Thursday, 14 December 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: A week of cheer! #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Are we really almost half way through December already? I can't believe in less than a fortnight it will be Christmas Day! At least there are plenty of festive frolics to make me cheerful now. I am also watching season 2 of the Crown as I type which I am thoroughly enjoying! Here are my 7 main reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Community Coffee Morning 

We had a Christmas coffee morning as a community as we had Big Lottery fund money left over from our playground opening in the summer. One of our residents is a professional cook and she made all these wonderful goodies for us to enjoy:

2) Magical Kendal

Whilst out to scope out shots for our latest Fell running video I saw how magical Fletcher Park was looking in the wintry light:

3) Fabulous Frost

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Fractions made simple

As a teacher and a parent I become aware of which areas of mathematics children are most likely to struggle with. I am starting a mini series of videos on how to work on some of these areas and make them simpler to understand. 

First up it is fractions. The video looks at:

  • equivalent fractions
  • common denominators
  • simplifying fractions
  • adding fractions
  • subtracting fractions
  • multiplying fractions
  • dividing fractions
  • improper fractions

What areas of maths would you like to have explained simply?

Monday, 11 December 2017

Recipe Monday: Roasted Vegetable Soup

I know full well that I am not eating enough vegetables so I seized the chance today to remedy that as I had a colourful array of vegetables waiting to be eaten:

I chopped up some of each colour carrot, a few parsnips and the red onion and tossed them in olive oil with some of my flavoured salt:

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Fell Running Challenge #2 Kendal Castle

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My son was very pleased to have had over 100 views of the two versions of his first fell running film in a week! So we headed down the road to Kendal Castle to film our second one. It was bitterly cold but no snow except in the distance as he ran up, around and down at the castle:

Friday, 8 December 2017

#CountryKids Using our senses to find signs of Winter #ForestSchool

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

It was quite a relief that the snow flurries last night didn't cause me any problem getting to work this morning or stop us having Forest School! There was plenty of snow on the mountains that we can see from the school grounds though:

As it was bitterly cold we had to be both well wrapped up and active whilst outside. So I explained our mission inside before we even went out into our forest area. We were going to use four of our senses to find signs of winter:
  • hearing
  • seeing
  • touching 
  • smelling

We omitted taste for obvious reasons!

The first thing we noticed was that the birds had eaten most of the food we had left out the previous week. We had to collect in the pipe cleaners to make more to put out next week.

The children sat quietly for a short while so that we could see if we could hear anything... There was very little bird song and mostly just the sound of the wind! Then the children set off to use their senses to find something for all four:


The youngest children had to climb trees to see the snow on the mountains high up and far away. They could also see that the leaves had fallen off the trees.


As well as the wind they heard the sound of leaves crunching.


For a brief time they took off their gloves to feel things. Most of which were very cold or even freezing.


There wasn't much to smell, although one local farmer had obviously fertilised his field! With a lot of snotty noses it probably wasn't the easiest sense to use..

We then took a tub of fallen leaves into school for a project to be done after lunch.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: School, Views, Sofa and more! #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

It's December so that means I am back to hosting the linky to give Michelle a well earned rest! Please join in to share your happy moments from the last week. Then visit the other linkers and comment on their blogs. Let us all share the love!

1) Forest Fun

I had a great first day teaching forest school and its a real mood boost to be out in the great outdoors with enthusiastic children:

2) Filming on the Helm

We had a fabulous afternoon up on this hill to create our first Fell Running film. How could this view not make you smile:

3) Free Sofa

We were very lucky to be given a free preloved sofa that fits in our limited space. I have had to rearrange a lot of furniture but its worth it to have a place that we can be cosy whilst watching TV:

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Fell Running Challenge #1 Helm

My son has been inspired by Kendal Mountain Festival to make some fell running films and then create a short film to enter into the competition next year! Today we headed up onto the Helm which is the home of his fell running club. Under his direction I filmed him running along this beautiful hill and performing many drills:

We are looking forward to making more films and including some other club members to make them more interesting. If anyone can suggest a great location for making another episode we would love to hear from you!

I am also open to suggestions on how to improve our videos...

Real Mum Reviews
The Pramshed

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Review: Prestige Flowers Christmas Bouquet

Sponsored Post

I arrived home on Saturday to find this beautiful box had been delivered from Prestige Flowers:

Inside it was this wonderful Noel bouquet from

The bouquet was delivered with its own vase:

Saturday, 2 December 2017

#CountryKids Simple Bird Feeders for Forest School

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

This week I had my first day leading Forest School with young children. I needed to have a simple activity that we could all do from age 3 to 6. So we first of all made simple bird feeders by threading cereal. Obviously I could only film myself making one but the ones in the trees were made by the children:

Then out in the forest we took bread, spread peanut butter on and dipped them into bird seed:

All the children really enjoyed making the feeders and we just have to hope that when we go out next week we can see whether they have eaten them all!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Challenges, Wins and Guinea Pigs #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Hard to believe its the last day of November as its gone in a flash! The last time of Michelle hosting then its over to me for December. Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Challenge Complete

When I injured my foot in October I thought that I would fail to earn my 1000 km medal as its either run or walk and not a mix! I had reached 706 km of running and it was tantalising close so frustrating... Luckily thanks to Pokemon Go I have walked over a million steps to 1001 km since May, so my medal is on its way:

2) Guinea Pigs

As the temperatures have started to plummet the guinea pigs can't stay in their outdoor hutch. I have sacrificed a corner of my kitchen to keep them cosy for the winter. I love seeing their little faces and hearing their week whenever I go into the kitchen:

3) Rediscovering Hidden Treasures

Monday, 27 November 2017

Forest School: Bird Feeders

As I am just starting out to teach forest school with children from Nursery to Year 1 I have been researching simple ideas of things that they can make to incorporate into our sessions. We are going to be looking at winter as a topic from this week so I have been looking at simple bird feeders that we can make. These look easy enough for them to do (as long as they don't eat the cereals!):

These look good too as long as no-one is allergic to nuts:

Saturday, 25 November 2017

A photographic walk through Kendal

I have taken so many photographs of Kendal that I have put some of my favourites together on YouTube:

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Dancing, Adventure and Steam Trains #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Its Thursday which means its reasons to be cheerful with this month's host Michelle. Next its back to me so I will have to get organised! Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Steam Train

A group of photographers had booked our local steam train to run up and down the line at the same time as we were at parkrun this weekend. How many parkruns have one of these:

2) Parkrun Marshalling

My son and I volunteered together as marshals on the meadow hill and I had taken along my camera to capture some of the action. It was lovely to get smiles out of the runners and walkers as they took on the climb:

3) Ceilidh

On Friday night I went to a ceilidh with my mum and daughter. Us youngsters were out danced by the U3A folk and Scottish dancers but we had a really time:

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

#CountryKids A weekend of fun at Kendal Mountain Festival #Kendal17

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Having popped up  quick post with just a YouTube video yesterday I thought I had better elaborate a bit more about the fun we had at Kendal Mountain Festival this weekend! First of all I got us tickets to see a talk about a new Channel 4 show Britain's Abandoned Playgrounds. This is a show where a free runner, slack liner, BMX rider and skateboarder have fun in some unusual locations:

There was a chat with the makers of the show plus the stars. A couple of them demonstrated their skills in front of us (check out the video from yesterday...) We watched some footage and then got to see the world premiere of the first episode. At the end the stars were happy to stop and chat to the children:

Outside lots of the children had a go at free running around on the walls etc much to the angst of us parents! Guttingly I had missed out on tickets to see Steve Backshall who was on next so we went home for the night.

On the Sunday we walked into Kendal to the Base Camp at the Brewery Arts Centre:

Monday, 20 November 2017

Friday, 17 November 2017

My dream adult escape spot

I heard from Boo, Roo and Tiger Too that the lovely people at Tiger Sheds are challenging bloggers to plan their perfect adult escape space in one of their sheds. Now as a single mum with a boy into gaming and YouTube I would love somewhere that I could shut myself away and relax...

So first up I need to choose my ideal shed. Of course I would like plenty of light to get in and enough room for all my requirements. I think that the Tiger Garden Studio Plus would fit the bill nicely:

So next up I will need somewhere comfortable to sit... I think this plum corner sofa from Marks and Spencer would be lovely and cosy:

I would need a nice coffee table with a bit of storage to put things on or in. As I have a bit of hankering for solid wood I would consider this piece from Oak Solution:

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Fixes, Family and Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

The linky is still being hosted by Michelle so please pop over to her blog! I have got plenty of reasons to be cheerful this week but here are just a few:

1) Bargain

We don't have a sofa and our armchairs are the wrong shape to curl up on. So I grabbed a bargain off our local Sell and Seek of another armchair plus footrest that we can share when watching TV or a movie:

2) Girl time

This weekend I had lots of time with my daughter both country dancing, then with a movie marathon with pizza on Saturday and finally the bridge tournament on Sunday. We were supervised by this handsome chap:

3) Proud Mum

Reasons to be Cheerful: Birthday Fun & Fireworks #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

The happiest linky around is still in the hands of Michelle so please join in, comment and share the things that have made you smile this week however small! Here are some of mine:
1) Birthday Boy

My son turned 11 this week (how did that happen!). He is growing up fast and this year chose a trampoline party at Jump Rush in Morecambe with his friends. It was so much fun and I wish I had been brave and joined in.... next time:

2) Bubbles

I had won some Prosecco with extra pop-a-ball and fun additions from a local company Fabulous Flutes. It was perfect to enjoy once my house was no longer full of tween age boys and I could sit back and enjoy Strictly:

3) Mummy Treats

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Yellow Stickers

Hands up if you are a fan of a bargain? I know I am! With my local supermarkets I am learning the best time to go in for the best bargains. Tonight just after 7 PM it was Morrisons as they close earlier than other shops. I basically got a 3 course dinner for 97p:

What are your best yellow sticker bargains?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Annual Bridge Tournament

On Sunday it was the annual bridge tournament in memory of my Granny. My mum and aunt have been organising them since 2011 as close as possible to her birthday. We all helped out to get it set up:

Several ladies had been busy baking and making savoury goodies for the afternoon tea which were served up on an array of wonderful platters:

Then the serious part of the afternoon started with the backdrop of the castle. Even my daughter took part as she has been having lessons:

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Growing Up

One of the great things about social media apps such as Timehop is that you can easily compare how things have changed on the same date over time. As a case in point here are three photographs of my son and I taken over the last four years. It really shows how much he has grown:

Age 8
Age 8

Age 10

Age 11

The only question is... how long before he is taller than me? I am 5ft 8.5 or 175cm which isn't short but he is going to end up a lot taller than that!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Simple Cake Decorating

My son and I weren't too impressed with the party cakes on offer at Morrisons as they are all quite pricey when you only need enough for a few people. So instead we got the basic cake and he chose some things to decorate it:

I did the initial divide with icing and then it was my son's turn to do some decorating:

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Family, Friends and Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Now we are in November I have handed the hostess mantle back to the founder Michelle. We will be in good hands until I am in charge again for December! Its been a pretty good week for me from the tail end of half term and then some glorious weather. Here are some of the things that had made me cheerful:

1) Catching up with friends

One of my school friends was up north with her family for the holidays and we enjoyed spending time with them and showing them our castle:

One of my single parent friends is also in the area for a break and we met up for coffee and cake at Yard 46

2) Time with my girl

We had a delightful day trip to Lancaster to spend birthday money and try out a vegetarian restaurant:

Such a pleasure to spend a laid back day with her. Then last night we were at the Brewery as a puppetry project she worked on had a showing for the parents. She had done an amazing job!

3) Time with my boy