Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Best of British: 101 Ideas for Having Fun with the Kids This Summer




Planning a Big British Summer Adventure



Elliot and  I aren’t new to planning big days out, we’ve been all over the place so far this year. Now that summer is on the horizon, with budgets and other constraints considers, it’s time to start planning our summer adventure.  


If, like us, you’re struggling for ideas of where to take the kids next, check out this handy ebook created by over 101 of the Best British Bloggers. With hundreds of activities, destinations, and just general FUN each of the ideas has been tested by a blogger just like myself and is personal recommendation straight from the heart.

My suggestion for the book was Longleat Safari Park, one of our favourite attractions to visit: 



No doubt we will most likely be heading back to the Longleat at some point this summer. The drive is only a short distance, the weather will be warm enough to enjoy the safari and Elliot just loves the animals!

Let me know if you have a destination favourite from the ebook! 

Peter Rabbit The Tale of the Great Breakout DVD - Giveaway

Did you know that Peter Rabbit is over 100 years old now?! He first appeared The Tale of Peter Rabbit book in 1902 and has been delighting fans ever since. I remember reading Beatrix Potter books as a child and I think it's lovely that the generation are also able to enjoy the stories!

Abbey Home Media have recently released a brand new DVD, The Tale of The Great Breakout featuring Peter Rabbit and his friends. 


When Mr. McGregor captures the whole squirrel tribe in his garden, Peter must stage a mass break out to save his friends.  Follow our hero Peter and his friends Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail on their adventures and quest to save the day, overcoming obstacles and outsmarting predators, all the while finding fun and excitement in the most unexpected places. 

With a taste for radishes and a thirst for adventure Peter Rabbit is the lovable and extraordinary friends you longed to hang out with when you were a kid. But when the chips are down and danger lurks, there's no better friend to have around then Peter and his boundless courage will always see him through.  Peter has an infectious enthusiasm for life and is also an irrepressible optimist. He is cool under pressure and his quick-witted mind is as nimble as his super fast legs

The DVD runs for 70 minutes and contains 6 exciting tales: 

-The Tale of the Great Breakout
- The Tale of the Mystery Plum Thief
- The Tale of Benjamin's Strawberry Raid
- The Tale of the Downhill Escape
- The Tale of the Unguarded Garden
- The Tale of the Cat and the Rat

It also contains a free height chart which was a big hit in our house - Elliot has been lining up against it to see how tall he is! 

If you fancy winning yourself a copy, take a look below. Good luck! 

Peter Rabbit - The Tale of the Great Breakout DVD

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A Ride on the West Somerset Railway


The West Somerset Railway is the longest heritage railway in England and is a trip well worth doing if you're visiting the Minehead area.

We spent 5 days at Butlins in Minehead and couldn't wait to take a day trip on the steam trains. We originally visited back in 2014 and have fond memories of Elliot's first railway trip however as he was only a little toddler, he can't remember it atall!

The trains depart from Minehead and travel 22 miles along the coastline and through beautiful countryside to a small village called Bishops Lydeard. The WSR offer a variety of tickets so you can either travel all the way to Bishops Lydeard, or hop on and off at the many stations along the way.


It was a lovely sunny day when we decided to go on the train and we were at the station bright and early for the first departure of the morning. We did have a small panic however as we spotted one of the redcoats and a massive crowd of holidaymakers making their way to the train station on an organised trip. We thought the trains might be packed out, we needn't have worried though as there were plenty of spare seats and the Butlins gang were herded up to other end of the train!

Elliot was really excited when we got on the train and couldn't wait to bag himself a window seat so he wouldn't miss any of the action! He had great fun waving at everyone on the platform.


We decided to stay on the train the whole way to Bishops Lydeard and it took around 75 minutes. The time flew by though and by the time we'd had a quick visit to the on board buffet car for a drink it was time to disembark. Bishops Lydeard station has a museum, shop and a cafe and the village is only a short walk away if you wanted to explore. It's also really interesting to watch the trains being fed and watered ready for their next trip!




After a quick stop at Bishops Lydeard, we hopped back on the next train and traveled to Watchet, a small coastal town situated 9 miles from Minehead. It was lunchtime so we decided to stop for a bit of lunch and enjoy the sunshine!


It was market day in Watchet so it was nice to have a wander around the stalls - and of course we got tempted by the chocolate stall!! We found a great pub, Pebbles Tavern which had a large selection of ciders and ales and they even gave Elliot a free soft drink which was a nice touch. There's nothing like an ice cool cider on a warm sunny day!

As the weather was so nice we decided to get fish & chips and take them down to the harbour. From here you can take a stroll along the harbour walls and see the lighthouse.


Our train back to Minehead was slightly late arriving into Watchet but the staff kept us informed and were very friendly to speak to. They are all volunteers and you get a real understanding of their passion for the railway if they stop for a chat. Elliot was even allowed to try on the ticket inspector's hat!

We had a lovely day out on the steam trains and it's something I'd definitely recommend if you're visiting the area. And especially if you have a train mad child!! The WSR also run lots of special family events throughout the year so it's worth keeping an eye out on the website for details of these.

For more information and to book tickets online, please visit:

http://westsomersetrailway.vticket.co.uk/





Run Jump Scrap!My Random Musings
Monkey and MouseBabyfoote

Friday, 13 May 2016

#LittleLoves Spirits, Choirs and Eurovision

Well, here we are again - Friday already. How can that be?! Can't believe it's almost June and we're practically half way through the year. Time is just disappearing in a blur!

So here's some of this weeks Little Loves...

Read

I actually updated my Kindle for the first time in ages this week and have been making some time to relax and read a book. I like to read for a bit before bedtime as it really helps me unwind.

I finished a book yesterday called Time to Say Goodbye by S.D Robertson. It was just an impulse buy on Amazon as it was 99p for a Kindle download but it was absolutely brilliant and I'm so glad I stumbled across it! It tells the story of Will, who has been recently killed in a tragic accident and his struggle to make contact with his 6 year old daughter from the afterlife. 

It was a really poignant read and made me cry in several places. I guess when you're a parent you just can't imagine ever having to leave your child and it really made me emotional! 


Watched

I love a bit of trashy easy to watch telly and last weekend I had a bit of a binge watch of America's Next Top Model. I hadn't realised the new series had started on Sky Living so I had 5 episodes to catch up with! I have no interest in the fashion industry but I've always loved watching ANTM - I think Tyra Banks is brilliant (if a bit bonkers) and I love seeing the makeover episodes where at least one contestant will freak out over their new haircut!!

Credit - The CW

Another show I have watched this week is Gareth's Invictus Choir. Really enjoyed seeing how Gareth Malone bought the choir together and his method of teaching. I have to say it made me blub a bit, I can't wait to see the next episode and find out how the choir got on singing at the Invictus Games. 

Credit - Radio Times

Made

I'm still plodding on with Slimming World and have been trying my best to cook healthy meals for the whole family. Last weekend I made some healthy pizzas using a wholemead bread mix from Asda. They turned out really well and I will definitely have them again, I really miss pizza so it's a great substitute! 


Wore

I treated myself to a few new tops last week as we were going away to Butlins and my wardrobe was lacking tops suitable for the warmer weather! I picked up this one from Yours Clothing and I love the elephant print. It's also nice and long too which is great, I hate tops that don't cover my stomach or bum! 

Sorry, not the best picture!

Heard

I keep hearing Disturbed's cover of The Sound of Silence on Radio 2 and I think it's brilliant, it gives me goosebumps!!! 


I've also been listening to the soundtrack of Les Miserables quite a bit...well maybe too much because Elliot keeps asking to hear One Day More again! He loves to sing along ;)



Lastly...

It's the Eurovision Song Contest final this coming weekend and I actually can't wait!! My sisters and I always go round to my parents house to watch it, we have a mini party and my sister Sarah always brings her notepad to mark all the entries! 

I don't mind the UK's entry, it's a bit Coldplay-esque and it's quite catchy. But come on, we don't have a hope in hell of winning!! I will definitely be voting for Ireland though, you might recognise the contestant...Nicky Byrne from Westlife. The song is quite catchy but we really want Ireland to win so we can get tickets for next years final! 



**Edited just to say that apparently Ireland haven't even made it to the final, doh!! 









Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Orchard Toys 'Where Do I Live' - Review


Orchard Toys launched a brand new range of games at the beginning of the year and we were sent "Where Do I Live" to try out.

Elliot is a big fan of Orchard Toys and we do have a lot of their games such as the Giant Railway jigsaw.  I love the fact that they are perfect for his age group and very educational.

Where Do I Live is aimed at children aged 3-6 and is for 2-4 players. The concept is very simple, it tests your child's memory as they have to match the correct animal to the correct board. The first person to collect all their animals and explorer wins the game.


The game includes:

4 double sided boards
24 animal cards
4 explorer cards
Instruction leaflet

To start the game, each player picks a board and all the cards are placed face down on the floor. The players take it in turn to pick a card. If the card matches the board, they can keep it but if there's no match then the card goes back. It's up to the other players to remember where the card is and if it matches their board so they can pick it up on their next go.


It's a great way for children to learn more about animals because each board features a different habitat such as the ocean, rainforest, desert and polar regions. All the animals on the boards are from that specific habitat. I think Elliot has memorised every animal and where it is from!


What I love about this game is that on the back on the boards you can find fun animal and habitat facts and this is such a great way of teaching children about the world. Kids are like little sponges and I know Elliot especially loves to find out new things about animals.

This game was a bit hit in our house and we've already played it several times since we got it. A must for any little animal fans!


Where Do I Live is available from the Orchard Toys website and has a RRP of £9.50

Disclaimer: We received the product for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

Family FeverMummascribbles

Monday, 9 May 2016

101 Little Things to do in Dorset with Parkdean Holidays

If you're wondering what to do with the kids now the sunshine has finally arrived, check out Parkdean's 101 Little Things.



Parkdean has plenty of experience in keeping kids amused and its team has compiled a list of all the fun, free and simple activities that little ones can enjoy doing with their families in the great British outdoors.

These 'Little Things' can include anything from daisy chain making in a country park, building sandcastles at the beach or exploring a cave; making a campfire for toasting marshmallows or simply lying under the stars and picking the brightest one. Anything that encourages families to spend quality time together whilst on holiday in the UK.

Some of the things you could try include tip number 24 - try the Swiss Bob - which can easily be ticked off at Warmwell Holiday Park's all weather ski slope.

With Wareham Forest being located so close to Sandford Holiday Park, you could tick at least two off the list by balancing on a log (54) and crunching through fallen leaves (58).

Wareham Forest
At West Bay Holiday Park, families can enjoy the beautiful coastal surroundings. Just a few miles down the road you can climb the lighthouse at Portland Bill and tick off tip number 8.

Portland Bill Lighthouse
Parkdean asked me what my favourite little thing would be and living right on the coast, it had to be beach related! We have miles of golden sandy beaches in Dorset and a trip to the seaside is the perfect free activity in all seasons. Sandbanks Beach is our favourite - we love going for a splash in the Summer but also enjoy going for a walk in the winter to collect seashells and jump the waves!

A sunny Summer's evening at Sandbanks Beach
There are so many things to do right here on our doorstep so why not check out the list and see how many you can tick off.

To download the '101 Little Things' list and find more details, go to www.parkdean.com/101littlethings


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Beautiful Bluebell Woods - Pamphill, Dorset

Every year when the bluebells are in full bloom, I always think it would be great idea to go and take some lovely photos. Well I've been saying that since Elliot was 6 months and we never quite made it, by the time I arranged it the bluebells were fading fast!

Recently we had a free afternoon so I drove over to Pamphill which is a small village in the beautiful Dorset countryside. We easily found the small National Trust carpark and followed the path down through the fields. I wasn't quite we were going in the right direction but I soon spotted the woodland and got a glimpse of the bluebells in the distance. 


Once we reached the wood, there were hundreds of bluebells carpeting the ground and the colour was so vivid. Elliot had loads of fun running along the paths and hiding behind trees! 







The wood also contained lots of logs and things to climb on - perfect for an energetic 3 year old! And there was an abundance of sticks to collect along the way!



We finished our afternoon with a visit to a nearby farm shop for an ice-cream and a play on the swings!



Have you been to visit any local bluebells?

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