotel.

Hotel New York New York.

At the Flamingo Hotel sign.

We didn’t make it out to the ‘Welcome to Vegas’ sign but I did find this Hershey’s version, which I loved.

The neon signs and lights of Vegas old town.

Vegas old town by day.

Palm trees and the High Roller observation wheel.

Posing with my man at the Hoover Dam.

The Grand Canyon.

Luckily I’m okay with heights.

Wondering around the Mojave desert.

Looking at Joshua Trees in the desert – yes that’s what they look like.

Posing inside the Bellagio Hotel’s floral model version of Positano in Italy.

Wondering around the beautiful Wynn Hotel.

Watching the water fountains dance outside the Wynn Hotel.

Posing outside the stunning Venetian Hotel

Who develops pictures these days? Definitely not me, although this is another thing I want to do more often, even if it’s just one or two of my favourite snaps her holiday.

Over the Christmas holiday we went to west Wales, as we do every year. I grew up there and my parents and brother still live in the same little town, just ten miles from the beautiful west coast of Cardigan Bay.

We tend to visit twice a year, for a few weeks in the summer and a week at Christmas – and to be honest there is nowhere else on earth I’d rather be! I moved away when I went to university almost twenty years ago and never went back to live but it will always be my home, where I’m from and where my roots are firmly planted.

This year we travelled back to Wales on Thursday 22nd December and had a couple of days at my parents’ house to relax before the big day. It was lovely being back but to be honest we didn’t do much on these first few days, we mainly saw family and watched movies. The girls were tired after a long term at school and I think we all needed some downtime, being cared for by my mum.

Christmas Eve is always my favourite day, I love the anticipation and excitement that buzzes through the house. Every year we get together with mum’s family and share gifts. Also, I make a Christmas Eve hamper of treats and gifts for the girls to open in the evening, which of course includes matching Christmas pyjamas.

After Christmas day we were definitely ready to head out. Cabin fever had set in, so we had a few days of travelling down to the coast. The girls love running around the beach at any time of year, so it’s always a good choice for us. On the day after Boxing day we drove down to Cwmtydu beach, which is a small cove with rocks and caves and a beautiful pebbly beach, just twelve miles away.

The day after we headed over to Aberaeron for a walk along the seafront, where the girls climbed the rocks. The weather was clear and cool but with the sun shining so bright it didn’t feel too cold, we even managed to have fish and chips outside, sittingon the harbour wall. This is normally something we do in the summer, never usually during our Christmas holiday!

And on our last day we drove up to the bigger seaside town of Aberystwyth, where we again walked along the long seafront and played on the 2p machines in the arcade. I think this might have been one of Lili’s holiday highlights, she does love winning those tokens.

Of course the sunset came early, so we were able to stand on the pier and watch the sun go down over the horizon – and wow it was an amazing sunset! Even these pictures don’t do it justice.

It’s times like these that you realise that (as long as the weather is good) there’s nowhere like home!

Thanks for following me and my blog and I’d like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and wealthy new year.

pumpkin-1

You may have noticed that your Facebook and Instagram feeds have recently been overrun with pumpkins. I know I have! Not to be outdone we went to our local pumpkin patch in Addlestone in Surrey on Sunday.

When did pumpkin picking and pumpkin patches become such a big thing in this country? All of a sudden this has become an obligatory tradition that is a “must” during the Autumn half-term, in the run up to Halloween. I know this because of the huge influx of images on social media and by how busy this ‘patch’ was on Sunday!

My girls are obsessed with Halloween, they’ve literally been talking about it since February, so they were very excited about this little pumpkin adventure. If you’re one of those people who are completely fed up of seeing all things Halloween and pumpkins, look away now!

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Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


day-out-1

On Saturday while Lili and I were having some long overdue one-on-one time at an event in Bradford-on-Avon, Dom took our younger two girls out for the day. We were staying in Wiltshire for the weekend, so he decided to make use of our National Trust membership and took them to The Courts Garden in Holt.

Having seen the pictures he took on his phone, I felt a little disappointed that Lili and I had missed out. The garden looked stunning and the weather was beautiful. As soon as I saw these shots I knew they’d be perfect for this week’s ‘My Captured Moment’ post.

day-out-2 day-out-5-2 day-out-4 day-out-5 day-out-3

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender