Our Wedding Album (Finally!)


I've started a list. Sadly I'm beyond the stage where I could include the number 30 in the heading so I've had to go with '40 before I'm 40' (eek!) Life is short, which I'm often reminded of here. I'm so proud of what I've managed to achieve in life so far but there are some things that I really really want to do before I go. It's not a list of crazy stunts, (so no skydiving or bungee jumping,) or far away exotic locations that have to be visited, (though Morocco is on there somewhere.) It contains a lot of simple achieveble things like...make pasta from scratch, learn to play the ukulele, go stay in a yurt and learn how to knit.


One thing on the list was to turn our wedding photos into an album. It's been seven years since we've been married and for seven years the photos have sat on a CD waiting to be brought to life. Last year I finally got round to doing it, spurred into action by Christmas as I thought the albums would make great presents for our parents. I used Blurb books. I've used them before to make a photo album of Instagram pictures of the boys and found the process very simple. You download the book making programme and then design your pages and drag and drop your photos.


It feels so good to finally have a printed version of what was a very special day. It's an amazing thing to have all your friends and family in one place at one time, an occasion I'm not sure will ever truly be recreated again. I'm now enthused to get round to the rest of our vast photo collection that currently sits on our computer. I'm going to work backwards and print a book for every year. Although I'm already wondering where all the photos of me are. It seems I'm always the one behind the camera. Anyone else have that problem?!

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Natural Raw Soap - Eco Living

Slowly but surely we've started to introduce natural and, where possible, homemade beauty products into our home. Lip balm was the first product I made and we've been experimenting with deodorant and face cream for a while (I'll share my favourite recipes soon.) One day I have dreams of making my own soap, but for now I'm happy spending money on lovingly handmade soap by people who care and share the same eco friendly ideas that we're moving towards.

I had a friend who used to give me offcuts of soap she made for free. Sadly she moved country last year and so I had to start looking elsewhere for my soap fix. There are lots of soap makers round here and we've tried some from our nearest Bio shop and some from a local market stall. Last year however, I read an article in Country Living magazine about The Raw Soap Company who make soap out of the milk from their herd of goats in the South of England. Any soap that we buy has to be kind on our skin as we have eczema in the family and I've always had dry skin. All the ingredients that The Raw Soap Company use and natural and locally sourced which is always a plus. Do check out the article here if you have time. I always love reading stories about people doing something they really enjoy and am always keen to support businesses who work hard to produce products they clearly believe in.


At the time I read the article The Raw Soap Company didn't ship internationally but following them on Instagram they soon announced that they were shipping abroad so I placed my first order. The scents are subtle (I hate really smelly soaps,) they're kind to our sensitive skin and most importantly we're clean! I ordered the Honey & Oatmeal, the Chamomile & Calendula, and a Pure, along with a handcrafted soap deck to go in our new bathroom. They're all winners and we'll definitely be ordering more in the future.

What natural products do you use to keep your family clean?



P.S. This is totally not a sponsored post. We just really love the soap and supporting a small but successful business!
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Arcachon - The Alphabet Adventures


I'm currently sat in front of the fire and looking at the snow that is forecast for this weekend. The temperature has dropped dramatically, the thick jumpers are out, and Andrew is once again talking about insulation to keep in the heat. I keep dreaming about the day (in hopefully the not too distant future) when we can get our camper out again and hit the road for another adventure. In the last October half term we took our new camper out for its very first spin. Arcachon was our destination, mainly because it was the only place I could find with a campsite still open at that time of year. Our camper is old, and reeeaaallly slow! We had to avoid motorways and our route there took us through the autumnal vineyards around Cahors and through one of France's National Parks. Taking the slow route really is worth it every now and again as it really does enable you to appreciate the countryside and discover parts that would otherwise be missed.



We've visited this area before when we camped on a campsite right on the beach. This time we were within walking distance of the beautiful town of Arcachon. The first day we headed to the beach to play in the sand and stopped for lunch in one of the many restaurants. We were immediately struck by how affluent this town seemed to be (or maybe we've just spent too much time in the county?!) The restaurant prices were certainly higher than we are used to, even at lunchtime, and the kids in the playground were way too smartly dressed!



If you're keen on walking, discovering your local area, and enjoy a good treasure hunt we thoroughly recommend Geocaching. What I realised in this trip was that Geocaching really does make you look at what's around you, in detail, it's amazing how easily you can miss things that are right on your doorstep. We made our way into the wilderness next to the campsite with smartphone in hand, narrowly escaped being run over by a group of youngsters on horseback, but managed to discover two hidden caches, which two young boys were extremely excited by (though their looking skills need to be greatly improved...as do mine!) 



The weather at this time of year meant we didn't have much time on the beach so we had a look around at what else Arcachon had to offer. The Aquarium didn't seem like much from the outside and we did hesitate as to whether to go in or not, but it was recommended in the city guide so we paid the fee and the kids were happy with the array of fish and sea life on display. We laughed at fish with human like features and desperately willed the octopus to come out of its hiding place. The boys ran away from the sea spiders and upstairs there was a room full of stuffed animals which always freaks them out.


We couldn't come to Arcachon and not have the famous oysters. A failed Geocache attempt led us to an empty oyster restaurant right on the beach. The kids played in the sand while Andrew and I devoured the best oysters we have ever tried with crisp white wine. We're big fans of oysters and if you've never tried them or are a little unsure I thoroughly recommend getting yourself to a restaurant that knows its stuff. When they're good, they're really good!


Arcachon has an amazing indoor market like so many other French towns, bursting with fresh local produce. We visited on our last day with the intention of finding treats to take home to our friends and family but ended up in the chocolate shop instead buying chocolate coins and chocolates shaped like oysters.

Arcachon is a lovely place to visit. I imagine it's packed in high season so it was nice to visit at a time that was a little quieter but when everything was still open. If you have any travelling tips for Arcachon or the surrounding area do pass them on to share. We'll definitely be back to visit again one day...and to eat more oysters on the beach!

Lou Messugo
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