Fun in the sun

Wow hasn’t it been a hot one this week? My social media feeds have been full of sunny scenes; blue skies, paddling pools, ice creams and lots of smiles. There has also been plenty of moaning about the heat which amuses me given that a week ago many of us were moaning about our lack of summer. But hey, we’re British and moaning about the weather is just what we do. Plus it has been seriously hot!

So what else to do than to try and find ways of keeping cool. Fans in bedrooms, ice on temples, ice lollies, oh and of course playing with water in the garden. I love our garden, we’ve put in a tonne of effort to get to this point and now it just such a lovely place to be. I also really love our gazebo as it provides us with some much needed shade on these hot hot days. Because pictures speak louder than words,  instead of rambling on, I will show you how much fun we’ve been having outside this week.PhotoGrid_1468993911685PhotoGrid_1468995883162PhotoGrid_1468994909082PhotoGrid_1468995676426

So at the end of a summers day this is what my garden should like. Covered in abandoned toys, with sand and water everywhere. Miscellaneous items of clothing and towels strewn across chairs to dry and just general detritus left about. Evidence of a lot of fun had outside, and evidence that I have enjoyed it as much as my kids have rather than constantly cleaning up after them.

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Are you enjoying our little heatwave?

Best of Worst
Monkey and Mouse

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A lovely Holiday

My word of the week this week, is Holiday! We have been away with my parents and the kids for a lovely family holiday at the good old British seaside resort of Skeggy :). Well, to be precise we have been staying just outside of Skegness, in Burgh Le Marsh in some beautiful holiday accomodation at Jockhedge. I will write some more detailed posts when I get the chance but here is a quick summing up of what we have been up to over the past week.

We started off with just our little family and, as always on our journeys we try to stop at a National Trust place  for a break, and I have been dying to see Tattershall Castle with the kids for ages so we aimed for there. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun. It’s a fab perfect castle and they put on some fab activities for the kids which were really brilliant.Tattershall

Then we explored our gorgeous holiday cottage and the fab facilities on site.jockhedge 1

Sunday was set to be another glorious day weather wise so we headed to the coast, As it was bound to be busy at Skeggy itself we found a quieter beach a little further up the coast, at Anderby Creek. What else can I say but that it was stunning. Absolutely beautiful, and the kids adored it. The tide was going out which meant there was a little creek between the sandy beach and the sea, and LM adored this. There were some very stoney bits of beach too but as the tide went further out the kids adored playing on the wet flat beach and both kids loved splashing – though the sea itself was a little scary for LM!anderby creek

Sunday night my parents joined us so Monday we all went into Skeggy. We had a very windy trip to the beach in the morning which was great fun but a bit chilly after a while, then we had a good round of Pirate Crazy Golf before hubs and I bought LM back to the cottage for a nap and Nanny & Pops took Monkey to the arcades.skeggy1

Tuesday was miserable, there was no other word for it, the weather was vile. But we headed to the Aquarium in skegness, which was lovely but LM was teething and under the weather and well it didn’t make for the best morning! thankfully we did have some nice moments though and as ever she loved some puddle splashing.Aquarium 1

Wednesday dawned wet again but thankfully dried up mid morning. So after some fun in the arcades we had another round of crazy Pirate golf. While LM slept that afternoon Monkey, Nanny, Pops and I walked to the windmill in Burgh Le Marsh itself, but unfortunately it was closed as we are a bit out of season. Still we had a lovely walk on what turned out to be a glorious afternoon, then had great fun playing out with the kiddies in the evening.skeggy 2

Thursday the weather was beautiful so it was back into skeggy again. We were perhaps a little over eager and got there very early when it was far too chilly,so we had some gorgeous hot drinks and cakes at a fab little cafe before heading to the beach mid morning when it had warmed up a little. It was still pretty windy but there was great fun building sand sculptures and flying a cool pirate kite then going for an ice cream.

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On the whole a fabulous but pretty exhausting week! How has yours been?

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Life Unexpected

Lots of fun outdoors in the sun.

I am so British and I talk about the weather far too often but hasn’t the weather been glorious this week? So nice to finally feel the warmth of the sun and we have spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying it.

Last weekend we spent a lot of time outdoors doing some gardening. We were due to have some friends to visit but their little girls came down with a nasty stomach bug poor things so that had to cancel at the last minute. We thought we would take the opportunity to do a few bits on our front garden as we have finally had the driveway finished and it was time to lay some turf and do a bit of reorganising out there.PhotoGrid_1462451960395

Bank holiday Monday we went to meet some friends at NT Stowe for the day, I will share more about that in a separate post but we had a lovely day and were lucky to get a bit of sunshine!PhotoGrid_1462452168928

Tuesday Monkey and I were both feeling full of cold so actually spent most of the day indoors, but we did go for a walk and a scoot and I am so proud of Monkey as he is amazing on his scooter all of a sudden. He’s not been keen on this new one and really hasn’t wanted to learn how to do it, but he has finally got it and looks so grown up scooting down the path.

I was also proud of myself as even though I wasn’t feeling great I got out for a run. It’s my latest thing in a bid to get healthy and so far I really am enjoying it even though I’m not very good at the moment!

Wednesday my mum and I took the kiddoes to our favourite local farm Park and the weather was amazing! So warm and sunny and just lovely so we had such a wonderful day!PhotoGrid_1462452395775

We spent more time outdoors at home that afternoon too watering the turf we have just laid and our little lady discovered she loves running through the spray of water from the hose. Shouldn’t be surprised really given how much she loves water!PhotoGrid_1462452801654

I was also really proud of our Monkey who wanted to get on his bicycle. He’s had it nearly a year but we always struggle to motivate him to have a go. But one of his friends has recently got a bike and is already riding without stabilisers so his has definitely been a motivating factor for him! He has still a way to go but is definitely improving and his Uncle Marky popped over to borrow a ladder so he helped him out a bit too.

Thursday Monkey went off on a coach trip with playgroup, eek! Made me nervous but he had a wonderful time. Meanwhile LM had a little play with her friend (and I chatted with my friend) then we had another good friend pop over with her gorgeous little man, we went for a walk then enjoyed sitting out in the sunshine.PhotoGrid_1462477006763

Finally this afternoon when Monkey returned from his trip we got some water in the tuff spot and had a play outside. Monkey wanted to take a picture of his baby sister and I and I was quite impressed with he got! Budding photographer. LM of course adored jumping and splashing in the water haha. Love this weather!

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My word of the week is outdoors.

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our Dorset Holiday

You may have seen that we have just had a very lovely holiday in Dorset. We have been house sitting for just over a week for some friends of ours who live in a very cute, quaint little country cottage. It is picture postcard pretty but also a little run down with cracks in walls and damp ceilings and TONNES of spiders!

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It is also in the most gorgeous setting, on a farm in the middle of the countryside. The farmer’s (massive) house is nearby along with a few holiday cottages they rent out but otherwise it is just surrounded by fields, trees and rolling hills.

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Being on a farm there are lots of animals around too, cows, horses, sheep, dogs, a”barn cat” who is a mouser that lives in the barn. She’s also about 1010 yrs old, very gentle and so good with the kiddies! The little ones have loved stroking her and even when LM has gotten a little over excited and pulled her fur (eek) she has barely flinched! Lovely pussy cat.

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We had the real extremes of weather, from blazing sun to torrential rain and we obviously had some highs and lows. Some highs of the trip include gorgeously sunny days out to the coast and on steam railways to castles (posts about those to follow) and actually a wonderful day at Stonehenge which was in parts disastrous but also lucky and just good fun, despite being a very wet day! More of that to come in another post.

We did have some lows too, including the most disastrous trip to the beach ever. I was on my own with the kids while hubs got his head down to do some work and as the forecast was for sun headed to the beach. It rained a little on the way but hoped we were headed to blue sky. I had researched and found what I thought was a sandy beach not too far away. Then we arrived and saw this mountain of stones at the edge of a completely stony beach.

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Walked around a little and could find no sandy beach so at the lowest point I could find proceeded to make a few trips up and down the hill of stones to get me, 3 bags, buggy, both kids and a wind shield onto the beach. Only to be faced with an evem steeper decline on the other side of the hill towards the sea.

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LM decided she didn’t like the noise of the sea so I didn’t want to get any closer, though it was blimmin windy at the top of the hill! I started to set up the wind shield,and the heavens (which had been darkening but I had been ignoring in my task of just getting up the hill) opened. So we ended up huddled behind the windshield, both LM and Monkey crying because they were cold and wet,trying to eat a picnic. Then the rain stopped, a few more trips back down the hill later, more screaming from the kiddies,and I packed them back in the car. Disaster!! Talk about best laid plans!! My feet hurt so much after all the running up and down the stones barefoot (my flip flops made it even worse so had to go with bare feet) and that was by far the low point of the week.

Some of the best bits though were seeing my kiddies having a whale of a time on the playpark on the farm (which had an awesome boat swing that I want to get for our swing at home) and just in running around the cottage garden.

 

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Oh and watching Monkey jumping in muddy puddles on the very wet days!

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Lots of happy times and though hubs was working a lot of the time we also got a lot of time together as a family which has been very lovely. By the end I both didn’t want to leave and get back to normality, but was also looking forward to getting home and our creature comforts, family and friends.

And then the fun began...

Best of Worst

The Yorkshire Coast: Whitby & Runswick Bay

When  you think holiday, you very often think seaside or beach. Not all holidays of course but they do seem synonymous. For our holiday to Yorkshire I knew that most of our days would be spent exploring the countryside inland, but, Monkey does love the seaside so I wanted to see what the Yorkshire coast offered us in terms of beautiful beaches, and we were not disappointed.

We kept an eye on the weather forecast and chose the best day weather-wise to head to the coast, as we knew it may be a little chilly or breezy compared to inland. First stop was Whitby. Hubs had been before many years ago but I had never been and it was a gorgeous day and Whitby is a lovely seaside town and really picturesque.

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It is also very hilly! We were in Yorkshire so I know I shouldn’t be surprised but pushing the buggy up some of the steep hills definitely gave my legs a good workout compared to the flats area that we live in! We loved the view from the clifftops down to the lovely beach below and across to the aAbbey. After visiting Fountains Abbey we decided not to see Whitby Abbey up close and focused on the town itself, having a lovely wander round, and we stopped at a gorgeous child friendly café for lunch.

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We then headed a little further North up the coast towards a little place I had found called Runswick Bay. A lovely small fishing village in beautiful enclosed bay with a gorgeous sandy beach. It was a lovely day and with the bay being enclosed we were very protected from any coastal breezes and had a lovely time.

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It was LM’s first time on a beach and she was good as gold lying in the shade of our wind protector while Monkey and Daddy had a whale of a time making castles and exploring the beach.

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It was such a beautiful spot and I was so glad we found it. The hill to get to the beach is massively steep though so worth bearing that in mind when thinking about carrying things/children.

 

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Helmsley Castle, Yorkshire

One of the things I was really looking forward to on our little holiday to Yorkshire recently, was visiting some good castles. I love a good castle, the scale, the history, I just find them fascinating. Our base for the week was near Thirsk so we were not far away from the North York Moors. On the southern border of the moors is the small town of Helmsley, home to Helmsley Castle. I thought it looked like a good place to visit, especially as it was only around 20 mins from our holiday cottage.

What I hadn’t realised, from the little research I did, was quite how close to the town it was, with the ruin of one tower very much looming over the town – this tower was an addition, actually built solely to intimidate the residents of the town.

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I have to admit we struggled a little to find the castle. Obviously we could see it as we drove into Helmsley but was very unclear how to actually get to it. Signs for parking in a couple of places but nothing that actually said parking for the castle, which would have been helpful! So if you go, look out for signs for “Long Stay” parking and that will take you to the right place.

On arrival there is a lovely model of how the castle used to look, and there are a couple of different routes you can take to enter the castle – with LM in the buggy we were advised to take the slightly longer, accessible route, which led us to the barbican where there are some very cool bronzed statues.

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Monkey had a fab time running around, exploring and climbing on the castle walls.

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There were places where hand-holding was a must, especially walking around the edge of the moat, and inside the fallen tower, to make sure he didn’t do himself a mischief. It was a grey morning when we arrived but the sun thankfully came out and after looking inside at some of the well preserved rooms we had a nice little picnic.

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With the sun fully out and LM having a nap we then had a lot of fun spinning in the sunshine, chasing bubbles and generally just having a lovely time with Monkey.

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We then wandered into Helmsley itself which is a gorgeous little market town with lots of lovely little shops and tea rooms where you could happily while away some time.

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Visitor Information

Helmsley Castle is managed by English Heritage and you can find the opening times and prices here. At time of writing it was £6 per adult, £3.60 per child and under 5s go free (perfect for us). We thought this was an ok price was as we didn’t find there was enough there to stay the whole day.

There is a shop but no refreshments available so take a picnic, or you can easily walk into Helmsley itself where there are plenty of tea shops and cafes to choose from.

As mentioned above the parking signs are terrible and don’t mention the castle at all, but follow signs for “Long Stay” parking and you should find it!

Do you and your kids like exploring castle ruins?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall#ToddlerApprovedTuesdayWe're going on an adventure

Having some fun

My word of the week this week is a great one. One that I am really happy to talk about. It has been a lovely week, full of fun, so that is my word, fun!

After the past however many months of struggling, first with the difficult newborn days, with colic and reflux thrown into the mix, to just the endless parade of germs, colds and flus keeping us down, it is great to say we have had a fun week for a change!

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Sunny

My word of the week this week, is Sunny.

Firstly in the literal sense because the last few days have been gloriously sunny. The end of last week was wet and miserable and I was so fed up of the cold but the last couple of days have been the absolute opposite. We had a lovely day today at our local country park enjoying the sunshine with some friends and it was lovely relaxing in the sun – well relaxing as much as you ever can with an almost 3 yr old and a 5mth old!

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A lovely ordinary Sunday

February was a bit of a month. It was very busy for all of us and sadly, full of germs too! Illness aside there was lots going on including the big build up to the wedding of one of my best friends on the 28th. As a result it has felt very hectic and hubs and I have been a bit shattered and run down as a result. The day after the wedding, the 1st March, the sun was shining and we decided to get our lives in order a bit.

We do love our lists so we sat and worked out what jobs we wanted achieve this spring, and also what nice days out we hoped to have. Monkey loves lists too so of course he helped :). This was also when we decided to take control of LM’s routine so our day very much revolved around that.

In one of her awake times we decided to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine. With all the poorliness lately we have spent a lot of time indoors and we just wanted to get out and get some fresh air. We are very lucky that we are walking distance to a steam engine railway line, so after checking the timetable we popped LM in the carrier and wandered off there to see a train. We hope to take Monkey on a train ride at some point, but after his fears of seeing the trains at the National Railway Museum, we thought it would be a good idea to get him used to the scale and noise of the train first!

Although it was lovely and sunny it was really windy, which Monkey wasn’t at all keen on and there was a real chill in the air waiting on the station to see the train so he and Daddy had a lovely snuggle.

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Soon enough the train arrived and Monkey was so excited to wave to the train and all of the people on board. He cracked me up when the train was leaving by shouting “Follow that train!” over and over again! Bless him I had to explain that it was a little too fast for us to catch!

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It was then time to head home and have some lovely lunch. Just a short outing, and hubs was shattered from pushing Monkey on his trike (it is so heavy and unwieldy but with Monkey just getting over being ill we didn’t want to push him too hard or make him walk – good job as little did we know he was actually coming down with Chicken Pox too!) and I was shattered as it is probably the longest I have had LM in the carrier for some time and she is getting heavy!

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Hubs and I had soup for lunch but Monkey wanted bread and cheese. As we sat down to eat he exclaimed “This cheese is significant!” lol not sure what that meant, he has obviously heard the word and decided to try it out! As toddlers do! He did the same later, sometimes hubs and I call the kids darling, often when they are being grumpy. After lunch when I was changing LM’s nappy, Monkey came over and said to me “Darling… what you doing?” hehe hearing “darling” come out of his little mouth was so cute. He then wandered off saying darling to himself over and over. So adorable, he has called both hubs and I babe before too as we occasionally say that to each other. Thankfully Mummy & Daddy always return to favour though.

After lunch Monkey helped Daddy sweep out the car port (one of the jobs on our list) then both kids had lovely long naps in the afternoon which meant hubs and I got to have a bit of a rest as we were shattered. It wasn’t a massively exciting day or anything to write home about but just one of those lovely, ordinary days having fun with a toddler (and a baby of course) and sorting a few jobs out. After a busy month with a mix of socialising and illness it was lovely to just have one of these ordinary days, and I hope we get to have a few more of them this Spring.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Fun Outdoors in the Sun

We have had lots of warm weather lately and it has been really lovely to get outdoors and have some fun in the sun. Monkey, and I’m sure most kids, just love being outdoors, running around, exploring and doing all sorts. The great thing is that there are so many ways for them to play outside without having to spend any money.

This is just a few of the things we have been up to outdoors while the sun has been shining!

Playing in his new playhouse! A good old second hand purchase from ebay, and a slightly early birthday present for Monkey which he loves!! Lots of peepo and playing house. Hours of fun in there at the moment, and a nice shade spot if the sun gets too hot :)

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Playing in sand and water next door with his friend

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Popping out for an ice cream on his trike! As Monkey would say, Um Yum!

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Playing in our newly renovated back garden – having fun in the sand pit

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And, slightly random, but after giving the buggy a good scrub I left a sponge out there and now Monkey lives giving the floor a clean, hehe :)

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We also got the paddling pool out at the weekend, and I think the water may have been a teeny bit cold for him as it was a bit of a trauma at times, but he did have fun in there too! (Though I think Daddy got more wet than Monkey did!!)

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There’s also just been some general running about with a ball now that we are actually allowed to go on the new grass!

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And of course, some fun picnics and playtime at the park!

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall