Thursday 28 February 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful week 9

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Fab family time

We have had lots of fun together this week with days out and just enjoying ourselves in the park whilst the sun is shining:

It's been so relaxing being outside and just chilling together.

2) Family

We live near extended family up here and this week they were brilliant by helping out with a school run and baby sitting. Its lovely having people close by that care about us enough to disrupt their lives for us. As my children said its great to have a truly great great aunt!

3) Blue skies

Its been a bit of a shock to have all these days of sunshine back to back. But its lovely to wake up each day and see the blue sky:

Every day I think its the last one and things will revert to the rain that was an almost constant feature of 2012! However whilst it lasts I am not being put off my running as its lovely to be outdoors in the fresh air on days like this. Long may I want to do mad things like this route:

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun

4) My children

This week mornings have been a lot less stressful. My daughter has set her own alarm and has been getting herself up 40 minutes before she used to wake up. She now gets herself all dressed and finds herself breakfast before I've made it downstairs myself! There are signs that little brother is marginally better in the mornings too though its early days yet and we still don't leave for school on time..

5) Photography

It's been fabulous to get such wonderful feedback about a couple of photographs this week including Astrid and My Girl. Definitely makes me cheerful to know that people love some of the photographs I take!  

What's making you smile this week?

Tuesday 26 February 2013

St James' Church, Staveley

Its funny I never realised that the windows in St James' church Staveley were designed by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones until I Googled them for my daily photograph yesterday! No wonder they are so glorious. They show the Crucifixion and Ascension of Christ surrounded by angels and stars. I knew that one of the angels had been used for the Royal Mail's second class Christmas stamp in 2009. 

I am really pleased with the way my photographs of them from yesterday turned out so I thought I would share them with you all:

Not sure which one is my favourite but they are just so beautifully designed and made.

Monday 25 February 2013

Easter Gift Ideas

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I have been sent some lovely ideas for Easter Gifts instead of a too big a pile of chocolate eggs! They would also be nice for birthday presents as well. There is something in this selection for all ages.

Nici - Jolly Sleepy Sheep

My children are big soft toy fans so this was a big hit Mummy can I have the rest of the set? It looks dead cute and it feels really soft. I am sure it would become a big favourite with  small child that would have to be taken every where! The sheep have an RRP of £10.95 for this smallest size (10cm) this seems a lot for a cuddly toy but it does seem to be very well made.

Schleich Baby Bunnies

We love Schleich animals in our house and we are amassing quite a collection so these little bunnies will feel right at home:

As usual they have lovely little details and are good quality. At just over £5 they make a longer lasting Easter egg!

Shoulder Buddies

We first came across these last Easter and my daughter loved hers. She was glad to have a second one to boost her collection:

These have a magic coin to make them sit on your child's shoulder. Again at just under £5 from retailers a great alternative to a chocolate egg! There is a whole series to collect and each has its own unique characteristics.

Sylvanian Sheep Family

My daughter was very pleased to see that we had this new family to add to her collection:

These can be found from £10.99 so a bit more pricey than some of the other gifts but if you have a Sylvanian family fan then they would make a cute addition. These have already gone off for an adventure in the camper van! I love the cute little outfits and my 9 year old has great fun making up stories to go with these toys.

Star Wars Angry Birds

My 6 year old discovered the Star Wars version of Angry Birds at Christmas and loves playing it on my iPad so he was delighted to find Princess Leia in our parcel:

She is rather adorable and my son has had lots of fun throwing her around! This would be a fun present for fans of Star Wars and Angry Birds whether child or grown up. They are available from just under £9 and its part of a series to tie in with the game so you could end up with quite a collection...

Ravensburger Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit Jigsaw

This is a puzzle with over 100 cuddly rabbits on the picture:

I started working on this yesterday and found that yes its a bit tricky but the details of each bunny make it not too hard:

My 6 year old sat and helped me for 45 minutes and granny had a go too so its something for all the family. This was the state of play by tea time:

I haven't managed to finish it yet as its on my parents' kitchen table but hopefully between us we will get it done! Like all Ravensburger puzzles it is well made and with an RRP of £7.99 its a reasonable price for something that fills so much time. I will let you know when I've finished it!

Saturday 23 February 2013

Kendal Community Roots Open Garden

It may have been very cold and even snowing slightly but that didn't deter us from getting on our bikes and heading out:

My son was very nervous having not cycled for weeks due to the weather but after a few tricky moments he did manage some proper riding:

Our destination was the Open Day at Community Roots which is a new project combining students and staff from The Queen Katherine School, adult volunteers and young people not in education or employment (NEETs). The full project started in January and today was a chance for the gardens to be shown to the community plus recruiting new volunteers. There was plenty of things to see and do.

Wood Carving

Andy Levy is a local craftsman who carves wood using a chain saw! It makes for an impressive demonstration and my children were very impressed with his work:

Can you guess what he is making here:

Science Garden

There was also plenty to see in the gardens that are used by students from QKS for science projects:

Bird Spotting

Bug Hotel

My son can't wait until he is big enough to go to QKS (only 6 years to wait!) and go in the gardens more often.

Wetheriggs Zoo and Animal Sanctuary

This was the bit I lost my daughter to! Any chance to meet and touch cute furry animals at the minute... She was in seventh heaven holding mice and rabbits:

They gave me plenty of advice about future ownership of rabbits and guinea pigs and are looking forward to going to visit the sanctuary itself sometime. 

Fortified by wonderful soup and cakes my son and I checked out some of the lovely mosaics that can be found in the garden:

We came back to discover my daughter had dragged herself away from the animals and was learning wood carving with Sam Robinson:

After a while her little brother was persuaded to have a go too:

Story Telling

One of the highlights of the afternoon was a story telling session with Grasmere based Taffy Thomas. He had an audience of children and grown ups entranced with his tales:

There was a fair amount of audience participation too:

All in all a fab day out for the family despite the cold and I hope the project does well - maybe we will get to volunteer to help it all. Meanwhile here is my video of the trip:

  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday 22 February 2013

Funny Friday

The things that happen when you leave your 9 year old alone with your iPad:




Thursday 21 February 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful: week 8 #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart
As Michelle is on a break the host for this is now Seasider in the City so please pop over to say hello! I missed last week as I was away but that takes me straight into my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Butlins

We had our first ever family holiday to Butlins after getting a great discount as our half term was earlier than everyone else's! Despite my son being ill for our entire trip we managed to have a great time. I haven't yet fully written up our stay but I did put together a YouTube video:

It was a fab break for primary aged children and it was bliss for me to not have to make breakfast or cook tea! Watch this space for more..

2) Sunshine

Since we got home we have had so much blue sky its been lovely, it really lifts my spirits to look out to see this:

It has also made for lovely sunsets so let's hope it hangs around for a while..

3) Parents' Evenings

Both my children had parents' evening this week. Always nerve wracking as a parent but it was good news. My daughter has jumped up in her maths after coasting last term and is in the top set of her class with the year above. Her creative writing is especially impressing her teacher who says she always does it differently to everyone else! Great to hear she is doing so well.

My son had impressed his new teacher last term and has done so again. His writing and literacy are improving quickly and his reading is well above expected levels. He scored really well in his numeracy although some areas he could have done better on. Just so glad he is carrying on doing well and long may it continue.

What is making you smile this week?