A Seaside Adventure

TJ’s topic at school this half term has been water and he’s absolutely loved learning about the ocean, researching about his favourite sea creature (the anglerfish apparently)and completing counting activities based on the number of legs, fins and claws the creatures have.

Last weekend, we decided to take a trip down to the Sealife Centre followed by an afternoon on the beach to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

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A Sunday Walk around Ringstead Bay

A couple of weekends ago, after a damp Saturday, we decided to spend Sunday afternoon wandering around Ringstead Bay, a pebble beach near Osmington.

We visited Ringstead once in the summer holidays and the views in the bay are beautiful. In the summer, we paid £5 and parked in the beach cafe car park which is only a short walk to the shore. This time, we decided to make use of our National Trust membership (It’s a No-Brainer) and park in the car park on top of the hill and then walk down to the beach.

When we got there, a herd of sheep were crossing the road in front of us and TJ found this absolutely hilarious. He grabbed some grass and tried to feed some of them, but they were having none of it!

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Crabbing at Poole Quay

After a pretty eventful Easter Holidays (Week 1 and Week 2), we decided to fit in one more little adventure before going back to work and school on Monday.

TJ has been talking about going crabbing for ages so we decided to take him on a trip to Poole Quay.


If you haven’t been before, crabbing is a really fun thing to do for a very cheap set up. Basically, you need a large bucket, a hand line, a net and some bait. All in all, you can buy all of this for about £5 and there are lots of places along the Quay where you can buy a crabbing kit.

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Easter Holidays – Week 2

Well, even after a crazy first week of the holidays, we still had a lot that we wanted to do before we went back to work and school.

On Saturday, we had a fantastic time at Dewflock Farm. We had visited Kingston Maurward earlier in the year for their lambing weekend but this offered something different – the chance to give the lambs a little cuddle! For a nominal entrance fee, we were able to walk freely around the farm, looking at the cows, watching some sheep shearing and eating some of the lovely homemade food on offer. The best bit was being able to sit on hay bales in a little pen to cuddle and feed the  lambs. We couldn’t believe how tame they were. TJ absolutely loved having one of them sit on his lap and he was really gentle and patient with them. Whenever you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he always says, “A farmer, a policeman and a daddy” so this was a great experience for him.

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Easter Holidays – Week 1

Of all the school holidays, the Easter break is by far our favourite. Half terms go too quickly, the Christmas holidays are too busy doing Christmassy things and the summer holiday is, dare I say it, too long! Generally the Easter holidays see a change in the weather, lighter evenings and lots of different activities put on to get you out and about.

We started our holiday on Friday straight after school with an impromptu trip to the beach. TJ loved making sandcastles and even managed a quick swim in the sea. Weymouth beach is just lovely – lots of soft sand and shallow waters which mean we can relax and watch TJ splash around without a worry.

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Legoland!

After TJ’s Lego Party in February, we decided that we would take him to Legoland during the Easter holidays. He absolutely loves making various buildings, animals and vehicles out of Lego as well as putting together the different sets he has. 

We managed to get a really good hotel deal online where we got two days for the price of one in the park and an overnight stay in a hotel near Heathrow with full English breakfast included – all for well under £200! 

We got there just before 10am on Sunday morning and the queues were already massive to get into the park. Luckily, TJ is pretty patient and we were probably only waiting for about 20 minutes which wasn’t too bad. We had done a bit of research before we went and knew that TJ really wanted to do the Driving School so headed straight there. As he is only 5, we could only go on the L-drivers but he didn’t mind at all. He loved driving round the little track and picking up his driving license afterwards.  Continue reading

TJ’s Lego Party

Every year for TJ’s party, we like to have a theme. Last year it was Superheros, the year before was Diggers (with a guest appearance from Bob The Builder) and this year, we went for a Lego party. We try to make as much as we can ourselves and are often up until the early hours in the nights leading up to the party painting backdrops, baking cakes or cutting out templates.

After searching the internet and Pinterest for ideas, we set about creating invitations, chocolate wrappers, food picks and thank you stickers. We found the Legothick font and a block background online and spent hours on Microsoft Publisher putting everything together.

The most difficult and time consuming element to make were the Legoman crayons. We found some silicon moulds on Ebay and then bought 6 packets of wax crayons from Poundland. We peeled the paper off all 288 crayons (!) and then organised them in colours before cutting them up and melting them gently in the oven. Using some clear plastic bags that we had obtained from the Scrap Store, we then made a little packet of crayons for the children to take away in their party bags.

We also bought some plain yellow paper plates, party bags and cups and decorated them with a Sharpie to look like Legoheads

As a rule, we like to keep the children super busy at the party so , as well as hiring a bouncy castle, we set up activity stations around the room for the children to enjoy. We had a colouring table where we had found lots of Lego colouring sheets online. We also printed a Legoman template onto coloured paper so that the children could build their own Legoman (or woman) and decorate it with sequins, stickers or glitter glue. 

We bought TJ an Extra Large Classic box of Lego for his birthday which we took to the party safe in the knowledge that if a few bits got lost, it wouldn’t mean that any of his sets couldn’t be reconstructed in the future. This proved a real hit with the children and gave them the opportunity for some quiet time after bouncing like crazy things on the bouncy castle! We knew we had a few younger siblings coming to the party so we also set out some Duplo on a very handy drawstring playmat. This actually proved really popular with the older children too so we were really glad we decided to take it.

We try to make sure the theme we choose also extends to the food table. This year, we used a Lego storage head for cheese puffs, and decorated a drinks dispenser to again resemble a Lego head. We also made some food picks and cut the sandwiches into Lego shapes.

This year, we decided to make TJ a birthday cake rather than buying one. We hired a number 5 cake tin from our local cookshop and decorated it with fondant blocks and Lego figures. It wasn’t our best effort but it went down very well with the children (and their parents!)

All the children had a fantastic time and lots of parents commented on the effort we had put into making and organising everything. It was really hard work, but the look on TJ’s face when he saw it all set up was priceless.

We’ve said that this will be the last party that we do like this but no doubt we will be tempted again next year. I wonder what the theme will be?

Thanks to Kirsty at My Two Mums for being our official photographer for the day and providing some of the photos for this post.

Lambing Weekend – Kingston Maurward

One of the annual events that we really look forward to is the Lambing Weekend at Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens.

We only live a short drive away and as season ticket holders, we get into the event as part of our membership (which is very reasonably priced at only £50 a year for 2 adults and up to 3 children).

TJ was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so it was nice to get out in the fresh air and to see all of the animals. They have lots of other events and activities on during the Lambing Weekend such as guinea pig fishing, pony rides, face painting and a bouncy castle.

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A Hectic Half Term!

As we both work in education, we are very lucky in the fact that we get to spend every school holiday together as a family. Looking back at photos from our half term ‘holiday’, it’s no wonder that we went back to work slightly jaded after a very busy week!

On Monday, it was TJ’s 5th birthday. We had family down from Exeter and went bowling which was great fun. TJ did really well and managed to be pretty patient when waiting for his turn. There was a very amusing moment when he actually tried to kick the ball down the alley like a football! Needless to say, it travelled about a metre before it stopped dead and we needed to call for help. Whoops! We had a lovely lunch in Pizza Express (TJ’s choice) before ending the day with a ‘disco bath’ thanks to a rather awesome lightbulb and a stack of glowsticks.

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TJ Turns 5!

Yesterday, our little man turned 5….5? How did that happen?

We know it sounds like a cliche, but we really cannot believe how quickly the time has gone and can’t remember life without him either. 5 seems like such a monumental age somehow – 5 is the age where most children are at school. 5 is half a decade and 5 is the age where the ‘red book’ becomes redundant.

TJ arrived in the world at 9:05am on the 13th February 2012. After a pretty horrendous 62 hour labour, he was born via emergency c-section a very healthy 9lb 1oz. We fell in love with him immediately and brought him home 3 days later to start our family life together.

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