A Nice Day for a White Wedding

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They say that a change is as good as a rest and I certainly feel refreshed after our weekend mini break in Cambridge. We were only away for one night but the change of scenery and some quality family time did us the world of good. On Saturday we attended my husband’s cousin’s wedding, held at one the many colleges of Cambridge University. Glorious weather, a stunning setting, beautiful ceremony, good food and wine all did their part to ensure that it was a great day. And I was a very proud mummy indeed after many of the guests complimented my children’s good behaviour (it’s nice to know that they can do it even if I don’t always see that side at home!). It was their first wedding and they all did very well to sit still at the ceremony in the chapel and during the speeches. My eldest was happily chatting away to the guests at the dinner, impressing them with his knowledge of Henry VIII and all his wives.

The only downside was the sleeping arrangements. We had a family room in the hotel where we stayed, with one double bed and two singles. After the requisite arguments about who should be sleeping where, we ended up playing musical beds for much of the night and I don’t think anyone woke up in the same bed they went to sleep in. On Sunday we strolled around Cambridge, taking in the sites, along with the sea of other tourists, and stopping for ice cream at one of the many cafes. We decided against punting on the river as my husband was feeling rather delicate from the previous night’s excesses!

Now we’re back home with just over a week to go until our main holiday. Hope you’ve had a good start to the week. X

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{The boys looking handsome in their new suits.}

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{Clemmie looking cute in the stunning grounds of Trinity College.}

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{A cheeky selfie in the chapel}

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{I love the little touches that the couple did to personalise their wedding such as using second hand books as place settings.}

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{Kings College in the centre of Cambridge}

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{Bicycles and beautiful old buildings were everywhere.}

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{We will leave the punting for next time!}

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School’s Out For Summer!

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{Woohoo! Finally the summer holiday is here and we celebrated by buying a family sized paddling pool! Still in its box so no pictures yet but planning to get it out tomorrow}

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{Who’s ready for sun, sea and ice cream? I really hope the glorious weather stays put for our holiday in two weeks’ time.}

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{No need to call social services, I won’t go quite that far but it will be nice to take a more relaxed approach for a few weeks!}

Three hundred posts!

This is my 300th post on A Spoonful of Style and I had wanted it to be something special but lack of time and inspiration means that a quick update will have to suffice. It is a struggle to keep up with the blog at the moment but I hope you will agree that something is better than nothing! This week (and last) has been a whirlwind of leavers assemblies, teacher presentations and class parties, and to top it all off Clemmie has not been very well. She developed a temperature and scaly rash at the end of last week – the doctor put it down to a virus so I guess we just have to wait it out. Tomorrow is finally the last day of school and I’m looking forward to no school run, homework or after school activities for five and a half weeks, although I’m sure that by end of August I will be counting down the days until they go back.

A quick update on life lately:

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{The spa day was just as fun and relaxing as I had hoped it would be. There was a no phone policy inside the building but I managed to snap a quick pic of the traditional phone box in the garden that one could use to order drinks.}

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{Which of course we did! After swimming, steam room and facials/massages we were in need of some prosecco.}

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{On Sunday we celebrated my in-laws’ wedding anniversary in their beautiful garden. The glorious weather is still here and looks set to last for at least another week. I don’t want to complain but the afternoons are a bit stifling so a paddling pool is next on my shopping list!}

 

 

 

A Weekend of Two Halves

Saturday: Hampton Court Flower Show in soaring temperatures.

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{I didn’t buy any plants but I did manage to find a hat!}

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{A seafood platter and a glass of chilled rose hit just the right spot}

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{So many lovely flower displays to admire. From rustic country gardens…}

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{..to the more exotic orchids.}

Sunday: The final installment of Clemmie’s birthday celebrations, a garden party with grandparents and a few friends. Again we were very lucky with the weather.

Present opening

{More presents to open.}

Boys party

{My lovely boys spent most of the time playing football and badminton with their friends.}

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{Clemmie in her new dress from No Added Sugar.}

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{A very tired girl at the end of the day!}

Birthday Time!

Phew! It’s a good thing birthdays only come round once a year. Clemmie turned four today and we have had a two-day celebration, and another party with the grandparents is still to come this weekend. Great fun, but oh, so exhausting, especially when the day kicks off at 6.30am. The birthday girl is now fast asleep in her bed and if I wasn’t on a detox I would collapse on the sofa with a glass of wine. As it is, a cup of peppermint tea will have to suffice!

Birthday Bunting

{The bunting that normally lives in her bedroom moved downstairs to mark the special occasion}

Balloons

{And lots of balloons in all different colours}

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{Waiting for the party guests to arrive. We decided against a big party and just had four little friends over for a small celebration yesterday while the boys were at school}

Clemmie party

{Holding court on the kitchen table}

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{A big pile of pink presents greeted the birthday girl when she came downstairs this morning}

Cinderella doll

{All the presents were opened in about five minutes flat. One of the favourites was a Cinderella doll from Cameron}

Clemmie cake

{You’re allowed cupcakes for breakfast when it’s your birthday!}

 

Sunny Sunday ♥

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It’s late Sunday night, way past my bedtime really as I’ve got work tomorrow but just wanted to squeeze in a quick post to finish the week off. It has been a lovely weekend – less busy than of late which is exactly what we needed. A full social life is great but too much of a good thing can be, well, too much sometimes.

I went for dinner at a friend’s house on Friday but yesterday was mostly spent at home apart from swimming and ballet lessons in the morning and a trip to the supermarket in the afternoon. Gardening, catching up on homework and watching the World Cup were all on the agenda. Today Casper’s school held its annual summer fete which is always a fun day out. The kids had a great time catching up with friends, spending their pocket money on silly toys that will last all of five minutes and eating far too many sweets.

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{Clemmie and Casper going down the bouncy castle slide at the summer fete }

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{Cameron spent most of the afternoon at the ‘Beat the Goalie’ stall. As long as he’s got a football, he’s happy!}

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{Clemmie held on very tightly to her lucky jar. Prior to the fete parents are asked to fill jam jars with sweets and small toys which are then sold for £1 on the day.}

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{I also managed to do some baking today as it’s Clemmie’s birthday this week and she’s having a little party for her friends on Tuesday.}

Definitely time to go to bed now! Hope you’ve all had a great weekend. X

 

Preparing for the Summer Holidays

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With three weeks to go until school breaks up, the countdown to the summer holidays has officially begun. We are going away to Sweden for two weeks at the beginning of August but the rest of the time we will be at home. As my job is not term time only, I will have to work two or three days a week so I’m trying to be a super organised (not something that comes naturally to me!) to make sure we have lots of quality time on the other days.

Here are some of my strategies to hopefully maximise the chances of a fun and relaxing summer:

1. Take a break from cooking. Not completely, obviously, as we still have to eat and going to restaurants all the time would get too expensive. But I think it’s fine to take a more relaxed approach to meal times in the summer. Leave the elaborate recipes for the colder months and serve simple dishes like big platters of cold cuts and various salads together with crusty bread. We tend to eat a lot of fresh fruit and veg in the summer and the kids have healthy snacks like strawberries and raspberries or carrots and cucumber with hummus, so having hot dogs or cheese on toast for dinner is not the end of the world. Other simple options are omelettes and homemade pizza (I buy ready made bases though) loaded up with vegetables.

2. On a similar note, I plan to take advantage of the fact that we have a pick-your-own farm 15 minutes down the road (Not quite the same as a vegetable patch in your own garden, but the next best thing). Somehow the kids seem to find fruit and vegetables that they have picked themselves more palatable than the shop bought versions.

3. Spend more time outdoors doing things with the kids rather than trying to catch up with the housework. I have actually employed a cleaner to come once a week between now and September. An extravagant move perhaps, but one that will free up lots of time, especially now that I’m working again.

4. I have asked the kids to write a list of (realistic!) activities, both outdoor and indoor that they want to do this summer. We will cut them up individually and put into a hat and pull one out when we’re stuck for things to do. Hopefully we will get a good mix of indoor activities like painting and board games and outdoor ones like going to the park, as well as activities that require a bit more planning such as going to the cinema or the bowling alley.

5. I’m going to try to stick to our current rule of keeping the X Box and other computer games for the weekend, unless we get really awful weather in which case I may take a more lenient view!

6. As far as I can, I’m also going to try and limit the amount of money we spend. It’s so easy for it to spiral out of control – a trip to the cinema (with the obligatory snacks) for three children and one adult can cost an arm and a leg and, to be honest, the children are just as happy getting a DVD out from the library and popping their own popcorn in the microwave.

7. I intend to take lots of pictures and also film the kids more – they love watching old footage from when they were younger but we have been really lax about it lately. Now that my phone has a video function there really is no excuse.

8. There are also some things I want to do for myself, including updating the blog at least three or four times a week.

9. And I hope to keep up my exercise regime. It really does make me feel better and more energised and I will need all the energy I can get to survive the six weeks off school with a smile on my face!

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Midsummer Magic

One of the best things about being a dual nationality family is that you can celebrate both countries’ festivities and we never pass up the opportunity to throw a traditional Swedish Midsummer party. Warning: this post contains rather a lot of photos!

Midsummer pole

{The Midsummer pole}

Midsummer food

{The food}

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{The flower garlands}

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{The traditional strawberry cake}

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{The friends}

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Tree climbing

{The fun}

And of course the singing, the schnapps and the dancing around the Midsummer pole (with the neighbours, who were also having a garden party, looking on in amusement)! A truly wonderful evening.

 

Life Lately

Sorry about the lack of updates but the weather here in the UK has been too good lately for me to want to spend any more time than necessary in front of a computer. There was some drizzle and rain over the weekend but next week looks set to be nice again, albeit slightly cooler than last week which is not necessarily a bad thing. Soaring temperatures and long school days often result in frazzled tempers by mid-afternoon.

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{Breakfast in the sunshine. Why does food taste so much better when eaten outside?}

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{New sandals for Clemmie – pink of course!}

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{I’m trying to encourage the children to help out more with the housework so hopefully before long Cameron hoovering the kitchen won’t be such a rare sight.}

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{Two little monkeys ♥ }

Peppa Pig

{On Friday I took the day off work and Clemmie and I went to Peppa Pig World with my friend and her daughter. It was the perfect day out for two Peppa obsessed three year olds and the girls loved every minute. And promptly fell asleep the minute we got in the car to go back home!}

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{Today was Father’s Day and the daddy in our family was treated to a cooked breakfast and lots of cards and presents – including a rather fetching Daddy Pig mug chosen by Clemmie.}

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{Breakfast was followed by a trip to the golf store so he could choose his main gift – a new golf bag.}

Hope you have all had a lovely weekend! Are you watching the World Cup? I saw the amazing Spain-Holland match on Friday and watched half of England’s first match last night. X