Jan 18

The Perfect Family Holiday?

I make no apologies for my outright LOVE of holidays.

I am the sort of person that just doesn’t function effectively unless I’ve had some sun on my bones, a sun lounger to relax on, late nights, late mornings, no rush to do anything, no hustle and bustle, just please yourselves and keep on doing it.

We have tried almost every kind of travel experience, be it camping, caravaning, B&B’s, self catering and hotels, at both end of the spectrum for quality and value and I have to say without exception, we have found that Villa holidays are just perfect family holidays in every way. Goodness knows I adore my city breaks with my husband, but when it comes to travelling with children I just don’t think you can beat what a Villa holiday gives you

For me the reasoning is simple

Its ultra no hassle,come and go as you please

There is no dressing up for dinner, or breakfast for that matter.

No enduring the children in a hotel dining room, picking at food that they (and frankly you) don’t want and wouldn’t ever choose

No requirement to play sun lounger roulette.. will you wont you get  one today?.. will it be in the full sun or shade?

Free and easy access to your kind of food and drink when you want it (i.e. the good stuff and Spanish measures of course)

No hoard’s of (other peoples) children making your lives a misery

No coach drive from hell from the airport and back, simply get your car and drive it to the well directed villa

No queuing for drinks, or snacks or requirement to wear a wristband!

Your music playing..  British TV if you want it.. perhaps a bit of WIFI should you fancy it

Lots of bathrooms, lots of space and separate bedrooms!

Explore your surrounding area and beyond – try as many or few restaurants as you like, BBQ at home, a glass of something in the hot tub – oh yes I think so

But most of all the utter peace and tranquility that can only come from being in a home from home, be it in the city or out in the country with no requirement other than to relax.

So for our family, its Villa’s all the way, be it Florida, Spain, Majorca, France, Italy or anywhere else, its always my first choice for the family and I cant imagine a situation when I would feel differently, we have travelled to villa’s with just our family, or with an au pair to help with the childcare, with grandparents and even with other families with children similar ages which is a fantastic option

We have travelled before with Villaparade and a couple of other firms but I can without reservation say that Villaparade have the most extensive selection of the most amazing villa’s to suit all budgets and based on my experience with them this year, I couldnt rate them highly enough. Take a look, there is something there for everyone





Jan 14

I’m having an affair

That got your attention didn’t it?

Well I can’t hide it anymore, my heart is bursting to get it out there and I’m not ashamed, I’m in love.

I had admired and lusted after him for literally years, seeing him with other women didn’t help and I’d feel jealous and envious and sad that he wasn’t mine

Well last year, specifically Christmas, we had an encounter that made me realise that I loved him and that I couldn’t live my life without him in it, so that’s it, it’s done.

It’s not hard to see what I fell in love with, I can’t stop talking about him, or worse still thinking of things to do with him, I go to sleep thinking about him and wake imagining all the good times we are going to have together.

The children are growing to love him too, I wasnt sure if they would appreciate all the time I spend with him but they see how happy he makes me and when he makes things for them they love it.

He is a dream, honest, and I can’t believe he is mine. He is so strong and sturdy, he has amazing stature and startling good looks, he is capable and reliable and he goes like a steam train but he knows how to take it slow as well. I know how to push his buttons and he so knows how to push mine, we are in perfect union.

I feel quite unapologetic about all this and all the good he has brought to my life, so here he is… Let me introduce Ken to you, I think you will agree how devastatingly handsome he is, but you can all keep your damn hands off him, he is mine and one day I’m pretty sure Tim will come home to find me stretched out Ken, naked, and stroking his beautiful lines. He is amazing and I love him

I love Ken Wood

He is a sexy studmuffin and he makes a mean muffin too – look at those lines

He is a piece of beauty and he is MINE all mine


Jan 01

2011 A Retrospective

Today on the first day of the New year of 2012 it seems only right to take a look back over what has been a real stand out year for me in lots of ways – mostly good. Its rare that I can be so proud of what I have achieved as I am of 2011

It all kicked off in January when I looked at my family in particular my lovely eldest daughter and blogged about her  Growing Wings and found myself  thinking about My mum
and Tim in Soulmates but mostly it was a time to look back at what i had achieved with my weightloss Size 22 – Size 10 What a difference a year makes and one of my very favourite projects for Uni What You See is What You Get

February saw me focus on Uni and also training for the Great Manchester Run in Exorcise the Exercise and pondering about First Love in First Love – Is It Terminal?whilst looking back over my fall from the good graces of my old career into the arms of my new degree in Having it all or having nothing? and then again Having it all or Having Nothing 2

March began with a A Picture Perfect Weekend in Wales and Emma’s 2nd birthday Happy 2nd Birthday Emma! but a keen eye on the weight maintenance that I was about to embark on, and I started a bit of hypnosis to help with my training Look into the eyes…and highlighted The Power of Words and let you know about The Soundtrack to My Life and my ongoing kick ass with anxiety The swinging pendulum

April featured my battle to find food moderation Come on in Moderation, nice to meet you.. I heard such a lot about you and I struggled with balance in I’m no good and I introduced you to my Lucy – My Sunshine and mused about  people who are Not the ‘counselling’ type along with a scary experience on the beach in Trains, Lifeboat Rescues & Helicopters.. just another day out with the Andrew Family

May saw my new favourite addiction born to Friday Pin Up – #Pinterest Addict Alert and I received one of my favourite ever deliveries in  The Review that’s NOT a Review.. its a RECOMMENDATION and Cantonese Sweet & Sour Chicken – A Charlie Bigham’s Meal Review  and did some good Kicking Demon Ass whilst fighting to get to Living for the 16th May and ongoing fight with Maintenance and one of the biggest things that month was running the Great Manchester 10k – epic and brave. Lucy made us giggle with Mummy.. Why Do We Have A Belly Button? and I mused about Power of Suggestion and Raising Children to have Good Self Esteem and how life seems to readily involve the phrase That Never Happens In The Movies…

June I took myself off Facebook for a while Facebook Cold Turkey whilst tackling A Bitch Called Anxiety about My Cybermummy Weekend and best of all I’ve got GREAT news…about my placement

July saw us migrate to Wales for the summer A Lovely Aberdaron Day – A Photo Blog and I blogged extensively about The Eternal Quest for the Perfect Job – Part One and The Eternal Quest for the Perfect Job – Part Two and  The Eternal Quest for the Perfect Job – Part Three and talked about the complete joy of Today I Volunteered….

August I let you know 10 Things You Dont Know About Me a BRILLIANT exchange with Megan Gaddafi Gaff…. A True Story and talked about my new manifesto to push my limits and Living Life with Joy, updated with progress here Living Life with Joy – an update  culminating in the ultimate Things I Would Never Have Imagined I’d Be Able To Do… Number 276

September I returned home to restart my 2nd year of uni and had A Crisis Of Faith and spent much of it Counting blessings and continued my path with Pick a faith, any faith

October I let you Check Out My Buns of Steel and struggled to deal with Hearing Voices but the most amazing thing of all was My @VillaParade Prize – Majorca Villa Holiday Review – Part One and My @VillaParade Majorca Villa Holiday Review – Part 2 and again here The @VillaParade Majorca Villa Review – Can FusterI had the deepest joy to capture Pure Wedded Bliss and wrote about Steve Jobs – A Visionary & Family Man

November was MENTAL – as I committed to writing a blog a day – INSANE but key ones were Breaking The Meningitis Myth #NaBloPoMo and if you fancy a laugh check outA Blast From The Past Thanks to I’m A Celeb #NaBloPoMo and debated Empathy v’s Sympathy #nablopomo and laughed at From the mouths of babes #nablopomo and I Used To Think… #NaBloPoMo

I put some thought into Stepdad’s – A Very Special Kind of Daddy and Emma nearly finished us off in That heart stoppingly sickening moment. I wondered about The Hidden Depths Of Despair and fought that There Was A Me Before An Us Or A We #NaBloPoMo and showed you Where the magic happens.. my blogplatz #nablopomo whilst explaining how You Burnt Someone to Death? #NaBloPoMo and wondered about You Know You Are Getting Old When…

December was a little quieter after that lot and I blogged about my anniversary 5 Years Ago… and how Im a Christmas Tree Snob whilst finally embracing that Confidence is a wonderful thing and that Im a Cup half full kinda girl. I blogged about how important it is to Know Thyself and shared my craft challenges in The @alysonsblog Alternative Twelve Days of Christmas madness

Wow – if you got this far well done, if you stuck with me throughout 2011 – well here is your imaginary blue peter badge – Im impressed!

2012 promises to be even more manic – I take on a new course in the shape of the Foundation course for the place2be, for 15 weeks, BRING IT ON – I can hardly wait!


Dec 27

5 Years Ago…

We committed to spending our lives together.

We became an us, a team, a partnership, a family.

We were surrounded by friends and family, smiling faces all so thrilled that we had found such happiness and each other.

I felt the simplest, surest joy I have ever felt.

Our children smiled and followed me down the aisle.

You turned to face me and I thought my heart might burst.

5 years ago, we married,

We couldn’t have known how much our lives might alter, these past 5 years have changed us beyond recognition but what remains constant is us.

Life was a lot simpler then and I know that I couldn’t have done any of this without you at my side

I loved you then but I cant believe how much that has grown, and I simply couldn’t imagine a life without you in it

We had such different priorities and lifestyles, but I love how we have changed and evolved

I became your wife and the thought of that will always make my heart glow and I will smile.

Happy Anniversary sweetheart x



Dec 23

Cup half full kinda girl

I can hardly believe that Im writing these words, but Im halfway through my degree course and whilst for the most part Im a cup half full kind of girl, for some reason this makes me feel sad.

I can scarcely comprehend that in 3 semesters time I will be done with my degree, and possibly university full stop if I decide to stop then. These 3 semesters have flown by in the wink of an eye and aside from the predictable stress of assignment writing its been a complete joy. I’ve absolutely loved it

I’ve no clue what Im going to do at the end, there are so many choices to be made, do I go on and do my counselling diploma, that will allow me to practise, done as part of a postgrad, or do I do a PGC to enable me to teach? Do I try and get a coveted job with the NHS to get them to fund the diploma, or do I go down the Place2Be path and do my postgrad with them and specialise in children, or do I finish all of that off with a Masters?

I just don’t know and before you know it Im going to have to make up my mind

Im pretty amazed I got this far you know, there have definitely been times that Ive felt I might have to give it up, through home or financial circumstance, but here I am…in the words of the song ‘I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah’

I don’t know where this path might lead but I’m so glad I took this opportunity and threw myself into university at the grand old age of 36. I occasionally do feel like an OAP, especially when they are handing out the flyers for clubs etc and they look at me and well.. don’t give me one.. haha I either look like someones mum or a tutor, but I can live with that.

Who knew I would get so much enjoyment from studying, man I always hated learning at school, liked the social side but was never academic and here I am doing well and achieving, its a bit of a revelation of what I could have achieved at school if I actually put a bit of work in!

One other definite upside of being older at Uni is that this has shown my daughters that there is more to mum than meets the eye, and that they are getting a birds eye view of what University is about maybe inspiring them to try and get there themselves.

Im the first in my family to go to uni but Im especially hoping I wont be the last, Im beginning to understand the eternal student mentality, it will be a sad day to leave uni, its such a brilliant nurturing inspiring environment and Im going to make sure to enjoy every bit of