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Life with a toddler is never dull. That is in part because they are full of energy. Part because the energy required to keep up with them means you never sit still. We find that we are best with Annabelle when we have a plan. That’s not to say every minute is planned for but that we have a general plan.

Annabelle normally naps for an hour and half – two hours at lunchtime. That means our plans have to be morning plans or afternoon plans. Usually they end up being afternoon plans as neither of us are great at getting moving 🙂

As lockdown restrictions are being eased we are trying to take advance of getting out and about more. With the weather looking okay we decided to check out Balsall Heath City Farm. You can check out their website here.

The farm opened in 1980 as an inner city oasis to give children access to animals they might not otherwise get to see. There are over 50 animals on the farm, a great vegetable patch and plenty of other things to see.

We were lucky enough to be invited for a cider talk and tasting, as well as making pizzas (!!!) with some fellow Brum bloggers, at The Stable in Birmingham. We were really excited as we’ve visited The Stable before, for their pre-opening celebration as well as a few more recent delicious dinners out, and also because making our own pizzas sounded so much fun!

The Stable started in Cornwall, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients and forming relationships with lots of cider makers. This combination was such a success that they are now opening up plenty more in locations across the country!We headed to the restaurant’s Birmingham location, which is very well located between New Street station and the Mailbox, and found it immediately.

Birmingham, Brum, B’ham – whatever you call the home of the 2nd largest population outside of London, we have fallen in LOVE with it! That may have a LOT to do with our Brum tour guides showing us all the best parts, but there is no denying it’s always a city that we can’t wait to get back to. So in honour of the city once known as Bromwicham, and the 72nd largest city of the world, we bring you our view of Birmingham.

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The UK is amazing. I feel like we have started more than a few posts with that line over the year. Being based in the Midlands we have been able to take full advance of exploring this wonderful island.

We thought we’d take a moment to round up our UK highlights, it ended up being too much for one post so we have split it into three – starting with the Midlands, followed by the South and then the North! So if you want a day trip or mini break or long weekend then there might be somewhere for you to check out.

In the UK this past few weeks there have been a few news reports about how last year more people moved from London to our home city – Birmingham than to any other city. It makes sense as it has the highest concentration of any city other than London and you know – there’s us 🙂

There is a whole list of stories here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37585337 but I thought I would jot down our reasons for the move after a 2 day stay in London reminded me of all the reasons our move was totally the right decision!

1) We could afford our own house and as a massive benefit the mortgage on our house is £500 less that the rent we were paying for our 1 bed London flat.

Crazy golf / mini golf / putting whatever you call the bizarre game of hitting a ball around a course it’s not new. In fact I remember playing it on holiday as kid whether we were in Brighton, Tenerife or some other not so exotic destination. Laura and I have also played at various locations around the world since we have been together. It’s simple fun that we both enjoy.

What is a newer trend is the development of courses that are ‘next level’. In Birmingham this is taken literally – with the two storey Adventure Mini Golf at Star City that includes two 18 holed themed courses. But also design wise – with the pop-up Ghetto Golf an 18-hole twisted course based on Birmingham landmarks and retro themes that allows you to drink as you golf.

With the bank holiday fast approaching we wanted to round up a few recent trips we have taken in and around Birmingham that may be of interest if you are in the area, or planning a trip here.

If you plan to stay centre here are a couple of things to do…..

1. Back to Backs
Turns out even some locals don’t what this is but TripAdvisor rates it highly on the to-do list and so do we. The Back to Backs are houses that were built to deal with a housing crisis back in the 1800’s. The example you visit is 5 minute walk from the train station. From the outside you will a traditional sweet shop and what looks like an oldish building. It is here that you start the tour.

Okay so it must have been at least a few posts since we went on about how much we love Birmingham, right?!

Well I thought it was about time that I highlighted one of Birmingham’s beautiful venues. While the city itself is a wonderful mish-mash of old and new architecture there are a few buildings that really stand out as being something special.

The Library:
I don’t know what went through the designers head when he started drawing circles all over this building but the end result is spectacular. It’s a building that mesmerizes and entertains and whatever time of day you are looking at it you will always see something different. It’s easy to forget that it houses 1000’s of books but if you ever visit Birmingham it’s worth 20 minutes out of your day to enter the cavernous space and ride the escalators to the top. From there you can enjoy the roof garden and views of the city stretching out to the surrounding countryside.