Tuesday 30 October 2018

Hillier Gardens

On our first full day in Hampshire my mum chose the Hillier Gardens and Arboretum for our trip out. We were hoping that there would be plenty of colourful foliage like this:

Hillier Gardens and Arboretum autumn foliage

My son was relieved to find that the gardens were well geared up to entertain younger visitors with a Spooky Halloween trail:

Hillier Gardens and Arboretum Halloween

We got a trail and used the map on the back to follow the clues and to complete activities. The first of these was counting pumpkins in the Children's Education garden. Not the real ones like these but over 30 numbered plaques:

Monday 29 October 2018


After visiting Avebury we made our way to Stonehenge which I hadn't been to since I was a toddler (in the years before they stopped access into the circle itself; this was due to both vandalism and to protect the history). We passed Silbury Hill on the way but didn't climb to the top:

Silbury Hill

It was absolutely heaving and at this point I was very jealous that my parents were members as their queue was really quick and short! I also discovered that it would have been a good idea to pre book to reduce the waiting time... Luckily for me my parents brought me my lunch whilst I was waiting to keep me going... Then we had to wait for the shuttle bus to the stones (you can walk the just over a mile but a) I had paid £17.50 and wanted my moneys worth b)  after walking around Avebury some folks needed a sit down!). The bus drops you where the old A303 used to pass close by the circle:


As members for a free audio guide my son kindly lent me his one. There were numbers all the way around the enclosure and you just played whichever one was on the plaque. Lots of folks just went to the nearest point but I made sure we went right the way round:

Sunday 28 October 2018

Avebury Stone Circle

On our way to our holiday accommodation we realised that we were going to be very close to Avebury Stone Circle. So of course we had to make a stop on the way. My son had never been but for all the adults it was a return visit. We had all forgotten what size the stones were:

Avebury Stone Circle, World Heritage Site

The National Trust had a couple of exhibitions about the history of the stones and some hands on ways of showing how the stones may have been erected:

We didn't visit the manor house but we did try out the temporary cafe which is in use whilst they recover from last winter's big freeze:

Thursday 25 October 2018

Reasons to be cheerful October half term #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am currently enjoying a break in a spot with no wifi! So a brief host post for now so folks can join in!

Saturday 20 October 2018

Halloween at Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre

Halloween at Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre

We went to Brockhole today for a family lunch and enjoyed a taste of their Halloween experience. Its the first year they have gone to town like this and it was pretty amazing. We didn't buy tickets as we had a 3 year old with us but got a chance to see what we were missing out on:

Halloween at Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre

Even if you didn't buy a ticket you could see the effort that had gone into the event from sculpture:

Friday 19 October 2018

#FitnessFriday with the FourFit Health Band #ad #review

I was sent a FourFit Health Band to test out. All opinions in this review are my own:

FourFit Health Bans Heart Rate and Blood Pressure monitor

I have got a couple of running watches but neither of them could monitor my heart rate and blood pressure. The instructions with the Band are pretty basic but I used the FAQ online to work out how to turn it on (you hold the button on the front down!).

The band links up to your smart phone with the Wear Fit app. So not only can you monitor various health related measures (heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, fatigue, sleep and steps) but also have ongoing tracking and analysis:

I have to say that at times I have been freaked out by readings of high blood pressure! As I didn't check against a more traditional measurement device I don't know whether they are accurate are not... Good to be aware of the possibility that mine us too high though.

Thursday 18 October 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful The Birthday Edition #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I've been lucky to be working virtually full time which is great for the bank balance but not so good for blogging! So a slightly later than usual Reasons to be Cheerful but the same simple rules apply:

  1. Link you your happy post
  2. Comment on some of the other blogs to share the love
  3. If you want to grab the code from below
  4. I will comment and share your posts!
Meanwhile here are my birthday reasons to be cheerful:

1) Birthday Princess

I can't quite believe I am now the mum of a 15 year old! She is still as beautiful as she was for her 5th birthday:

2) Birthday relaxation

As part of my shared birthday weekend away with my daughter I had time to chill by a real fire with a book and a glass of lovely red wine:

Thursday 11 October 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Steampunk and Ladybirds #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Thank you everyone who joined in last week and shared the linky love. I hope you have had a chance to visit all the other happy linkers! Don't forget to comment and share each other's posts to make us all even more cheerful... Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Sci-Fi Weekender

I won tickets to this event months ago and it was our first convention. Not only did I catch up with an old friend but we made some new ones and my son now wants to be a Steampunk:

A full post or two to follow but here is a taster of the cosplay:

2) Finished Project

This was my final Anderson shelter:

3) Ladybird invasion

Tuesday 9 October 2018

#TeacherTuesdays World War One Trench Model

World War One Trench Model

This week's challenge was a model of a World War One trench on a limited budget! First up the lid of a copier box had part of the sides cut out, display border stapled on and the top edge folded in. I then stuck tea died bandages on the folded cardboard to act as sandbags. A few used tea bags and some polystyrene packaging for more internal sandbags:

World War One Trench Model

Mud coloured paint liberally added:

World War One Trench Model

Today we added more polystyrene sandbags, a wooden ladder to reach the trench front and some more little features:

World War One Trench Model

More photos:

Monday 8 October 2018

#MotivationalMonday for #WorldMentalHealthDay2018

October 10th is World Mental Health Day for 2018. I didn't realise this when I asked the followers of Not Much Sense and Sensibility for their tips for looking after mental health. My daughter and I have created our latest YouTube video to include these ideas. (At the time of writing this it hasn't uploaded yet!). 

We are also focussing on mental health on our Instagram and here are the key messages this week:

Thursday 4 October 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Its October #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Thank you to Michelle for hosting the linky in September and its now over to me for October. This means I have to be more on the ball! I look forward to reading and sharing everyone's posts this week and I hope you visit the other lovely bloggers. 

October is always a reason to be cheerful for me as its my birthday month and my daughter has her birthday too. Before we get to those here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Back to Fell Foot

I finally made it back to Fell Foot parkrun after another couple of weeks off. It was a stunning day to be running along the shores of Windermere:

2) Being Crafty

I have already posted about some of the things I have been making at school this week. Its been great to be allowed to be creative whilst teaching a child more about World War Two. Here is my template for the final Anderson Shelter I made:

Anderson Shelter template

3) Being Positive

I am continuing to create messages for the new venture with my daughter. We have put out our second video and are thinking up ideas for the third!

So please join in and share your happy posts and give some R2BC love to your fellow happy bloggers!

get the InLinkz code

Tuesday 2 October 2018

#TeacherTuesday This week's makes

I am trying to be more organised on what I post when so Tuesday's I will try to post something related to my teaching! Actually this week I am acting as a Teaching Assistant which has given me much more of a chance to get creative. There are have been two strands to my makes as the class are studying The Iron Man story and World War Two. 

The Iron Man

It is amazing what you can make with cereal packets, milk bottle tops and some paint & glue. This is the dragon from the story ready to eat up the people of Earth and all the living things:

I was given a top tip of adding PVA glue to the paint to help it cover the cereal boxes better (the waxy coating on the cardboard repels the paint!).

World War Two

First of all I made use of Twinkl to download some paper aeroplanes to decorate the room:

Then we have been coming up with ways to make air raid shelters. This is my test run for an Anderson Shelter:

There will be a fuller post on the Anderson Shelter next week when I have created the final version. I've also had a go at making a Morrison Shelter (I so need a hot glue gun at home!):

Monday 1 October 2018

#MotivationalMonday Week 1

One of the things we are doing alongside the new YouTube channel is having a positive and motivational Instagram and Twitter. Yesterday and today I had fun turning some of our artwork and photographs in to motivational messages. As its Monday I thought I would share some of them on the blog:

After a hurricane comes a rainbow embrace both

You are beautiful