Playhouse Renovations

At the beginning of August this year, Megan and I had the idea to re-paint the interior of the “Playhouse” we have in the back garden. Unlike once a couple years ago, where we painted a couple walls, then left it, this time we wanted to paint it all – every surface of the building – and what a task that turned out to be! Megan and I spent 3 afternoons/evenings painting, but once we were done, the work wasn’t finished – we found out some friends had some spare carpet that would fit in perfectly downstairs and it all spiralled from there! We then decided to completely renovate it into something more comfortable and worth spending time in, so here is the story of what we’ve done, or at least part 1!


First up was clearing the playhouse of all the stuff inside, the old table, the bookshelf that was falling apart, and all the old cushions we had inside. This thankfully didn’t take too long, although we did have to work together to remove some things. Next on our list was laying out the newspaper, though as you can see – it all got a bit messed up after a pretty quickly!


Although we have in the past painted the playhouse, here you can see (in the white paint in both pictures) it was already starting to fade, so we began painting the feature wall with the “bathroom blue” colour, a much stronger colour that hopefully won’t fade as fast. We painted using some of the spare paint we had in the attic: “bathroom blue”, “apple green” (the leftovers from my bedroom), “bathroom white” and “light pink”. The bathroom colours are especially waterproof, so we used these for the ceilings, which were a NIGHTMARE to paint – all the paint just soaked in to the wood, which meant it took multiple thick coats – in often hard to reach places!

Once we were done – it turned out pretty nicely – although the place did look a little bare with just the painted walls and nothing else inside. This is partly what inspired us to do a complete renovation, not just painting. On the right, you can see the polka dot pattern Megan did on the bars to add extra detail to the playhouse – which turned out very nicely, and helped us choose the perfect fabric for the curtains.



Next up was carpeting the downstairs floor, which we had got a LOT of paint on, despite the newspaper we laid out! We rolled up the old rug which we had in there, as it no longer fitted in, and then set to work trying to work out the jigsaw puzzle that was laying the pieces out!

Then we cut three pieces to the right size size, and set to work hammering all the nails in, with some help from dad.

It was very rewarding to see the final product here, although instead of spending long to admire it – we immediately covered it in cushions and tools!


One important thing we realised was that it wasn’t worth painting the playhouse unless we could prevent it from getting soaked again which was responsible for the fading. So we then went on to do some roofing work, completely covering the roof again with a clean, new sheet of roofing felt, weighing 20kg for 10m – so rather heavy to move!

Again dad came to help us with the roofing, he showed us how to put in all the nails and paint tar on the edges. This job was quite fun, though it involve a little risk on my part (see image of me standing on the very top of the ladder somewhat precariously!) – although there was someone holding the ladder so I didn’t fall!

As the plastic that we had used last year to protect the playhouse from rain had shredded due to the sunlight, we decided, as part of the roofing process, we would redo the plastic too, this time with longer lasting, UV-resistant plastic. Finally, we decided to paint the outside of the playhouse, which involved painting all the green pieces separately, which Megan and I did, while Mum and Dad painted the two non-plastic covered sides of the playhouse. I will include a picture of the finished outside in the next post.

Thank you for reading this post about the playhouse, I hope that I will be able to upload part 2 in the next few weeks, although things are going to get quite busy in the lead-up to Christmas! 🙂🙂🙂🙂

Yes, I did get the “1” back-to-front, it was… it was… artistic design, that’s what it was… (totally not an accident in my drawing, honest!)

Our Canal Barge Holiday

Today once school was finished for the holidays we went down to England and visited Jill and Aaron. For dinner we ordered some delicious curry. Then we went up for bed.

Saturday – In the morning we got some breakfast and then Grandma and Grandpa took Aidan and I to Liverpool. First we went on the Liverpool Eye then we went to a lovely sweet shop. After that we went on a bit of a walk. Later on we drove to the boat marina and we went to a place near there for lunch. After lunch we un-packed our stuff into the boat.

Our boat Ava and Aidan and I’s room.


After we had un-packed we were off!!!

We sailed our boat for half an hour then we moored by a lovely loch. After we moored we had a barbeque for dinner. Which was very nice. Then we went on a walk around the loch. Then we went to bed.

Sunday – We had a very early start this morning because there was a tunnel that takes 45 minutes to get through. While we were going through the tunnel Mum, Grandma and I played quirkle which we really enjoyed. Once we had finally got through the tunnel we made quesadillas for lunch. Then we cruised for the rest of the afternoon.For dinner we had fajitas.

Monday – Today we cruised for most of the morning which has been very relaxing. Then we moored the boat and went out for lunch. I had a delicious pulled pork burger. After lunch we cruised a bit further along the canal. Then we discovered that the canal was being closed further ahead so we moored there for the night. For the rest of the afternoon we explored Macclesfield. For dinner we had some delicious gammon. Then we went to bed.

Tuesday – Today we explored Macclesfield a bit more. First we bought some pies for dinner and then we explored a very nice church. After that we went to a sweet shop. later on we went to a very interesting Silk Museum. Afterwards we had some lunch. After that we started going the other direction. Meanwhile Mum and I walked along the side of the canal doing some geo-caching. For dinner we had some delicious steak pie and chicken pie.

Wednesday – Today we did the 12 locks. The locks took us about 2 hours. Then we had lunch. After lunch we set off again and Grandma, Mum and I did some more geo-caching. Then we went out for dinner. I had a Hawaiian Chicken Burger and then I had a Brownie for dessert. Then after a while we went to bed.

Thursday – Today was a more relaxing day. We explored Congleton. First we went to Victoria Mill and I got some very nice buttons. After that we to a lovely park and got some lunch. I shared a pizza with Grandpa. Then we got some cake. After that we went back to the boat and set off to one end of the tunnel. Once we arrived we moored the boat and had another barbeque. Then we went to bed.

Friday – Today is Aidan’s Birthday!!!!!!!!!! This morning we had bacon and eggs for breakfast. After breakfast we went through the tunnel again. While we were going through the tunnel Mum, Grandma, Aidan and I played quirkle. After we got through the tunnel we had lunch. Then we stayed in the boat for a bit. Later on we went on a walk round the loch. We stopped at a lovely cafe for afternoon tea. Then we set off to the marina so we could get some packing done early. Then we went out for dinner. I had a delicious steak pie. Then we bought a giant eclair for pudding. When we got back to the boat we split the eclair. Then we had to go to bed.

Saturday – Sadly today we had to leave our boat. 🙁  So we had some breakfast. Then we packed the car. After that we said goodbye to our lovely boat and got in the car and went home.

Dancing Display

This year I had 5 dances to do. They were Ballet, Acrobatics, 2 tap preformances and jazz. All of which I love to do. I am currently in Grade 3 Ballet, Grade 2 tap, Silver Acro and Youth 1 jazz. I had many costumes this year. This is me and my friend Lyla in our costumes. I am on the left in one of my tap costumes. The next two pictures are of me and my friend Eildh. This is my ballet costume. I am on the right. This is my other tap costume. For my acro costume I wore white leggings with a blue leotard, orange wrist warmers, a white belt and pink ankle warmers. Finally for my Jazz costume I wore an orange crop top, a purple and yellow skirt, blue ankle warmers and pink fish net gloves. (Sadly I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of those two costumes). I really enjoyed the dancing display this year. : ) I hope that you enjoyed reading this post.

Our holiday in Banff

Saturday: Today we went to Banff! We got ready in the morning and off we went. It was a beautiful sunny day too.☉ It was a very long journey there especially given we took the coastal route. It was very pretty though. When we arrived I went straight down to the beach and enjoy the sun.

It was really fun. Then Aidan and I un-packed. Later on Aidan and I went out on the beach to go check out the park. Then we came back and had a delicious dinner of steak pie. After dinner we played a fun game of Qwirkle and Mum won!!! After that we went to bed.

Sunday: Today we slept in. Then once we were all awake we had breakfast. We had poridge with brown sugar. After breakfast we played a game of Ticket to Ride. Dad won. Then we had lunch. For lunch we had steak pie remains and cheese and ham panini’s. After lunch we went on a lovely walk to Banff. There was lots of lovely views on our walk.

Once we got back from our walk we had afternoon tea. Then we had some time to relax. Later on we had dinner. It was absolutely delicious. Then we went on another lovely walk. After that we got back and had supper.

Monday: Today was lots of fun. We had normal breakfast. After breakfast we played a really fun game of Pandemic. 🙂 🙂 🙂 After that we had toasties for lunch. Later on we went to Banff to go on a woodland walk. On our walk we passed an Ice House.

It was very interesting. Further along the walk we came across a Mausoleum. After that we went on a very long walk to get back to the car. Once we got back from the walk we went to the co-operative for afternoon tea. Dad and I had an oreo doughnut and Mum and Aidan had a salted caramel doughnut. They were delicious. Then once we got back to the caravan we relaxed. After that Aidan and I made gnocchi and cheese for dinner. Then we got ready for bed.

Tuesday: Today was lots of fun. For Breakfast we had DOUGHNUTS!!!!!! They were delicious. We had the doughnuts with cinnamon sugar and golden syrup. After that Dad made us a picnic lunch for in Peterhead. After that we went to Peterhead. Once we arrived we looked for the Eastern most point of Scotland. Sadly we couldn’t go right up to the edge because it was private. 🙁 🙁 So after that we went to a nice view of the sea and had our lunch. Later on we went to Fraeserbrugh to do some geo-caching. We found all 5! By that time it was getting near to 5:00 so we headed back to the caravan. When we got back Dad made us Pork Stir Fry. It was delicious. Later on we played 3 games of Bananagrams. Then Aidan and I went to bed.

Wednesday: Today was AWESOME. 🙂 🙂 🙂 For breakfast we had eggs and bacon. After that Dad and I went out on a walk which was really nice. When we came back Dad made us toasties for lunch. Later on we went to the Marine Aquarium. 🙂 It was great when we arrived we saw lots of cool fish like: Rays, Sharks, Salmon and all kinds of others being fed. It was really fascinating watching the way they reacted to the food. Then we went and saw some other fish. Here are some pictures.

It was great fun. Afterwards we got ice cream and a drink. I had an original cornetto. Then we went back to Banff to go to a yarn shop. Aidan bought two lovely balls of yarn and I bought a purple, pink and white ball of yarn. After that we went back to the caravan. For dinner we had potato pie which was very nice. Then for pudding we had some pecan pie which Aidan made. It was absolutely delicious. Then we got ready for bed.

Thursday: Today was a bit sad because we were leaving Banff. 🙁 🙁 🙁 So this morning we finished packing and Dad packed the car. Meanwhile Aidan and I had a last walk on the beach. Later on we had lunch. Then we went to Burgie house. On our way there we stopped at a silk art and pottery shop. I got lots of excellent craft ideas. Then we went back on our travels to burgie house.

Devilla Forest & Blaeberry Jam!

One weekend, back in late August, we went on a beautiful family walk in our nearby, Devilla Forest. The weather recently has been great, and we needed to get out on a walk, so we decided to visit again! (Previous trips – click here). img_6523-resizedWith the promise of afternoon tea at the end, and  an exciting walk, we set out – and began walking towards our first Geocache. As we searched, I began to notice something about our surrounding undergrowth – everywhere I looked – I saw blaeberries (aka billberries, essentially mini blueberries) growing in their hundreds or thousands – far more on each bush than I have normally seen! So we started collecting!! Very soon we noticed that one: we would hundreds of them to do anything, and two: they were staining our makeshift hankie-bag bright pink!


There are at least 20 blaeberries in this photo – the camera doesn’t make them obvious though – and they are easy to miss!

As well as our blaeberry collection, we were also after geocaches, and we found a lot of them – last year we found our 100th geocache on August —-, and we aimed to find a further hundred before then this year. After succeeding that challenge, we have set our target to 200 this year – approximately 4 a week! But the extra caches we collected, including the ones we found in Devilla – have brought our target down to 3.5 a week for the rest of the year.



On our way to Loch Moor, we really enjoyed the trees, the undergrowth, the bird calls in the distance – and this weird thing in a hole in the ground!! None of us are sure what it is, possibly an abandoned bee hive – or an insect mound? Along our walk we also ate some of the wild raspberries along the side of the path – it all felt very different to some other forests, because other than the path – it was just untouched wild forest. After around an hour of walking, we had reached the loch – but we didn’t feel like going all the way around – so after something to eat, we returned by a slightly different route. Then, after finally making it back after our 10km walk, we had some afternoon tea at the walled garden, before heading home.


300 berries – beginnings of the jam

Once we got home, we weighed our blaeberries – and we got the value of around 150 grams. We then weighed 10 berries, and calculated we had 300 berries (each one is about 5mm wide!) – and began our jam! And tasting the jam was (at least for me) a great end to our family day out!

Scone Palace

Sorry about the lateness of this post, I decided it was still worth posting though!

One weekend, beforeimg_5568-resized the summer holidays we decided to go out in the beautiful sunshine to Scone palace – but, just like Culzean Castle, which we did last year – when we went to Scone palace, the only thing we didn’t do was visit was the palace itself! The weather was just so brilliant we just took a walk around their stunning grounds and had some scones to eat afterwards (ba-dum crash??).


We had a delicious lunch, straight from the Tesco deli!! Pork pies, cheese, ham, bread – was very nice – and the perfect start to a great afternoon. From there, we went down past the castle to the river – the palace was in pretty good condition for its age, though it was covered in vines! Once down at the river – Megan and I went down onto the stone beach – while Mum & Dad walked through the bluebell covered forest. Looking up the river was pretty spectacular – one of the nicest views since New Zealand! It was so nice, in fact – I later turned it into a felt picture!


We then moved on to continue our walk around the grounds – and we encountered a huge hedge maze – in the shape of a clan tartan – using two different colours of hedge. Megan thoroughly bet me to the centre – she was waiting for me in the centre – because I essentially went the entire circumference of the maze, and some more! img_5612-resizedMegan took a more direct route. We also encountered a large wooden shelter, with a modelled pineapple on top – and inside it explained about how in the 17-1800s pineapples were known as the food of the rich!

Towards the end of our walk, we encountered white peacocks, roaming around – something none of us had seen before! They were just strolling around the park, where Megan and I were. After we had left the park and made our way back along the road to the castle – we went inside to get afternoon tea, and then came back out to enjoy it in the beautiful sunshine. And then, after a lovely day out, it was time to head home – but with the intention of returning at some point, in the future – to explore inside!

White Peacock!!!

White Peacock!!!



Holiday in Liverpool

We are in Liverpool! We had a very fun travel from Caenarfon to Liverpool which Aidan will explain about in his blog post. Anyway today [Wednesday 6th July] we had a delicious breakfast then we got ready to go out to Formby. Once we arrived at Formby we went to the beach which was really fun. Mum and Dad sat around on the bank though. Then after that we went on a very nice walk around the place and we saw a red squirrel which was really cool. Then later on we got some ice cream; I had a chocolate sundae and Aidan had just a vanilla ice cream with a flake in a cone. Then we went back home. For dinner we had a chicken stir fry which was very nice.

The next day it was AIDAN’S BIRTHDAY. So later after a bit of a lie-in we went to the center of Liverpool. First we went on the Wheel of Liverpool which was really fun even if I was a bit scared the first time we went round. Then we went into the Beatles Story Museum which was really fascinating. Then we went home to pick up Mum’s new phone. Later on we went back to Liverpool for afternoon tea (it was delicious). Aidan had a Rocky Road Sundae which he shared a bit with me and I had a Lemon Curd Cheesecake. Then we stopped by a Liverpool Rock place. Aidan got some Liverpool rock, sugar mouse, with choclate sprinkle disks and a broken chocolate piece. I got some sour blue raspberry bubble gum and a packet of blue raspberry nerds and tropical punch nerds. Then we went back home for dinner.

On Friday we went to Blackpool. First we went to the Blackpool Tower which was awesome. We then went all the way to the top of the tower which was awesome but it was freezing even though it had an incredible view. After that we went to the tower gift shop and I got a mini Blackpool tower and an ice cream flavoured Blackpool rock. Then after that we went to the Tower Ballroom which looked very grand. Later on we went on a tram to Pleasure Beach fun park. The beach itself was sadly was closed because it was high tide. Instead we went to the central pier which was awesome first Aidan and I went on the Dodgems which was awesome then we went on a ride called Extreme which was really fun but a bit scary. Then we got 10 fresh donuts and a lemon and lime slushie. Then on our way back we went through an arcade. Dad said to try not to get distracted but we failed I did a coin drop machine that had other prizes in it to. I spent about 5 mins on it and I then won a crystal lizard keyring. Then we went on a long walk which was really fun. Then we went to a shop to buy some Blackpool rock for my friends. Then we went home for dinner.

On Saturday we had a lazy morning because we where feeling quite tired from all the travelling.Then in the afternoon we went to a place called Knowsley Safari Park. Which was really fun. We saw lots of different animals like Rhino’s, Camels & lions. Here are 4 pictures.


Then we went to the gift shop & Aidan bought a snow globe. I didn’t buy anything but I did do a coin press for Knowsley Safari Park. Then we had a nice journey home.

The Final Part of our Trip

This is what we did when we were visiting some friends in New Zealand.

Then once we left Auckland we went to the glow worm caves which was absolutely beautiful and very fascinating. After that we went to see Mel and her kids Amy, Daniel, Noah and Cassia. Amy was 14, Daniel was 12, Noah was 8 and Cassia is 5. I spent lots of my time with Amy staying away from the boys. First Amy and I built a fort which was really cosy meanwhile the boys where setting up pranks. Then Amy and went out on a walk for 10 minutes then we had dinner. The next day we went to a river and went on a long walk to the caves. Then on the way back Amy, Noah, Daniel and I ran of ahead pretending there was a Zombie apocalypse. Then we went swimming in the river which was really cold first I went body boarding with Amy then we went on the rope swing. Aidan didn’t want to do it so I got ready to do it but I slipped just above the water and it was actually really fun. So I did it again I slipped but I let go too late and bashed my knee which feels much better now. Then we went back and Amy and I made rainbow cupcakes while the boys were out building a den. Then when they came back we put yucky stuff into their water to get them back for the other pranks. Then we said goodbye and went to see some other friends.

Then we met some friends of ours called Benjamin and Toby. They were really fun to play with. It was really funny to watch and help them out when fighting each other. Then we spent quite a while playing a game called Geometry Dash making levels for each other. One of my favourite parts was sleeping in a tent outside with Benjamin and Toby for two nights. The next day we went to church after that we had lunch then played some darts which I really enjoyed. Aidan was with Toby and I was with Benjamin. Aidan and Toby weren’t that good whereas Benjamin and I were very good. Later that day I showed them my back bend and asked them to try and do a bridge. I have to admit that they weren’t that good though I know that they did their best. Then we had dinner with Auntie Elspeth and some of her friends which was delicious. Then the next day she came to say goodbye to us which I thought was very kind.

After that we went to see Hannah and Alethea. Hannah is 9 and she had an adorable pet rabbit plus a swimming pool! Then we spent the rest of the day chatting. The next day we went up a mountain and went exploring. Then we went to get a fresh fruit ice cream. Then when we got back we went swimming in their pool. Which was so much fun. Then we went back to Auckland and the next day we went to the Zoo which was so cool we even saw Kiwis. Then the next day we said our goodbyes and hopped onto the plane.


Megan’s Memories

Last time we went to New Zealand was when I was three and I had some memories from then. Here they all are.

My first memory was the rainbow car wash. We did it while Aidan was at school which was really cool. The main reason why I was so happy was because in Scotland we only sometimes have a two-colour car wash and that’s only for special occasions.


My second memory was my ballet class. It’s directly across from the awesome rainbow car wash. I loved it so so much it was probably my favourite thing I did in New Zealand when I was three. Then when it was time for us to leave New Zealand my teacher was devastated. She kept saying to mummy that she had to send me to a good dancing school back in Scotland. Which she did and look were I am now, about to do my ballet exam and go into grade 3.


Another memory I have is when I went to kindergarten. I made my only friend there her name was Lily and she was so kind to me. Also Aidan was friends with her older brother sadly though we can’t remember his name. 🙁

My final memory was in Nan and Grandad’s back garden. When Aidan and I were picking their delicious lemons from the tree. I also remember the trampoline they have very well. I Love Nan and Grandad’s back garden so much because it’s just so adventurous.


Our New Zealand Holiday so far

When we arrived on Saturday we went to our awesome house and unpacked. Then we went to Nan and Grandad’s house and we spent a lovely afternoon with them. Then on Sunday we were going to go to church, but we were too tired so we stayed at home. Then we went to Nan and Grandad’s to see Auntie Heather and Uncle Martin. We had a lot of fun playing Qwirkle, but sadly I lost. Aidan won the game and Auntie Heather came second.

On Monday we went to Mission Bay with Auntie Heather and Uncle Martin. We went swimming in the sea and Aidan and I went foraging for shells and I kept finding oyster shells. Then we also had ice cream, despite the fact it was melting extremely quickly – it still was delicious. It was really fun and I really enjoyed it.


Selfie at Fairy Falls, Waitakere Ranges

Then on Tuesday we went to the Waitakere Ranges (the NZ rainforest near Auckland). We had a lovely walk through and we saw a beautiful waterfall as well as a massive kauri tree. Then later on we went to a place in Meadowbank and we got some chicken drumsticks (they were the best chicken drumsticks I had ever had).


Us in the Waitakere Ranges (Fairy Falls track)


The Summer Gravel Snowman (wearing my new hat!)

Then on Wednesday Nan and Grandad had an appointment to go to and Daddy was going with them. So while they were gone Auntie Heather, Aidan and I did some marbling and we made 16 really pretty sheets of marbling paper (it’s so easy to make hundreds!). Then for afternoon tea we went to Dunkin Donuts where Aidan got a cinnamon donut and I got a chocolate donut.

The next day was Christmas Eve and we went to Sylvia Park shopping centre for some last-minute shopping. I got a pair of gorgeous kiwi paua shell earings and necklace. Then Aidan got a mini Maori carving that had paua shell eyes. Then for lunch Mummy and Aidan had delicious sushi. I had got my lunch from Oporto (take away fried meat shop) and got  delicious chicken drumsticks and chips (Again I know!).

Friday was CHRISTMAS AT LAST!!! First we opened our stocking presents and I got my first ever pair of dangly earings. Then we went over to Nan and Grandad’s house for Christmas lunch it was delicious. Then later that day two of Daddy’s friends came over and we had a lovely walk along the beach. We also had a walk through the water and discovered it was really warm so we all walked through the water.

Then on Boxing Day we went to Meadowbank and visited my kindergarten and Aidan’s old school. Then in the afternoon we went to Panmure Basin and walked all the way around it. Then in the evening we went to Tahuna Torea (a beach) and Aidan and I went swimming in the sea (it was lots of fun). Then we went to see the lights and we also drove up to One Tree Hill. 

Then on Sunday we went to church and we had a lot of fun. [I’ll tell you more about our afternoon in another post].

Today, Monday, we went to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Centre. It was a lot of fun we saw lots and lots of penguins. Then we saw some elephant sharks wich looked very cool. Then we saw lots of fish and we also saw some sharks too which was absolutely awesome. Then after that we saw some awesome sea horses and we saw some species I had never seen before. Then we had a look at some star fish, I even got to hold one!


Mr Shark


This was AWESOME! (megalodon shark)


Just chillin’