When I first started blogging a few years ago. I met the lovely Maria over on twitter and I participated in her linky, Our Favourite Five. Where you would choose five things that you had enjoyed that month.
I really liked it as it could be about absolutely anything. A meal, a product, a place, a person, a smell, a song. You could write about things you enjoyed as a family, or something your kids enjoyed on their own or even something you enjoyed as a couple or by yourself.
Maria no longer runs that linky anymore. Although she is still writing solid articles over on her blog Suburban-Mum
I decided I would take inspiration from Maria and create a monthly round up and in tribute to her linky call it Our Favourite Five.
||JULY 2017 – OUR FAVOURITE FIVE ||
Being Visually Creative
First up is Instagram and particularly learning to be visually creative with my images. I am no photographer, but since my amazing talented friend Rida over at beforeandagain_ introduced me to the wonderful world of VSCO. I have had the confidence and a little bit more understanding how to edit my photos . I have really enjoyed playing around and trying to find out what is my style.
I have also been loving some of the newer hashtags such as:
These hashtags are a great way to gain inspiration and to find new content creators on Instagram, whose work you will ultimately fall in love with. I really love the fact that they have themes but are not restrictive in a way that stunts your creativity.
I also love that there are a mix of people from different backgrounds, with different skill sets and equipment, just all getting creative in those small squares. During the month of July I have been featured twice in the ‘Weekly Round Up’ on the #makealistmonday hashtag. This has really boosted my confidence.
I have found lots of new people through these hashtags and am finding it is a great way to create contacts and to ultimately become a part of a community.
We don’t have a TV license. We don’t watch the news, soaps or any BBC programmes, so decided to spend the money on both an Amazon and Netflix subscription. This suits us as a family fine.. We haven’t had a license for around two to three years. This means having to find alternative sources for the boys entertainment and right at the top is YouTube.
YouTube is great as we can find so many different things on there that everyone is happy. Our new 55in 4K, HiSense TV comes with a remote (we haven’t had a remote for years, we bought our old TV 10 years ago and lost the remote and relied on apps on our phone, or actually having to get up and use the buttons to adjust the volume/channel – can you actually imagine that) so yes, I am genuinely excited at having a remote, but what is even better is there is a Netflix and an actual YouTube button. MIND. BLOWN.
Zachary and Darwin, both have a speech delay and one of the areas they struggle with is creating the right sound for different letters. After speaking to my friend who just qualified as a Teacher, with first degree honors (Well bloody done Zoe, so proud). She recommended the Phonics Song on YouTube.
They say both the name and sound of the letters and it has a pretty catchy tune. The boys ask for this multiple times a day and I really don’t mind them watching it over and over as at least they are learning, it also ensures they are hearing the correct sounds and the speech therapist explained that was the best way to help them.
We are pretty sure that Ezra actually said the letter ‘W’…..whaaaaaaaat?!!! I also love YouTube all the Day in the life and self-help, minimalism videos, not to mention the how to videos. They keep me company and slightly sane throughout the day.
July. Summer. Sunshine. Sometimes.
July has been a bit of a confusing month weather wise, I put away all the winter accessories such as hats and gloves at the beginning of the month, but I had to retrieve them more than once. We have tried to get out more this month, enjoying free local events, parks and nature reserves.
We managed to go to one of the Concerts in the Park, which was beautiful, the sun was shining and there were live choirs and an orchestra. The children really enjoyed getting their faces painted, stroking the donkey’s who were on a little trip from the local Sutton Park Donkey Sanctuary and dancing wildly to the music.
This month we have also enjoyed paying a little more attention to nature whilst we are out and about. I have to admit my knowledge is not up to much, but we are able to enjoy the beauty provided. The boys were extremely excited when we found some wild mushrooms growing. Zachary loved watching all the little bugs going to and fro.
We spoke about how different animals would eat the mushrooms and he also pointed out that it might be a big umbrella and keep the ants dry. The boys were also surprised to find wild blackberries growing, although they didn’t believe they were the same as the ones we find in the shop.
Darwin bless him asks every day to go to park, but as I am not insured yet and it is a bit of a walk with the four boys we haven’t been able to go quite that often, but when we do, we go for a few hours. Click here to see our post about our time at the nature reserve lets just say there was lots of splashing and mud.
When their cousin had a sleepover we all decided to pop to the park and they had a great time on the swings and slides. We walked to another park with bigger and better equipment and on the way they played We’re going on a bear hunt in the tall grass. It was actually the cutest thing.
Once I am insured on the car I am hoping that, there will be lots more time spent outdoors. This summer I am hoping to explore Sandwell valley, a splash pad and fingers crossed the sea-side.
July was the month, I finally passed my driving test, first time. After three years of stop, start lessons, it is good to finally be a qualified driver. As they say a picture says a thousand words and believe that is true right here. This was the image I shared on my Insta-stories. Just waiting to finishing sorting the insurance and…Beep…Beep. I will be off!
Insta (piration) Stories
During July, apart from loving all the creativity on Instagram, I have also been loving Insta Stories. Not making them ,but watching them. There have been two women who have been using the platform in such a creative way. Let me introduce you to Candice Brathwaite This woman has created a daily chat show using Insta stories…..whaaaaaat. Talk about thinking outside of the box.
Candice is all about building people up, specifically woman. Every weekday at 2pm she does Teatime with Candice, she has a sponsor and everything. I am so proud of her and all that she is doing, can anyone say Tea time LIVE……G’wan gurl. Candice is real, she talks about the hard times and encourages us to push through till there are brighter days and she always responds to DMs.
The other woman who has been creating something pretty exceptional on Insta stories is Toni over at Mum Life With Toni. She has created a weekly chat, which she hosts on Insta stories live. 8pm Tuesdays #mumchats. The past few weeks it has been something I have really looked forward to. As it is live, you get to see the comments coming in from other people who are watching.
This means that you not only get to speak directly to Toni, but also to other Mamas too. Recent topics have included Loneliness and finding ‘Mummy me time’. Toni, makes the chats lively and fun and gets people talking to each other, new people join every week and its such a friendly environment. I recommend it to anyone who has kids to pop along. I’ve met some lovely people and always come away feeling inspired, empowered and heard.
To finish off a positive note, Candice always has a little nugget of gold for you to take away at the end of tea time and she has a separate page where you can find her quote of the day. See below for some food for thought. Click here for more.
So there you have it. A lengthy, picture heavy round-up of our favourite things from July. Lets hope August is just as fun.
♥ Where are your favourite outdoorsy places you recommend I visit (UK). Do you drive? Are you learning to drive? Did you pass first time? What are your plans for August?
Much love and many thanks