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.


Are you enjoying our little heatwave?

Best of Worst
Monkey and Mouse

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Gardening with the Poundland Charlie Dimmock range

We love spending time outside with the kiddies, and not just on days out, but also out in our garden. Some readers may remember that we had a project a couple of years ago to completely renovate our garden. We have been so pleased with the results and spend so much time out there.


It doesn’t usually look as tidy as this, normally there are toys everywhere but we are getting ready for my birthday bbq this weekend!

It takes maintenance though so there is a lot of time spent gardening which so far the kids love being a part of. So when Poundland got in touch about their new range of gardening tools, the Charlie Dimmock range, I was immediately intrigued. To be honest I was surprised initially as Poundland is not the first place I would think of to buy gardening tools, but the selection they have looked great. We chose a few things we thought we could put to good use and test out then got out in the garden.


Monkey loves digging and his grandparents recently bought him a plant with his name so he and Daddy set to planting.PhotoGrid_1461244669904

Monkey and I then did some necessary, but let’s face it, unexciting weeding together.PhotoGrid_1461245017185

Even LM got involved and did some digging with her big brother.PhotoGrid_1461244750282

So how did the products do? Pretty good actually considering the price of them. The gloves are a good size and definitely do the job of protecting your hands from the dirt and prickles. The stitching on them isn’t amazing so I can see they probably won’t last you years and years, but then I don’t expect anything I can buy for a pound to last that long and spending £1 on a pair of gloves every now and then wouldn’t be too much of a hardship.

The scoops were really good for digging loose soil and will be very useful for all sorts of things. The brush is just what we needed for cleaning the weeds in the block paving. We had previously bought one from a leading diy chain for around £5 which snapped in two. This much cheaper version is already doing better than that one.

The trowel and other tools do what they say on the tin. As with the gloves the quality may not be amazing, the trowel is a bit bendy in hard earth or when digging vigourously, but again, for the price you really can’t complain and they do the job. There are a couple of bits that we are yet to try out but they see, to be of a similar standard and no doubt they will come in useful.

On the whole I am really impressed with the Charlie Dimmock gardening range from Poundland and am pleasantly surprised. I will definitely consider Poundland next time we need some gardening supplies.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallWe're going on an adventureLife Unexpected

Loving our Garden

I have never been much of a gardener, and in all honesty have been pretty uninterested in becoming a gardener. That is, until we renovated our garden. Suddenly I really enjoy it! I don’t like weeding and I still don’t really know what I am doing but I do enjoy choosing plants and seeing them grow. Luckily hubs knows a bit more about gardening than I do so it is very much a joint effort.

Renovating our back garden was such a good decision as we spend a lot of time out there and it really is looking so lovely out there now. We just bought some beautiful new plants to inject some more colour and texture. We like to try and mix up things that flower at different times of year and are different colours to keep a nice bit of variety. (You can see the before and afters of the renovation here.)

garden aug 2015

Monkey loves the garden and he loves gardening too. He is great at watering the garden, with the hose or a watering can and he just loves to dig. We do have to stop him digging up plants as he can be a bit overenthusisastic sometimes! He loves helping though and is always happy to push bits around in his wheelbarrow too, little love!

Monkey Gardening

I’m also really proud of him as lately he has gotten so inquisitive with bugs and beasties that we find when gardening. He so so loved finding some wiggly worms when we were digging at the weekend.  just love seeing how happy he is to touch and explore them. He has picked up woodlice, ants, ladybirds and all sorts too.Monkey and worm

I’m proud of myself too as I hate all these things and don’t like touching them but I try really hard not to share my fear with him. I really don’t want him to learn to be scared of things because they scare me, if that makes sense.

We really enjoy all of our time outside together and hope we can continue to for many years, and get LM involved too when we are less concerned about her eating mud and worms :).

Do you like gardening with your kids?

My word of the week is gardening.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallMy Bored ToddlerThe Reading ResidenceMammasaurus

Adding some spring colour

So our house is full of illness again. Honestly this year has been a year of bugs and to tell you the truth I am fed of talking about it. So I am not going to write about the horrendous cough that Monkey had and now poor LM has, or how I had to doze in a chair all night last night so she could sleep upright and stop coughing so hard she was sick every time she tried to go to sleep… no I am not writing about that. Instead I am looking outside and writing about the lovely spring colours in our garden. In the hopes that spring will bring less bugs… eventually!

What a difference a year makes. This time last year we were very much in the throes of Operation Garden Renovation and our garden was basically a mud pit at this point I think! It has since been well and truly transformed but is still very much a work in process. (Excuse the toddler toys but hey, it’s his garden as much as ours :))

Continue reading

A Spot of Gardening

It seems that Spring is springing into action at the moment doesn’t it? We have had some lovely sunny days and some have actually been really quite warm too which makes a lovely change. Saturday was one of those days, and with the sun shining, Monkey’s Chicken Pox clearing up and some bluebells to plant from Hub’s Dad we spent some time enjoying the sunshine in the back garden.

Monkey loves a good dig in the mud and Daddy likes to put him to work… though unfortunately he always ends up targeting plants rather than weeds and there is one that we are hoping has survived being attacked by Monkey’s trowel…

WP_20150307_12_30_34_ProWP_20150307_12_26_58_Pro WP_20150307_12_55_43_Pro

While Hubs and Monkey were planting I was doing a bit of pruning, dead heading and leaf raking that we didn’t get round to in the autumn (we aren’t the best gardeners in the world!) and enjoying the signs of spring. The crocuses and daffodils blooming in the front garden..


and the buds on one of our new trees (we got these in the sale in August, already marked down to £15 which we thought was a bargain they actually only cost about £8 each), this one looks like it is going to be beautiul once it is in bloom!


Then we had a lovely moment watching some Bees collecting Nectar from the crocuses talking about how Bees make Honey, was very cute!


With yet another week of illness (my turn now) I am hoping that Spring will bring some better health along with the sunnier weather so this week my word is Spring.

How Does Your Garden Grow
The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Playing outside in the Winter

Monkey, like most toddlers I imagine, seems to have boundless energy. He is always haring about the place so we try to get out of the house as much as we can. Last year we started our “operation garden renovation” to turn our mess of a garden into somewhere he could play without us having to go anywhere. This was aimed at being ready for playing outside while I was pregnant, and it was amazing. It is still amazing now, as when LM sleeps upstairs, Monkey and I can get outside and burn off steam – even in the middle of winter!

We don’t very often get snow where we are but we have been enjoying running around on frosty mornings. He loves legging it round the garden, pushing his buggy around, and of course Mummy has to run too.

WP_20150130_08_56_37_Pro WP_20150130_08_58_24_Pro

Mummy getting told off for not running!

Mummy getting told off for not running!

And we finally got our first smattering of snow last week, which Monkey was HUGELY excited about! We thought this may be the extent of what we would get this year so we were out there making the most of it.

 first snow

Then, much to our surprise, a few days later we got a proper covering! So Monkey and I went out while LM was asleep and had some more fun. I have to admit, I love snow. I am a big kid and love building snowmen and snow just makes everything so pretty and white (until it turns into slush anyway, yuk!) and I was determined to build a snowman. I tried to get Monkey involved but he was too busy stomping around making footprints and was more keen on knocking over my snowman mid-build. “Twease, twease, knock it down, twease” um no.

snowy fun

I managed to fend him off and here is the finished result, thankfully he loved it when it was finished and even gave him (apparently it is a Daddy snowman :)) cuddles!

We love playing outside, even in the winter, do you?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Fun at Nanny’s house

As this pregnancy progresses I have been very lucky that my parents have been able to help out more with Monkey. The shop my Mum worked in recently closed down, meaning she has gone from semi-retired to retired, and the timing of this has worked out so well as it means she is able to spend more time with Monkey (allowing me to rest). Usually my Mum pops round on a Wednesday and takes Monkey out somewhere for a run around, but with the forecast looking so dire this week, she invited us round to her house instead.
Continue reading

National Trust Blickling Hall

On the way to our little holiday in Norfolk last week we decided to take the opportunity to stop off at a fabulous National Trust property I have wanted to visit for a while, Blickling Hall.


The Blickling Estate is huge and has so much to do see and do, with a variety of walks and cycle rides you can do. They even have holiday cottages on the estate as there is so much you can do there, much more than you could do in a day!

Because we were just stopping off for a fairly short visit, and because even with my pelvis support I can’t walk as much as I normally would at the moment, we confined our visit to the lovely gardens and grounds surrounding the house. With one of the prime reasons for the stop off being so that Monkey could run around and burn off some energy, we decided not to go into the house.

When we arrived, a lovely lady asked whether Monkey would like to do a scavenger hunt in the gardens, and of course we jumped at the chance. So he was given a lovely little basket and a list of things to find – which included some different seeds, something fuzzy, something round, etc, etc. So we set off to stretch our legs from the car journey, and see what we could find.




The grounds and gardens are so beautiful and there is so many different paths and directions you can go. Daddy loved showing Monkey the different seeds, such as sweet chustnuts and acorns, and Monkey loved collecting things like sticks and stones and popping them in his basket.

WP_20140912_12_30_52_Pro WP_20140912_12_20_01_Pro WP_20140912_12_08_37_Pro WP_20140912_12_29_36_Pro

While we hunted for acorns we found a lovely fluffy looking caterpillar on the floor which Monkey was fascinated by!


When it was time for lunch we took the basket back to one of the lovely volunteers and showed her what Monkey had collected, and Monkey got a sticker! We could have get all of our, er…. souvenirs but as we were going to the holiday home we decided to leave them behind 🙂

WP_20140912_12_30_56_Pro WP_20140912_12_31_33_Pro

After a lovely lunch we had a a bit more of a run around and Monkey was very brave, walking the along a huge fallen tree!

WP_20140912_13_16_01_ProWP_20140912_13_30_44_Pro WP_20140912_13_27_11_Pro

Soon enough it was time to continue our journey to the holiday cottage. As ever though we had a lovely time at the National Trust house and look forward to visitng Blickling Hall again at some point, hopefully with enough time to see inside the house and see more of the estate!

We're going on an adventure
Super Busy Mum
Super Busy Mum

Evening fun with daddy

The days are getting shorter and the evenings are drawing in, but for the moment it is still quite warm at least. When Daddy comes home just after 6 in the evening it is family dinner time, but after dinner is very much Monkey and Daddy time. Monkey loves the time he gets to spend with his Daddy and lately they have been very much making the most of the warm evenings and having a lot fun in the garden between dinner and bathtime. Monkey always has loads of energy at this time of day so I guess that’s why it is called the witching hour!

Most of the time I leave them to it but a couple of times lately I have poked my head out to watch the giggles.

Sometimes they do a bit of gardening, and Monkey loves running under the stream of water from the hose if Daddy is watering the plants.

hose fun

Sometimes they just run around like a pair of loonies, or play in the sand pit, or on his climbing frame.

WP_20140908_18_39_37_Pro WP_20140909_18_44_50_Pro

Whatever they do though they have a lot of fun together and the fun continues into bathtime. There was so much giggling at bathtime the other day that I poked my head in… to be told “bye mummy, close the door” by Monkey. Charming eh? I know when I am not wanted! 😉 Made me chuckle and made me very happy to know he was just having fun with his Daddy 🙂




I love it when traditions get carried down through families, when we do something with Monkey that we remember loving as kids. I love it even more with grandparents carrying things down things that they loved doing as kids. My Mum and Step-dad (Aka Nanny & Pops) were round on Monday after Rhyme Time and we were all playing in the garden (well, I was sat watching mainly).

Pops said he wanted to do aeroplanes with Monkey, and I wasn’t sure what he meant to start with, but it turned out they had done it before on their day out with Monkey.  It is something Pops remembers his Granddad doing with him as a child, and how much he loved it, and he wanted to carry it down and do it with Monkey. Which is just lovely!

Monkey took a tiny bit of encouragement to start with (he is a 2 year old after all, and takes a bit of encouragement with most things at the moment!) but then he absolutely loved it.

It was hilarious, and a tiny bit hair raising to watch, but seeing the glee on Monkey’s face was priceless.

WP_20140908_13_37_53_Pro WP_20140908_13_33_48_Pro

And of course hearing the “Aaaa-gain” repeated over and over afterwards until Pops gave him another whirl..


The angle of this is weird and I know it looks like Monkey’s leg is at an odd angle but I promise it’s not!

and another…

WP_20140908_13_37_24_ProNanny & Pops then tried to get him to do wheelbarrows, and I have to admit we have tried to show Monkey this before and we failed… and unfortunately they failed too, though he did enjoy it I am pretty sure he didn’t have a clue what was going on!

WP_20140908_13_35_17_Pro WP_20140908_13_35_28_Pro WP_20140908_13_35_34_Pro

Just a lovely bit of fun in the garden 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall