Tuesday, 21 July 2015
1) Tobogganing at the Mendip Snowsport Centre in Somerset
I spotted on Facebook that a friend had taken her daughter to the Mendip Snowsport Centre to try out the tobogganing slope. It looked like great fun so I promptly went online and booked a session for Magoo. It was only £4 for an hour of tobogganing, which is a real bargain. A perfect way to have some fun in the school holidays.
You can find more information in the the full blog post here
2) Walking on Wavering Down on the Mendips in Somerset
Wavering Down, Crook Peak and King's Wood are a truly special place to spend some time. When I was a child growing up in Somerset, Wavering Down and Crook Peak were places I often walked with my own Mum and Dad. It's not any easy walk, steep in parts, it climbs to one of the highest points of the Mendips. But the views are reward enough for all your hard effort.
More photos and the full blog post here
3)Discovering Steart Marsh wetland nature reserve
Having never visited Steart Marsh...it feels like some sort of hinterland in my mind. I grew up in Somerset, but never visited this part of the county. I have to say, I am a complete convert to this stretch of the coast. It is beautiful and it seems to be a well-kept secret. The WWT and Environment Agency have clearly invested in the area. There are brand new hides dotted around the wetlands, lots of information on birds you may see, a pristine toilet block located in one of the car parks, wide footpaths suitable for buggies, bikes and wheelchairs and stunning views almost everywhere you look. Perhaps I shouldn't even be telling anyone about it? Well, I'll let you in on a secret, it's an amazing place to visit...go and see it!
To see more photos and read the full blog post click here
4) Spring has arrived at Court Farm in Somerset
I wrote this blog post back in Spring when we went to Court Farm Country Park to feed the lambs. But Court Farm is lovely any time of the year. There are always animals to feed, milking displays, a large wooden outdoor play fort, trampolines, zipwire and plenty of places to have a picnic.
You can find more information in the the full blog post here
5) Breathless at Brent Knoll
Brent Knoll is a unique place. Anyone travelling on the M5 to Devon and Cornwall may have spotted it as they pass Weston-super-Mare and travel further into the South West. It looms up out of a landscape which is predominantly flat (well, they aren't called the levels for nothing). It is 449 ft above sea level and once you've got to the top, there are 360 degree views all around you. Jaw-dropping views of the beautiful countryside and coastline at the top make the steep climb more than worthwhile.
To see more photos and find out more, head on over to the full blog post
So that's my list of five active family days out in Somerset. I hope you get to visit some of the places mentioned above in the Summer holidays or at any time of the year. I hope this post shows you some places you haven't heard of before. Entertaining children doesn't have to cost the earth and you don't need to visit glossy theme parks to have fun. Enjoy!
I'm linking up with these lovely blogs who support outdoor adventures with children:
'Let Kids be Kids' over on letkidsbekids.co.uk
'Whatever the Weather' over on www.lifeunexpected.co.uk
'The List' over on youbabymemummy.com
'Country Kids' over on www.coombemill.com
Friday, 17 July 2015
One of the things I look forward to most is getting the first crop of potatoes out of the ground. Some time ago Magoo appointed herself as chief-potato waterer. She has done a sterling job and takes full ownership of the crop. She wants to see each and every potato come out of the ground. I can't really blame her, there's something magical about putting one seed potato in a trench and then digging out a cluster of tasty new potatoes a few weeks later.
Magoo loves fishing out each potato from the soil, even the teeny tiny ones. Getting your hands in the earth is what it's all about.
Once we're home she loves to wash and prepare the vegetables we've bought home. Magoo set to work with scrubbing the potaoes ready for our evening meal. She is lucky to have the experience of seeing her food travel from ground to plate in a matter of hours.
We also picked the last of the broad beans. It's the first year we've grown them and they have been really tasty. The only problem we had was the plants became covered in black fly. My Mum used an organic spray on them which helped alot. But I've read that you can squish them off with your fingers or blast the black fly off with water. We will definitely grow them next year, but will get on top of the black fly earlier.
We need to leave the broad bean plants in the ground for a while because they perform the clever trick of fixing nitrogen into the soil. Anything that boosts soil quality without chemicals gets a thumbs up from me.
Again Magoo likes to prepare the beans. We love to pop the pods open together and pick the beans out of their fluffy jackets. One of the things I love about broad beans is the downy beds Mother Nature gives them to grow in. I think that's why broad beans are such a great crop to grow with children. The whole preparation process is so tactile.
As one crop comes to an end we can start to put in a new one. We've taken out all the garlic and planted purple sprouting in it's place. Crops on the horizon are peas, runner beans, squash and courgettes - they are getting bigger day by day. We're also growing some pumpkins for Halloween. Well, you have to plan ahead when you've got an allotment...
I'm linking up with these amazing blogs:
Country Kids #countrykids over on the www.coombemill.com blog.
"How Does Your Garden Grow" over on the beautiful mammasaurus.co.uk blog
Let Kids be Kids over on letkidsbekids.co.uk
Image of the Week over on www.trulymadlykids.co.uk
Magic Moments over on theoliversmadhouse.co.uk
Sunday, 12 July 2015
We had a Fisher Price circus train, followed by this mini bus, the hospital mentioned above, an A-frame woodland retreat and finally the 'Main Street' toy. The mini bus is a favourite of mine, mainly because I love the way the people bobble up and down as you push the bus about. It was a rough ride across the kitchen floor, but the Little People never stopped smiling. I loved all the Fisher Price toys given to us by our parents, each new addition fired my childhood imagination and added to the world inhabited by the Little People.
I only noticed the other day that the label on the back reads "copyright 1969 Fisher Price Toys Division of the Quaker Oats Co". I had no idea Quaker Oats owned Fisher Price toys. After a bit of online searching I found this interesting page from Collectors Weekly detailing the history of Fisher Price Toys. The site explains in more detail:
"Up until 1969, Fisher-Price was owned by the four (original) founders and a handful of stockholders. From 1969 to 1991, the company was a subsidiary of Quaker Oats. Briefly, in the 1990s, the company became independent again, only to be swallowed in 1993 by Barbie-making toy behemoth Mattel, which still owns the brand today."
Fisher Price toys are still going strong and manufacture many of the best selling toys available to babies and preschoolers today. Our daughter has grown up playing with many of the modern Fisher Price toys alongside my 'vintage' versions. I hope they will become as big a part of her childhood memories as they are for me.
Tuesday, 7 July 2015
It comes in a number of colourways, this version is made up of mustard yellows and olive greens on a pure white background.
I have made a number of totes and belts with this fabric, but it would equally make great cushion covers or handmade lampshades.
Thursday, 2 July 2015
On top of all that, they have amazing medicinal properties. Calendula oil is used as an anti-inflammatory and a remedy for healing wounds. It can be used for burns, cuts and infections due to it's natural anti-septic and anti-fungal properties. It's well worth keeping a tube of Calendula Cream in your medicine cabinet.
The Calendulas growing in my garden are from seeds I saved from last year. They've been drying in a cup all through the Winter and I planted them in March. I'm really pleased with how vibrant they are this year. The only thing I've noticed is the seed heads from this year's plants have hardly got any seeds on them. I'm not sure if second generation Calendulas lose the ability to produce an abundance of seeds.
I'm linking up with the wonderful How Does Your Garden Grow #HDYGG over on mammasaurus.co.uk
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Thursday, 25 June 2015
This stunning vintage 1960s cotton fabric by Sanderson is entitled "Cobweb" and features an intricate design of nymphs and flowers.
A truly beautiful fabric design featuring shades of pale terracotta, golden yellow, peach, taupe and with a brown outline on a cream background.
Each curtain is very large so there is plenty of fabric to repurpose if you didn't want to use them as curtains.
This vintage fabric could be used for many crafty projects. Such as an upholstery job, covering a dining chair or handmade cushion covers. Alternatively it could used in its original state as a fabric wall hanging or framed as a picture.I have also seen images of this Cobweb fabric used to make a drum-lampshade. It looks amazing with the light shining through it.