Making the most of things

Wow – I can’t believe it’s been so long since we last wrote a blog post! Life has been super busy recently which is why we felt the need to take a nice drive to Lulworth Cove after school last week.

With temperatures hitting around 26 degrees last week, a trip to the beach was a fantastic way to cool down after a busy day at school.

Lulworth Cove is only about 20 minutes away from us and the views are just breathtaking. The water is crystal clear and TJ loved being about to splash around for a couple of hours.

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Bluebells

If you haven’t already realised, we absolutely love taking photos and seeing how much TJ has changed over the years. We hardly notice the difference in him from day to day which is why we have certain family traditions when it comes to capturing photos.

One of our traditions is making sure we always visit a bluebell wood as soon as they come out in bloom.

Our first visit was when TJ was about 2 months old. We dressed him up in his little bear suit to take some photos – I’m not sure he was overly impressed but we thought he looked super cute!

2012

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The Dorset Mud Trail

A couple of months ago, we were really excited to see a post on Facebook about a new mud trail that was opening up close to Corfe Castle.

The Dorset Mud Trail, which opened to the public at the end of March, is based in the grounds of the Dorset Water Park and claims to be “the best active family adventure in Dorset, in any weather!”

We decided to visit the Mud Trail during the Easter holiday and chose one of the rare days that it wasn’t raining.

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A Little London Adventure

Whenever TJ is asked where he was born, he is super proud to say that he was born in London. Although we left when he was 3, he still has some fond memories of our adventures up there and we have been waiting for a spare weekend to take him back there for a visit. His topic at school is ‘Up Up and Away’ which is all about aeroplanes, kites, rockets and basically, anything that flies, so we decided that a visit to the Science Museum would be great.

Taking advantage of the lack of parking restrictions on a Sunday, we drove up early, parked at South Ealing tube station and took the underground straight to South Kensington. TJ loved travelling on the tube, taking in all the sights and sounds.

We got to the Science Museum just as it opened and the queue wasn’t too bad at all. We all loved wandering round looking at the exhibits. TJ especially liked the Space exhibition and even managed to complete some Home Learning in the aeroplane section.

We went on the Red Arrows simulator and also visited the 4D Apollo 10 Mission experience which were both great. We spent a good 3 hours wandering round the museum but I still don’t think we managed to see it all!

After a quick snack, we decided to pop next door to the Natural History Museum to see the whale which has replaced ‘Dippy’ and of course, the dinosaurs. The Natural History Museum is such a beautiful building and the exhibits are amazing. We have decided that next time we visit London, we will head there first and spend a proper amount of time there.

Once we’d taken a few photos (and visited the gift shop obviously), we got a bus to Piccadilly Circus. TJ has an A-Z book of London and it was great to visit some of the places featured.

After a very short walk to Leicester Square, we headed to the Lego Shop. We have wanted to go there ever since it opened and we weren’t disappointed. The displays are absolutely amazing. There’s a tube train, a red telephone box and Big Ben amongst other things. We all loved it and TJ got to spend the last of his birthday money on a rather cool Lego London Bus and a pick and mix box.

A visit to Leicester Square wouldn’t be complete without going to the M&M store and a walk through Chinatown which was beautifully decorated after the Chinese New Year.

After some dinner, we decided that we weren’t quite ready to travel home yet so we walked through Trafalgar Square, Horseguards and St James’ Park where we were lucky enough to see the beautiful pelicans.

We finished our day at Buckingham Palace just as the sun was setting which seemed a fitting end to a fantastic (and exhausting) day!

Let’s Climb a Mountain!

After a lovely weekend in Wales last year (read about it here), we decided to make a return visit this year with the aim of climbing to the top of Pen Y Fan – the highest mountain in Southern Britain (rather than the second highest mountain – Corn Du – which we may have accidentally climbed last year!!)

We spent the whole week leading up to our trip checking the weather forecast. Unfortunately, Saturday was looking like a complete wash out. Heavy rain, winds and flooding were expected so we decided to take a detour to Cardiff rather than heading straight to Brecon.

TJ is currently showing a real interest in Space and science at the moment so we decided to visit Techniquest in Cardiff Bay. It was fairly reasonable to get in and was full of lots of interactive, hands-on exhibits. TJ absolutely loved it and really enjoyed learning about the gas planets in the Planetarium.

 

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A cycle ride at Moors Valley Country Park

After spending the days since Christmas Day eating leftovers and having relatives to visit, we decided that it was time for some fresh air.

After a quick check of the weather yesterday morning to see that Friday was going to be a washout, we decided to get wrapped up in our new scarves and gloves to take TJ for a spin on his new bike around Moors Valley Country Park.

When we got there, the car park was full of people with the same idea as us. We headed straight for the cycle hire to get bikes for us so that we could cycle round with TJ – something we’ve never done before.

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Winter Sun

Luckily for us, we all finished work/school on Friday so we have a good week to get ready for Christmas. We kicked off our holiday yesterday with a trip to Brighton to visit family and drop off some Christmas presents (stopping off at Starbucks for the obligatory Gingerbread Latte!)

We visited my dad and grandad first and TJ was so proud to show everyone how well he could read now and managed to read all of Green Eggs and Ham which was super impressive.

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Pull a Pine – Arne RSPB Nature Reserve

Since moving to Dorset, we’ve made it our mission to explore as much of this beautiful county as possible. We stumbled across Arne about 2 years ago now and it’s one of our favourite places to go.

Every year, they host a ‘Pull a Pine for Christmas’ event in order to help clear away the pine trees to enable the rest of the plants and vegetation to grow properly. Last year, over 2000 people cleared 17 football pitches of pine! In return for helping, you get to take away as many Christmas trees as you like! It’s a completely win win situation.

Non-RSPB members had to pay a £10 entry fee with members only paying £5. When you consider that even the smallest real Christmas tree will probably set you back £25 in the shops, this represented incredible value for money and you are helping with conservation at the same time.

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Camp Bestival – 5 reasons why you shouldn’t miss it

Last summer, we were very lucky to get the opportunity to take TJ to Camp Bestival for the first time. Our friends over at My Two Mums have been going for the past few years and have always had an amazing time and it was great this year to get to share the fun with them.

We were very excited last week when this year’s theme – Camp Bestival Sets Sail – was announced and can not wait to see who the headline acts are for this year.

This got us thinking about the top 5 reasons why you should dig out your tents, dust off your sleeping bags and get your tickets booked for 4 days of fantastic family fun.

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Prestige Christmas Hampers – A Review

When you have children, Christmas is a time that makes you reflect on your childhood. I have fond memories of my nan getting a Christmas hamper from the milkman every year and literally bursting with excitement when we went through it.

The concept of a Christmas hamper has moved on slightly from tinned meat and Fruit Jellies (thankfully) and we were really pleased to be offered the chance to review a luxury hamper from Prestige Hampers.


We were sent the Christmas Wishes Carton (RRP £94.99) which is packed full of delicious goodies and not one, not two, but three bottles of wine – a red, a white and a prosecco! There really is something for everyone in this hamper. There are some lovely sweets and chocolates, some delicious cheddar biscuits, some gorgeous mince pies and Christmas Spiced Butter Fudge (which will be the first to be sampled!) Although this particular hamper didn’t come in a basket, the Taste of Christmas Carton Hamper can be bought in  willow basket if you wish.

The hamper included:
Barfield Bakery Mince Pies x 4
Baru Swirly Hot Chocolate Powder with Chocolate Figurines 250g
Buiteman Cheddar Biscuits 75g
Butlers ‘The Festive Menu’ Chocolates 130g
Copperpot Christmas Spiced Butter Fudge 175g
Farmhouse Biscuits Traditional Hand Baked Biscuits 125g
Frank’s Luxury Cranberry & Spice Oaties 300g
Just Sweets Jelly Beans 125g
Paxton & Whitfield Poppy & Linseed Biscuits for Cheese 150g
Quibbles Three Nuts and a Cranberry Assortment 100g
Riegelein Solid Chocolate Santas 125g
The English Provender Co. Caramelised Red Onion Chutney 325g
The Original Cake Company Top Iced Slab Cake
Yorkshire Crisps Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella 100g
Filipetti Prosecco Italy 75cl
Merlot Primera Luz Chile 75cl
Sauvignon Blanc Primera Luz Chile 75cl

I think that hampers are a fantastic idea for a present. They contain items that you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself and have that touch of luxury to enjoy – especially at Christmas.

Prestige Hampers sell a wide range of hampers for all occasions ranging from a £9.99 sweetie box to The Luxor which is £419.99 and contains everything you would need for Christmas day. Just click here to see what they have on offer https://www.prestigehampers.co.uk/christmas-hampers

I will definitely be taking a look when I (finally) start my Christmas shopping!

**We were sent this hamper for the purpose of a review – all opinions are our own.**