Life Lately: October 2018

After a pretty quiet September, October was much busier with lots of days out and the half term holiday.

As a family, we went to Drayton Manor, Twycross Zoo, Hatton Adventure World, and the Sea Life Centre – all within a few weeks! I also went to the Prezzybox Jingle Mingle blogger event which was a lot of fun, and I got to meet some new people so I did actually socialising, not just hiding in a corner. We had a few nice walks while the weather was still nice, too.

At school, the girls have both settled into their new year group really well, and both of them had absolutely glowing parents evening reports. Lydia was sat there between us beaming a huge smile and pretty much polishing her imaginary halo as her teacher sang her praises! Georgie is still slow to warm up in the mornings (when she is allowed to start drinking caffeine it will be a life changing experience for her) but has made great progress with her shyness in class and her handwriting is great now, which was the only note of concern at her last parents evening.

As well as having a great parents evening, both girls got a Star of the Week certificate during October! What is particularly lovely about them is that they aren’t for any kind of academic achievement in the girls’ cases, but both of them are basically for being nice people. I would rather they were being praised for being good and kind people than being top of the class academically, any day. Lydia’s was for “being a good role model” while Georgie got one for “being kind and respectful”. How lovely is that?!

If you follow me on Instagram you will probably know this bit of news already… we have a new dog! Our Norwich Terrier Homily turned 14 years old this October, and is getting very old and quite doddery. She is still lovely and cuddly, but basically she just sleeps and eats and not much else, and makes a lot of noise doing both.

Gypsy does also like to sleep, particularly on all the soft surfaces around the house which are a novelty for her. Just not as much as Homily.

Gypsy, our new addition, is 3 years old and is a bundle of energy in comparison! She is livening Homily up – a little bit – and it’s lovely for the whole family to have a more active dog, too. She’s an absolute sweetheart and already has James wrapped around her little paw – mostly because she jumps up and greets him at the front door when he gets home from work, which Homily has never ever done. Not even once. However, Homily still comes to greet every courier and Asda delivery man! Just not James.

Of course, you can’t blog about October without mentioning Halloween. We aren’t big on this particular day so other than enjoying some Halloween themed activities on days out, we had a pretty chilled out day on the 31st and just spent it with James’s Dad who popped over while he was in the area to see us. Lydia and Georgie did go to a Halloween disco at school, however, and Lydia got herself face painted and tattooed which is becoming a “must do” for her at school discos.

I’ve been reading…

Once of my favourite books from October was The Barefoot Wedding by Lucy Kelvin. I actually went back and re-read her earlier books from the “Four Weddings and a Fiasco” series and this “Married in Malibu” series which follow on from those before I read it, so that was most of my reading for the month.

(affiliate link)

I’ve started The Rule of One which is one of my recent First Readsbooks, where you get a free book each month as a Prime member – it hasn’t grabbed me massively though so I haven’t got too far into it, but I hate leaving a book half finished so I’ve stalled a bit with my reading! Once I’m in the right mood I’ll have another crack at it, but I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks instead of reading lately too.

I’ve been watching…

October was a busy month for TV for me! I watched Bodyguard on BBC iPlayer and enjoyed it, but some characters and plot lines definitely irritated me a bit!

Reverie is something I watched with James and I really wanted this to be renewed as it ended on a cliffhanger! You have to ignore the odd plot hole, but other than that it is a fun sci fi show with some great acting. Unfortunately it was cancelled a few days ago – damn American TV networks! I can’t be too angry at the TV Gods at the moment though as VERONICA MARS is coming back, WOOHOO!!

I’ve been binge watching the BBC Sherlock series lately and remember how much I enjoyed it the first time around. I hadn’t actually seen the latest few episodes so it was fun to see those. I really enjoy the visuals of this show, as well as the story and the characters. While it would be so great to have more, Benedict Cumberbatch is so in demand now I don’t think we’ll be getting more Sherlock anytime soon.

Doctor Who is back! And with the first female Doctor… and isn’t she just amazing! Jodie Whittaker is doing a fantastic job and I love the energy she is bringing to the role – and the tone of the show is brilliant. They are dealing with all sorts of issues in a brilliant way, and the show feels like it has more heart again, while still being fun to watch and having laugh out loud moments.

I loved the show during David Tennant & Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor, and enjoyed Christopher Eccleston’s episodes too, but I never really had the same “I must watch it asap” feeling with Peter Capaldi’s episodes. In fact, I didn’t even bother watching all of his until I was bingeing them all from start to finish before this new series started. If you haven’t checked out the Doctor Who YouTube channel yet, make sure you do – they have some great behind the scenes stuff (even if one of the presenters is REALLY annoying!).

As for films, my two favourites from those we watched in October have to be…

Wonder – I watched this one on my own and absolutely loved it, I think the story is wonderful, the acting is fantastic especially for such young characters, and I loved seeing Julia Roberts in the role she had. It definitely has a feel good element to it, and I do love a good underdog film!

Coco – We missed this one at the cinema as we were busy and/or I was quite ill when it came out, but I remember watching Carrie Hope Fletcher’s reaction to it on her vlogs and wanting to see it! I’ve been waiting somewhat impatiently for it to turn up on Now TV, and once it did we had a proper cosy movie night with cushions, blankets, snacks, and bedtime was abolished for the evening. It was a lovely way to kick off our half term and we all loved the film. Lydia has already asked to watch it again.

I’ve been listening to…

One of the albums we’ve been asking Alexa for is the Into the Woods soundtrack – I watched the film with the girls, and they loved it – especially the music. This led to

Coming Up Roses and Sealed with a Kiss, both by Rachael Lucas, are two of the audiobooks I listened to in October, as well as a handful of Trisha Ashley books. I love to listen to them while I work or chill out, and while falling asleep – but I do prefer to listen to books I’ve already read as otherwise I lose track of the story too much, if I’m multitasking!

I really enjoyed both of these Rachael Lucas books, especially Coming up Roses which tells the story of Daisy the gardener, and has a lifestyle blogger as one of the main characters – some of the blogging ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff made me laugh a bit.

(affiliate link)

I’ve been playing…

I’m still playing Skyrim on the switch – mostly playing around doing random side quests rather than making any progress in the main mission! I built a house but I’m too lazy to furnish it myself, so I’m paying some guy who hangs around the house to do it for me.

I discovered a fun app for my mobile devices – Puzzle Page. You get a page of different puzzles each day, including the common ones like crosswords, sudoku, word search, and some of the more obscure ones like Kakuro or Os and Xs. It’s fun to pick up and do a quick puzzle while you’re waiting around – I like to do them in bed with my bedtime hot chocolate, and an audiobook playing on Alexa. My rock n roll lifestyle, people.

Month in a Minute

Check out our video snapshot of the month…

I’ve vlogged quite a few of the days out you see snippets of here so check out our YouTube channel for the full videos!