Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Five active family days out in Somerset

School's out for Summer...so what are we going to do today? Over the past eighteen months we've had lots of fantastic days out in our local area. Somerset is a beautiful county. There's something for everyone, coastal areas, farmland, hill walking and tons of pretty towns and villages. As a family we're happiest when making the most of the great outdoors. So I wanted to put together a list of our top five favourite active days out in Somserset. And the best thing? Most of them are free. You just need to grab your walking boots, a picnic and get out there!
five active family days out in somerset school holidays
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
five active family days out in somerset tobogganing
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
five active family days out in somerset walking on wavering down on mendips
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
five active family days out in somerset steart marsh wetlands reserve
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 five active family days out in somerset court farm
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
five active family days out in somerset brean down
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

July on the allotment, enjoying tasty spuds and beautiful broad beans

It's July and our allotment is in full swing. After all the digging and rotivating, we're now enjoying the fruits of our labour. The past few weeks have consisted of blazing sunshine and heavy downpours - perfect growing conditions for vegetables and flowers. Sadly also perfect growing conditions for weeds. At the moment the veg are winning the battle over the weeds, but it's a close-run thing. July on the allotment tasty spuds dug from the ground
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.
July on the allotment tasty spuds dug from the ground
July on the allotment tiny new potaoes dug from the ground
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.
washing new potatoes dug up from allotment
washing new potatoe crop dug up from allotment
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.
washing broad bean crop dug up from allotment
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.
broad bean fluffy jacket pods
broad bean crop from allotment ready to eat
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

Mammasaurus
#ordinarymoments over on www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk
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

Vintage Love: vintage Fisher Price mini bus toy

Fisher Price toys were such a huge part of my childhood. I think some of my earliest memories consist of me pulling the Chatter Telephone around the living room. This mini bus was also an early addition to the family toybox. I blogged a little while ago about my vintage Fisher Price Hospital, which is still going strong. My Mum has kept many pieces of my Fisher Price childhood collection. My daughter loves to play with them when she visits Grandma's house, some are nearly forty years old. Proof, if proof were needed, that good toys never go out of date.

vintage Fisher Price mini bus children's toy
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.
vintage Fisher Price mini bus children's toy
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."
vintage Fisher Price mini bus children's toy
vintage Fisher Price mini bus children's toy
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

Vintage Love: Heals Flower Shop fabric dating from the 1960s

I tend to change my mind about which is my favourite piece of vintage fabric in my collection from week to week. Somehow or other I always come back to loving this fabric from Heals the most. It is called ‘Flower Shop’ and Hansjurgen Holzer designed it in the 1960s. As you'd expect from that era, it features a quintessential retro daisy/floral pattern.
Heals Flower Shop fabric dating from the 1960s
It comes in a number of colourways, this version is made up of mustard yellows and olive greens on a pure white background.
Heals Flower Shop fabric dating from the 1960s
I have made a number of totes and belts with this fabric, but it would equally make great cushion covers or handmade lampshades.
Heals Flower Shop fabric dating from the 1960s
Heals Flower Shop fabric dating from the 1960s




Thursday, 2 July 2015

Calendula in July

I am a new convert to the joy of Calendulas. I only started growing them last Summer & fell in love straight away. They are one of the hardest working plants in the garden. As long as you deadhead them, they flower all Summer long from about June onwards. They have the sunniest flowers you're likely to find, the ones in my garden range from egg-yolk yellow through to sunset orange.
growing calendula plants from seed
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.
calendula plants growing in July sunny yello
calendula plants growing in July zesty orange
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.
calendula flower plants growing in July yellow bloom
I'm linking up with the wonderful How Does Your Garden Grow #HDYGG over on mammasaurus.co.uk





Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Vintage Love: floral pattern fabric midi skirt from St Michael

I'm currently selling this beautiful vintage skirt from St Michael. It features a pretty surface pattern design that wouldn't look out of place on a modern skirt. It has a graphic floral pattern in shades of green, pink & grey. The flowers sit on top of inky black curved lines. The whole pattern is reminiscent of an artists sketchpad, it's hard to take photos that do justice to this skirt. In amazing condition for a vintage piece of clothing. This would be ideal for a Summer wedding, perfect with flats or heels, you wont find anything like this on the high street. Head on over to my online auction for this vintage skirt.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Vintage Love: Sanderson Cobweb curtain fabric

I'm currently selling two large curtains made with vintage Sanderson Cobweb fabric. Hurry over to my online auction as there are only a few hours left...
vintage Sanderson Cobweb fabric
vintage Sanderson Cobweb fabric
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.
vintage Sanderson Cobweb fabric
vintage Sanderson Cobweb fabric






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