Working Weekend

Working in retail I have little choice about working weekends.  Where we live in what is really a seaside holiday town Saturday shopping is not what you would call typical.  Saturday mornings for us in the toy shop are usually quite busy first thing with a lot of people running around picking up last minute things before they go home.  Saturday afternoons are very quiet.  People who have just holidayed have gone home and new holiday makers are concentrating on unpacking, resting from their journey and picking up just food.  I learnt this very early on and as I moved to Tywyn and set up this business for the simple like I made the decision to finish at 2pm on Saturdays.


I need to spend time with my growing family and not missing out on family.  Something I did too much of when I worked silly hours when they were younger.  I determined not to let that happen again.

This weekend, me and my girl had a weekend away together.  It was the trade show at the NEC and we decided to have some fun of our own.  We are lucky here that school finishes at 2.45pm (due to our rural setting and trains/buses only running every 2 hours.  But they do start at 8.30am and have a shortened lunch break) we were able to be on the 3.30pm train back to the Midlands.

There were giggles and munchies… IMG_6215.JPGIMG_6219.JPGIMG_6228.JPG

Crochet and ipad playing…..


After 2 3/4 hours it was time to change trains and we were nearly back at our house in the Midlands.


First thing was bunny cuddlesIMG_6271.JPGIMG_6275.JPG

Reluctantly early to bed as a busy day ahead on Saturday.


Few bits of things were packed and sorted and then on to the bus in to Birmingham to our hotel for the night.


The trade show started at 10am on Sunday morning and getting in to Birmingham on a Sunday morning early is neigh on impossible.  We had lots of companies to see and needed to be on the 4.07 train home; The last train straight through to Tywyn.  Late on Thursday night I decided to ease the rush and booked a hotel in Birmingham for the night.  Nothing fancy, just a bed for the night.  Comfy bed, spacious room, clean and friendly staff.  Only criticism is the decor was a little tired.  But what do you expect for £35 a night for a twin room.  I will most certainly use one of these last minute hotel booking sites again if I ever need to book a hotel just before travel again.  So quick, straight forward and easy to do.  We certainly got value for money with this room.


We dropped off our cases and jumped on the bus right outside our hotel in to the city centre.  Walking through Birmingham on our way to the Bullring, I got ‘conned’ in to buying a new denim jacket for a little someone which she had to wear straight away.


 Our one and only destination was Selfridges in the Bullring.  I needed a Cath fix and The Girl wanted to eat at the American Diner in the food hall.


A little someone wanted to try on some clothes for part of her Christmas present.


This dress and cardi were the favourite of both of us.


Loved this green clock print dress and also the red clock print skirt in this fabric looked lovely too but I somehow managed to delete the photo.IMG_6288.JPG

Someone will have to wait until later in the year until she knows which outfit she gets.

After spending nearly an hour in Cath Kidston and 3 mugs added to the collection it was time for something to eat.


A treat at Ed’s American Diner in Selfridges it was.




I then got ‘conned’ again at Paperchase as you oh so need a new notepad and stickers.


Next day it was down to the hard worm.  relaxing clothes, sensible comfortable shoes and a hearty breakfast.



And then we were off….


Very few of the companies like you taking photos of their stands but I did grab this sneaky one after I ordered some Gruffalos and lots of them!


A few other purchases included:



large Farm

Large Fire station

Looking forward to stocking these lovely quality toys in the next few months.

And then it was time to begin our 3 1/2 hour journey home to Wales, luckily on a straight through train.


Not exactly getting out in to the fresh air of the countryside but more of the exact opposite.  But what it was, which country kids tries to achieve was quality family time.  It was great spending time one on one.  the Boy has declared he is coming to the February trade show and we are going to have a Mother/Son weekend away.  I truly look forward to this.

This was a favourite one on one time I recently spent with The Boy.

I don’t know about you but my kids just seem so different when I spend time with them alone.  I try to do this every day, even if its only something as simple as a five minute cuddle in bed together in the morning or before bed.  One on one time with them both is special and in my opinion a essential part f their lives.

This is an independent review of the hotel booking site.  I was not paid or asked to review the hotel or service.

Linking up with #CountryKids over at  Coombe Mill, Magic Moments,  What’s The Story,
Ordinary Moments and #PoCoLo.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall    magic moments 


  1. 13th September 2014 / 7:07 am

    Looks like a lovely weekend. I love Selfridges and the Bullring – it’s ages since I last went there. Time alone with one child is so valuable (and so hard to achieve!), but they always seem to relax and mature when they’re on their own.

    • Candace
      13th September 2014 / 8:24 am

      It is hard to achieve Sarah especially as a single parent as there is no other adult automatically there to look after the other one. I think as they are getting old it is a much better relationship between us and as you say they are different kids when they aren’t together. think its probably down to The Girl always being very clingy and so jealous if The boy had my attention. She is so much more relaxed when she is on her own.

      The boy appreciated the time too. Less of the stroppy soon to be teenager attitude, instead a very mature caring young man.

      Must be so hard to achieve with 3 chidren and all the activities they do.

  2. 13th September 2014 / 8:46 am

    Wow, you own a toy shop! That is so cool! I love the wooden Fire Station, that looks awesome. What a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your daughter. Looks like you both had so much fun. I agree the children are different when on their own….my two definitely are! #Countrykids

  3. 14th September 2014 / 9:14 am

    Whats a story! You did a lot and you were busy and you girls are just glowing with happiness =) #countrykids

  4. Helena
    7th October 2014 / 3:33 am

    Glad to be part of the mega Cath experience and the diner!

    You obsession with Cath is a little worrying at time but the quirky side of your personality deserves the mug obsession. It makes you you but seriously do you really need so many? lol! But a truly understand why even if others don’t. My hubby being one of the who thinks I’ve caught the obsession!

    • Candace
      7th October 2014 / 3:49 am

      I have repeatedly told you can never have two much Cath and tea tastes so much better in a pretty china mug. You’ve told me I make the best tea. It’s all down to the Cath!

      DD is being trained. Just thought I’d warn you!

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