Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Advent Wreaths

My first attempt at making my own wreath!
This one was entirely free! A wire coat hanger some moss, holly and other evergreens collected at the weekend, and some string/wire from the shed! I think I need to tame it a little at the top on the right.

This one cost me the wire ring (50p) and a bag of moss from the garden centre (£4). I may add a ribbon, but I think I like it more natural looking. I used bits of Christmas tree, holly and other evergreens in this one.
Now for a cuppa then clear up the mess! Next year I think I am better tackling this job outside rather than in the kitchen!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

'Tis the Season to Make Chutney!

It's all about Autumn and anything Autumnal here! The air each morning is crisp, and it's a bit chilly on the school run. Not chilly enough for a coat, but not warm enough for just jumpers. This annoys The Big Boy, who would like it to be summer forever and just be in shorts/t-shirt.
We've been busying ourselves with the business of autumn: new term at school and settling in to the routine of trying to get to the park on the way home but having enough time to do reading and spellings; after school clubs, Beavers and weekend swimming lessons; trying to find a daytime routine which gets the jobs done but is also fun for me and Little Bear and just generally being back in the school term time groove of juggling so many things.
Speaking of the little one... the Mountain Goat phase has commenced!

As has the 'look at me I can take my trousers and nappy off by myself' phase! Hence the dungarees. He hasn't figured out there are poppers on the legs, yet! It will only be a matter of time, I'm sure!
The children are happier than I expected them to be now they are back at school. We had an amazing summer and neither was looking forward to going back, nor did I really want them to. They have settled in well though. My lovely Big Girl is happy to be in the squirrels group in her class, as Big Brother was a squirrel too it has made her super happy. She also came home with her first ever reading book last night, so we're super proud of her. Not everyone has one yet, and I didn't expect her to be in the first phase of children to be introduced to reading books, as she is one of the youngest children in the year. The Big Boy has settled amazingly well with a new teacher, and has also started Beavers. I'm doing lots of watching and bidding on ebay to try to get him the uniform as it's quite pricey! A wise friend also recommended buying a jumper size too big, so that he will grow into it next year, then out of it a little during his last Beaver year (but not so much that its really small), that way you'll never have to unstitch and re-sew the badges. Sounds like a top tip to me!
It's all about chutney this week. A lovely mummy at school left these next to my car the other day. She had briefly asked would I like some fruit from her trees. I was expecting 3 or 4 apples so was chuffed to bits with 2 boxes of cooking apples, discovery apples, pink apples, conference pears and some damsons. I shall be making this with the damsons and some of the apples:
I'll be searching for an apples and pear chutney recipe too, and have some blackberries in the freezer from a trip to the woods last week, so blackberry and apple jam and chutney will be bubbling away too.
The schools grounds are full of fruit trees... we have spotted pear, apple, quince and walnut. Its very tempting to pick them!
Sorry, a bit of a random post, but an autumnal one nonetheless. I think we shall spend the weekend collecting autumn treasures and doing autumn crafts, around swimming and dancing lessons!
Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The last day of summer!

My favourite season used to be Autumn. The colours of the leaves, the treasures for the children to collect on walks in the woodland and the cooler weather were all things to look forward to. Now I only have one of my little ones left at home during the day, summer has definitely become our favourite time of year! It simply represents freedom for us, and we love to be wild and free.

We have had such an amazing summer. Awesome, The Boy says. It's been a long, hot summer and we have packed it with fun and freedom.

We have tried not to think of going back to school. I managed to get most of the things the children needed without having to take them with me or mention school. We sneaked a shoe trip in with buying casual shoes too.

I tried to think of something lovely to do with our Final Day of Freedom. It was a hot day, 29 degrees at 5pm as we drove home. A local nature reserve was the perfect place to enjoy the last day of our summer holidays.

Spotting the first signs of Autumn, tiny acorns on this Oak tree.

 The children loved the sculpture trail.
A cocoon in the trees.

Climbing has been number one on our list of 'favourite things to do' this summer.

Determination to complete the rope course.

It really was quite a challenge!

Paddling, who doesn't love paddling!

Little bear paddling!

Beanie played on this for ages!

More zip wire fun!

Balancing on the wobbly bridge.
We're looking forward to an autumnal return visit! It will be wonderful to see such a beautiful place change through the seasons.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Play Day!

We went to a Fun Day! Here's our pictures! 




 It was so much fun, we can't wait to go back!


Change is in the air...

We get our eggs from a lovely farm, not too far away, who make their own ice cream. Any excuse for us to have a tub, then a walk in the nearby woodland. It's lovely seeing the subtle difference each time we go. Everything seems green, alive and vibrant this time. You could tell change was afoot, just a little...

The kids 'do' the season table themselves and collect things, make things and also change things on the table when they think its time to. When we got home, they fetched the basket and made a subtle change or two....

The Boy took the last photo, he insisted!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

All in a day's work!

We've been fruit picking a few times this year, but usually manage to eat everything we have picked within a day or so. I've been wanting to have a try at jam making for a couple of years and not got round to it, so we decided to all have a go. We picked the fruit in the morning and had it made into jam by the afternoon. 2 jars of strawberry and 2 of raspberry. They are both delicious and I doubt they will last very long! We'll be making some more for Christmas gifts I think.

Fun at the Fair

The fair came to a nearby village. We don't normally bother with funfairs as they can be so expensive, but this one seemed more craft stalls and just a few kids slides, rides and things. The children really enjoyed it!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

We've been doing lots of organising in the garden. Trying to make it into a place for the senses to be really stimulated. It took a while for me to persuade my other half that we ought to have a mud kitchen. The kids love any opportunity to play with mud.

This patch is our herb spiral. The children really enjoyed collecting the stones for the spiral and smelling the herbs in the garden centre.


Gruffalo hands!

Cooling down.... and splashing around!

There's definitely only one thing to be done when it's 35 degrees for most of the afternoon, 3 days in a row! We've been having loads of fun with the paddling pool, sprinkler, water table and making our own water slide. Both of the big children have been really enjoying water play for a few months now, Moo especially has been really enjoying scooping, pouring, tipping, sieving and fishing! I bought a cheap fishing set with a rod and some fish and some plastic ducks as well as some pieces of guttering to enhance their water play. They also like to tip water on the bottom of the slide! Today was the first day we could play not just with the water table, but also with the paddling pool and sprinkler.

I love their expressions in these two pictures!

The water play is also a chance for them to water the garden and the many things we have been growing this year. It also means I feel less guilty for filling the paddling pool as the water is always re-used on the plants! Beanie especially loves to water the tomatoes and is enjoying the anticipation of the first one to start to turn red!

Shadows are fascinating too at the moment, and they love watching their shadow change and move as they play on the swing.

I maybe shouldn't have let them do this... but it did look like fun!

Friday, 19 July 2013

In anticipation of the summer holidays!

I'm placing a link here:

to inspire me to get the paints, arts and crafts and messy play things out this summer.

And this:

to inspire us to be more wild and free!

I'll let you know how we get on!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


We had a fantastic weekend camping! Packing was a bit hasty as The Boy had sports day in the morning, so by the time I got home I had an hour and a half to pack the car! Consequently I forgot a few things! Like shoes for The Boy, and towels!


Making up their own 'Sports Day' style races!


Small loved the trampoline!

The mud kitchen was a hit too!


A day trip to the seaside

He did this all weekend!
We had the site to ourselves for the first afternoon and evening and the children made themselves at home, exploring the play kitchen and running around the meadow! It was very peaceful and there was so much there for the children to do. We enjoyed a barbecue tea and just relaxing while the children ran off some steam. The Boy loves to be wild and free and is a calmer, happier and more contented child in the open air! We had a lovely trip to the seaside on Saturday and enjoyed playing in the park, fish and chips for tea and a lovely ice cream too.
We were joined by another family on Saturday evening and the children enjoyed showing two new small people around and having someone else to play with! We left early Sunday as Moo had her dancing lesson, but we can't wait to go back!