Saturday 31 August 2013

#CountryKids at Sizergh Castle

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

With family up for the long weekend who love taking photographs there was only one choice for day one Sizergh Castle. They have just started allowing photography inside the castle as well so it was a good time to make our annual whizz inside (we most often just stay in the garden and grounds.

First up on the child led tour was the sunken garden:

Then we wandered past the wonderful flower beds:

Then it was time for the children to do a barefoot walk from the beehives to the chicken run:

We had time to try making grass trumpets and playing Pooh sticks before heading back towards to the castle:

Before going into the castle the children headed to the barn to try out the medieval dressing up clothes:

Eventually it was time to head to the main entrance for our timed entry into the castle:

They have quizzes to get the children to slow down and actually look at what is in the rooms as you go round but we still seemed to whizz pretty quick past all these lovely things:

We picnicked near the front pond before looking to see what nature had so show us:

Little brother had dipped her!

All in all a perfect Country Kids day!

Friday 30 August 2013

Back to School with Asda

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Like all parents I dread the start of the new school year in terms of how much it will cost in new uniform. Children do seem to grow more in the summer months much more than in the winter. Having a girl and boy I can't even hand down lots of uniform as my son would look rather strange in his sister's cast offs. To top it all they are much of a muchness in size any way despite the 3 year age gap!

I had already forked out for both to have new school shoes when Asda asked me if I wanted to review their School Uniform. There was no way I was going to refuse that offer! So I set about choosing a virtual basket of school uniform items to request for the review. The site is easy to use and usefully gave alternative or additional suggestions when you browsed for something like girls' trousers.

My children have an official school polo shirt and jumper so I was looking for bottom halves, PE kit and backup tops for forest school. My children seemed very pleased with the choices I made for them. First up my daughter's PE Kit:

Jogging Bottoms £4 for outside games:

2 pack of cycling shorts £4 for indoor PE:

Then she needed new trousers and skirt. Being a skinny mini she suits the snugger fitting trousers so I chose her the same ones but in black and grey both £4:

To ring in the changes I also ordered her a skirt £4.50 (not sure how often she will wear it as a bit of a tomboy!):

As you can see this crumpled up a bit when my daughter just shoved it back in the packaging after checking it all out! The pleats are supposed to be permanent though. It has an adjustable waist which is an essential on a skinny child.

Next up my son, he is a very active 6 year old so needs trousers that will stand up to football and a few tumbles in the playground. These certainly look like they fit the bill as they are both Teflon coated. 

First up Grey half elasticated waist trousers £4 again need an adjustable waist but could also put a belt on too. The secured hem is a great idea with the rough and tumble at school:

The Black flat front trousers were slightly more expensive at £4.50! Again these have a secured hem and adjustable waist:

He does forest school once a fortnight and needs tops that can get mucky so I picked a 2 pack of blue polo shirts at £3:

Finally I still had enough left out of a £40 budget to buy him some PE shorts for £4:

So definitely a great way to kit the kids out for school without breaking the bank. And at the moment if you spend £20 online they will deliver it free next day delivery!

Obviously they haven't been fully tested out yet as the children aren't back at school until Wednesday but they look of good quality. I will have to come and update this post at half term after 7 weeks wear and tear!

Thursday 29 August 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful Week 35 #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

It's amazing how time flies and this is the last R2BC of the summer holidays! Still plenty to be cheerful about even if I am back at work on Monday...

1) Family

We have had family staying up in Kendal for the bank holiday weekend. We only see them about once a year due to the distance and everyone's commitments but my children and I have loved spending time with them:

We have had lots of fun with them including a trip to Sizergh Castle:

And one to Cartmel Races as well as just spending time with them! Hope its not so long until we see them again.

2) Summer

Its been a really nice week weather wise until today. We have had so much sunshine that the sun tan cream has had to come out again:

3) Operation House

So its not been major improvements but I can see a difference in certain key spots:
  • The laundry backlog has finally been tackled so there aren't baskets of clothes all over my room. 
  • I have re-organised and reduced the contents of the airing cupboard so its easy to use
  • The downstairs bathroom has had all the stuff my kids' had dumped in there removed so its now presentable
  • I have dug out the kitchen table from underneath all the various craft projects and clutter that seem to migrate there so we can all sit and eat in comfort again
Now I just need that car boot sale to get shot of all the stuff we have decluttered from each room so far..

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Beautiful Butterflies

Its been an amazing couple of weeks for butterflies and my parents' buddleia is a honey pot for them all. Here are a just a few photos from Sunday afternoon:

red admiral butterfly
Red Admiral

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Cabbage White Butterfly
Cabbage White

Help I don't know!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Food Review: Walkers Mighty Lights

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Like many parents I worry about how healthy my children's diets are. I know that I need to ensure that they have a balanced diet but also want to make sure they are happy with what they eat. So when I was offered a chance to try out new Walkers Mighty Lights I was keen to give them a go. With 30% less fat than normal Walkers crisps plus no artificial colours or preservatives or the dreaded MSG they are a healthier alternative if your children love crisps (or indeed for grown ups!).

We received a parcel containing a 6 pack of each flavour (roast chicken, cheese and onion and lightly salted):

My children were very keen to start testing out the crisps straight away! They allocated each of us a flavour my son got Cheese and Onion, my daughter Roast Chicken and I had Lightly Salted. 

I have to say that those first packets were quickly demolished all round and every one agreed that they were yummy. Sometimes lower fat crisps lose some of their flavour but these were very tasty instead. Over the next week I was allowed to sample crisps from the other flavours as well. I have to say that they were all very tasty!

They really add some interesting texture to a healthy lunch:

We have been out on a lot of family picnics over the last few weeks and its been good to have the Walkers Mighty Lights to add to our lunches:

The ridges really give the crisps a good crunch which makes them more interesting to eat. The whole family gave them a thumbs up and even the grandparents were allowed to taste them!

From next week we have signed up for the Change4Life Smart Restart programme and hopefully these crisps can help us all be a bit healthier. My children have packed lunches at school and I need to know that they are going to eat enough lunch whilst still having the balanced diet. These Walkers Mighty Lights seem to help towards achieving this balance. 

They are available at major retailers and it looks like at least one of my local supermarkets stock them. Looks like I'll be adding them to my trolley when I next go in to shop and switching from the full fat versions. Its great when manufacturers make an effort to produce healthier version of their products that is just as tasty as the originals. I like the fact that there is less salt in the Lightly Salted ones too as I'm conscious of the amount of salt in mine and the children's diets. Wonder if they will being out more flavours too? 

Monday 26 August 2013

#CountryKids at Cartmel Races

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I may have got the racing bug after my trip to Ascot earlier this month! My mum suggested we took visiting family to the Cartmel races as we had never been. So we packed another picnic and headed off this morning, being newbies we didn't leave quite early enough to park on site but it wasn't a huge walk.

The day was well kitted out for families and once we had established our base camp near the rails:

The children dragged us over to the funfair:

My daughter is so brave she even went on the X-treme twice:

And of course we had 7 races to watch both hurdles and steeplechase:

My son also loved walking in the woods on the far side of the race track:

It was a great day though my daughter got very upset when a horse fell and the screens came out. Luckily a few minutes later the horse was back on its own feet!