A weekend outdoors

We had a great weekend albeit dodging the British summer showers, this has got to be the wettest June ever right?

Across the road from us we are lucky enough to have a beautiful village common that hosts all sorts of events for the community. This weekend was the 'Feast Day' which runs all day and local businesses promote themselves alongside games stalls, tombola, a funfair and entertainment on stage.

H particularly enjoyed the traditional Punch and Judy show, he was yelling 'oh no he's not' with all the other children and shrieking with laughter.

 We loved a display by a medieval team of knights showing off their battle skills.
The Feast Day in full swing, it was such a nice day despite a few showers there was a real community atmosphere.

A new playground opened up in a county park near us this weekend, it was brilliant fun something for all ages to enjoy as well as a huge sandpit which H loved. Definitely be returning over the long summer holidays.

The week ahead holds the usual nursery and school runs, I've joined my sons school parents association from September so I think we have our first meeting this week, will be interesting to have some input into school life and activities. O has a cricket match against another school later in the week that I am really looking forward to, it's great when parents can go and support the children.

H has his first dental check-up booked for Friday, this will probably require a large glass of wine for me to recover afterwards as he is not good with anyone looking in his mouth as it usually happens when he has tonsillitis which is really suffers with. May have to bribe him with a trip to the toy shop afterwards.

I need to eat better this week, I really indulged over the weekend so time to get back on the dieting wagon. I'm trying to get more fruit and vegetables into my diet. Fingers crossed for a weight loss.

What does your week hold? I can't believe it's almost July!

Cuddle Fairy


Mysteries in time

The lovely folk over at Mysteries in Time contacted me via Twitter and asked us to review one of their subscription boxes.

Each box which is delivered to your door monthly is designed to bring history to life for children aged 7-11 years of age.
'Join Max and Katie as they travel back in time to solve a fictional mystery in a real, historic setting'

What did we receive in our box?

In our personalised box we received an adventure story set in ancient Egypt, history facts, puzzles, stickers and colouring in sheets, a collectable, a craft activity and a world map.

My 8 year old absolutely loves his first Mysteries in Time box. He was thrilled to see that the first box theme was ancient Egypt something he has not yet looked at in school so he was keen to get a head start and read all about life in ancient Egypt. His world map has pride of place on his wall in his bedroom which he has shown to his younger brother pointing out where Egypt is and where we live.

All packaged up in this exciting time machine box!

What do the boxes cost?

The box subscription will cost £15.95 plus UK P&P at £2.95.
The website will be taking orders from next week - 6th June and you can place an order or register your interest on the Mysteries in Time website here http://www.mysteriesintime.co.uk/

The first boxes will be ready for delivery in mid July.

You can find Mysteries in Time on Twitter


Am-mazing Cliveden

Photo source National Trust

The house and garden are just a 20 minute drive from our house and although the weather was a bit dull with just a few glimpses of the sun we had a great time. Entry was free for dads, £10 for me and under 5's free. A really reasonable day out, we aren't national trust members - it's on the to do list - and looking at the guide provided there are so many national trust sites near us.

First off we grabbed a map and our first adventure was in the Cliveden maze. Made from over 1000 yew trees and a recreation of the original maze designed by Lord Astor a formed owner of Cliveden in 1894. The maze is accessible for all, and great fun! H was loving leading us a merry dance around the maze jumping over the odd puddle and shrieking with laughter. I'd suggest heading to the maze early in your visit, we arrived at 10am for opening, the maze is popular.
Daddy ended up taking the lead after a while!
Photo source the National Trust

Next we went off to explore the storybook play den full of favourite wood carved characters, Captain Hook, Winnie the Pooh and 'Old Brown' of Beatrix Potter fame are a few that are resident in the den. There is a great climbing frame and slide suitable for under 12's as well as a wooden train and tractor suitably positioned near the coffee shop where we had a quick break while H indulged in imaginary train journeys while we sipped coffees.
Photo source the National Trust
With midday approaching it seemed appropriate for Mr T to sample some of the free beer that was on offer in celebration of fathers day. Representative from the local Rebellion Beer Co provided a selection of their beers and gave me a great idea for a gift for Mr T - brewery membership - genius! I'm not a beer drinker but I sampled the 'blonde' beer and it was really refreshing, thumbs up!

Photo source Rebellion Beer

Refreshed, Mr T more so than myself as the designated driver, we took a stroll down to the South Terrace and Cliveden house and H rolled down the banks into the Parterre, who doesn't love bank rolling? The Parterre was full of beautiful blooms and the view was amazing. I can only imagine how gorgeous it looks in blazing sunshine.

There is currently a restoration project underway at the Southern Terrace owing to historic fires and the damage from years of wind and rain, work is being carried out to relay the patio, replace the drainage system and restore the stairway to its former self. We visited on a Sunday so no works were actually taking place but I can't imagine it would detract from the splendour of the house and garden.

There was so much more to see at Cliveden but little legs was getting tired so after an ice cream we headed home. We will definitely be back to explore the areas we didn't see; the water garden, woodland walk, river boats, the rose and round garden.

Many thanks to the National trust and Cliveden for putting on such a great Father's Day event.

This post was written to share our experience of Cliveden house and gardens. I received no payment at all. All views and opinions are my own.

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A British Summer?

Photo source

Summer is here? Or is it? I feel a distinctly British feel to everything at the moment what with Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, England part of the Euros, the (ahem) referendum later on this week.

But WHAT about the weather? The weather has a typically British feel.  I wouldn't be British if I didn't have a little rant about the British weather. Yesterday was the first day of summer and it couldn't have been more soggy if it tried. Soggy feet are the worst and I gave into the endless torrential downpours I endured yesterday during school/nursery runs.

It's been so grey here in the South East lately, at the weekend we went to 2 'summer fayres' and althought it wasn't raining, it was grey and dull and overcast. Totally not the summer weather I remember enjoying as a child.

Looking back at the summers since 2007 and I became a mum I can't really recall long periods of hot, dry sunny weather during the summer months. Instead we have always planned activities 'around what the weather is doing' and become masters at changing plans last minute as a family, due to the rain.

I can remember my school days towards the end of term coming home from school changing out of my awful polyester uniform into swimmers and just laying in the paddling pool in the garden to cool off. Then spending the summer break outdoors on my bike, on walks even using the local outdoor swimming pool on regular occasions.

Today in the 'summer' months after school you are more likely to find my boys moaning about the rain, wanting to play outside at the park and me wondering if I can put the heating on!

How do you and your family cope with 'British weather'?

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3 Little Buttons
Cuddle Fairy


Monday Motivation

So, how was your week?
I had quite a productive week last week. I've been blogging since March and the chance to work with a local online parenting magazine presented itself. So I met with the editor warts and all and was offered the job! She loved my writing style and so I've joined the team.

As well as doing something I love, writing, I will be able to work from home with hours to fit around my boys who as ever, are my priority. I'm so excited! I think it will take me a while to find my feet but I a determined to make a huge go of this opportunity.

I'm hoping this role gives me the chance to have the best of both worlds, be a stay at home mum as well as stretching my brain a little while the boys are at school and nursery and learn new skills while giving something to my local community providing up to date information for families.
Wish me luck!

Cuddle Fairy
Reflections From Me