Monday, January 30, 2012

Family Holiday at Coombe Mill

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill, based in Cornwall have a very exciting competition, a holiday in a large cottage on a farm over Christmas. Great family activities for all ages, beaches close by and other attractions too. 

I love Cornwall and have had farm holidays there as a child and they are great for young kids. So to be able to let my girls experience this would be fantastic. 

Check out their website and enter the competition while it is still on. 

I rarely win anything so fingers crossed I hope I win this one!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Painting with primary colours


Learning to mix paints create secondary colours and just having some painting fun
IMAG0268.jpgMixing paint making pretty pictures and patterns.

Painting Fun!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Movie night tonight but we are changing it a little just for tonight at least. We have a most awesome game called.... Buckaroo! I loved this game as a kid and my wonderful husband bought the Toy Story version of it. It is going to be such fun, well for me at least. I am sure there will be tears eventually if that horse keeps bucking, I am hoping with laughter and not with frustration. Oh, there is another game,  Frustration, something for when they are a bit older.

Have a Fab Weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Charles Dickens - 200th Birthday

Charles Dickens, 200 years celebrations, Portsmouth

There are a number of events happening this year for Charles Dickens` 200th birthday (7th Feb 1812). I am a little excited to say the least. I plan to venture to his hometown, Portsmouth in Feb with the children. My girls, of course like so many, have seen some of his books in movie form, mainly a Christmas Carol (Mickey Mouse version), which we have on DVD at home. We also have Oliver Twist, which they watched a little of but the BBC production is a little scary but I have to say there are some valuable lessons to be learnt too. They both did not like the fact Oliver got snatched and taken away, so a little shock value I am not too concerned with but my little one was a little traumatized by it, my eldest thought is was a great film, so she can watch it when my youngest is in bed. I do sometimes forget how young she is, poor thing.

Some of the events will have street performers, (hopefully no young pick-pockets), readings, free museum admission, should space allow and craft activities. It should be a great family day out.

For events and information please check the link below:

I will send an update.

It's the weekend, lovely jubbly

Thank goodness it is the weekend. This week unlike last one gone went nice and quick and it has been a challenging few weeks but not too challenging. Back to school, at a new school, my little one needs a new pre-school, meeting new people and finding things to do and visit with the kids. The weather was really cold at one point but beautifully sunny. The husband away on business so not much 'me' time. New books have been read and started. Homework to deal with and for me to re-learn all over again and to explain it at a 5 year old's level.

Lots of new things, lots of exciting things and hopefully it will get easier sooner than later.

This weekend, I think we will stay at home and go for a walk exploring the world around us and taking cameras and sketch books and bring things home for arts and crafts.

Whatever you are doing - HAVE FUN!

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Oh yes! It is movie night ladies and gents. Tonight we plan something totally fun and escapism at its best. Bedknobs and Broomsticks, you can't beat the classics.

Margherita pizza for the kids and pepperoni for the adults and choc ice cream for desert. YUM!

Monday, January 16, 2012


As a child I would help around the kitchen, mostly making pastries of some sort, so I find it easy to make pastry dishes yet I have not tried puff pastry, I see no point as it is easier to buy!

The girls love to help with measuring ingredients and rolling pastry and then using their small cutters to make different shapes; hearts, circles, hens, stars and so on.

Here we are making cheesy scones, I great savory dish that the kids can snack on when they tell me they are hungry. It is great too, that they choose their favourite shape which encourages them to try something new. 

We have made pastry for jam tarts which we have plans for the next day.

How many times did I say 'Pastry'?

Happy Baking!!!

Roald Dahl

Some of my suggestions have not worked on the kids for example the Fun Box, I think it is because they are still a little too young to know what they want so I have decided to give them some themes instead. For example, we have the Jane Austen weekend, which we will do again sometime soon and may even dress-up (but sadly not the real costumes I have non and I have no idea how to make them) so tea, candles and reading singing and pretending to play instruments, I think this will be a lot of fun and give them an idea of what it was like in Jane's day. There is also a selection of children's books that have been adapted to be more palatable but I will hold off on this for another time. It is always nice to come back to something, it will help to reinforce the subject matter.

My next theme, as the title suggest is R. Dahl, there is a great museum which is a little over an hour away from where I live so maybe this will be something we do during half term. The girls love his story, The Enormous Crocodile, and to make the story more fun we have a puppet croc. that is just awesome. The kids are not allowed to touch him for he may eat them! 

We have read, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits and Georges Marvellous Medicine. Some of Dahl's stories are quite wicked!

Next read will be, The Giraffe, Pelly and Me and we have Matilda on order since it was not in the book store. (Amazon is cheaper anyway).

I also believe and have seen it, if we turn books into something more than just reading, they will enjoy text even more. I say it as I have noticed changes to my girls reading since our outing on the weekend, they both want to read before they sleep and I encourage it.

Happy reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jane Austen - with kids

I thought I would try something a bit different with the girls this weekend. I have a few Jane Austen DVD's, Sense and Sensibility and Emma, so I thought I would expose the kids to something very different other than crazy cartoons and pixar films and add something to the new mix.

My eldest liked the fashion and the transport, "what no cars, no TV's, what did they do?", infact this is the point of introducing them to some classics, to understand that the world has changed and people entertained themselves in different ways and spoke slightly different too. Of course, Jane Austen is generally about the rich, who lived in stately homes or cottages that most people these days would love to own, yet it was scorned on to be demoted to a cottage after living on an estate. Anyway, my kids attention span was somewhat short so they did not manage to get all the way through the film(s), and lots of questions were asked all the way through, which was lovely.

A visit here might be in order:

So today we did indeed visit the lady's house and it was a lovely yet cold winters day yet perfect for walking around the country and ended in the tea room for a perfect cuppa. The girls got to do a 'treasure' hunt and they won a little prize at the end and in the shop they both wanted a quill to write with. Great for my 5 year old, she asked lots of questions and enjoyed the costumes. My 3 year old wanted to touch everything which was a no, no except for the 200 year old piano. Everywhere I went, it was, don't touch which really distracted from reading the information in the rooms! Evenso, it was lovely and it is nice to get the kids experience something other than lego land or Disney World, even though I am sure, they would have had tonnes of fun there.

Girls outside Jane Austen's house.

It was a lovely house, very homely. Rooms were small and cozy. I would love to live somewhere like this. It has a lovely garden too.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


My eldest daughter goes to ballet once a week and I would like to have them both doing it in the near future and once the flu season is over I will start swimming again, my youngest suffers quite badly with colds which tend to last a few weeks and she is just recovering from one so swimming has to be in the warmer season.

 Since my oldest has started her new school there is also an option of after school activities one of which is a form of martial arts and again I want them both doing this, it is a little piece of mind for me to know when they are old enough to go out and play without the parents that they can also defend themselves should they need to. Sadly we live in a world where we feel the need to go that little bit extra in helping our kids to survive. I did kick boxing for a while and loved it and also taught me some handy tips in defense, thankfully I have never had to use them, if I can still remember how it all works!

Active kids are happy kids.

Movie night

Friday night is movie night but as an extra need for me I have extended it to Saturday too. We have watched Anastasia which is a great film and I would love to see it on stage. The music is great and takes me back to when I was a child visiting the theatre ad watching musicals being performed. Tonight is 101 Dalmations which I have not seen in a long time, the cartoon version. So something for us all look forward to. However, we are not having pizza 2 nights running, so tonight is bangers and mash - yum!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Art desks and creative play

Gramps brought the girls an art desk each, which is very in-keeping with all the arts and crafts we do together. Now I have a dining room table again and they can paint and glue and create at their very own table. They are great, they have seats attached, one has a lift up desk, like the old fashioned school desks. They both have pots to store pens etc, a fab gift that does not take too much space either. The kids also received lots of paper, pens, crayons, craft projects etc as presents too which was great, most of which have been used and abused. 

To add to their creative imaginations they also got a dress-up box, that included, shoes, dresses, crowns, wands and wings, it is great fun to watch them act and perform.

Happy creating!!!


For Christmas the girls we given lots of games as gifts. This is great particularly because we like to play games as a family. We have snakes and ladders, Peppa Pig version, I love the big mat and the large dice, great for little hands and great for counting the numbers too. We also got Twister, which is fun as long as we don't make it difficult. Hickory, Dickory Dock clock game to help tell the time, we have yet to play this one and a electronic board book full of games and it has two characters that are really cute and a ladybug that is pressed and lights flash which you have to count (like a dice), it is great and the kids play this happily together without much adult involvement. 

All in all great gifts that the whole family can get involved with.