Friday, 17 November 2017

My dream adult escape spot

I heard from Boo, Roo and Tiger Too that the lovely people at Tiger Sheds are challenging bloggers to plan their perfect adult escape space in one of their sheds. Now as a single mum with a boy into gaming and YouTube I would love somewhere that I could shut myself away and relax...

So first up I need to choose my ideal shed. Of course I would like plenty of light to get in and enough room for all my requirements. I think that the Tiger Garden Studio Plus would fit the bill nicely:

So next up I will need somewhere comfortable to sit... I think this plum corner sofa from Marks and Spencer would be lovely and cosy:

I would need a nice coffee table with a bit of storage to put things on or in. As I have a bit of hankering for solid wood I would consider this piece from Oak Solution:

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Fixes, Family and Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

The linky is still being hosted by Michelle so please pop over to her blog! I have got plenty of reasons to be cheerful this week but here are just a few:

1) Bargain

We don't have a sofa and our armchairs are the wrong shape to curl up on. So I grabbed a bargain off our local Sell and Seek of another armchair plus footrest that we can share when watching TV or a movie:

2) Girl time

This weekend I had lots of time with my daughter both country dancing, then with a movie marathon with pizza on Saturday and finally the bridge tournament on Sunday. We were supervised by this handsome chap:

3) Proud Mum

Reasons to be Cheerful: Birthday Fun & Fireworks #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

The happiest linky around is still in the hands of Michelle so please join in, comment and share the things that have made you smile this week however small! Here are some of mine:
1) Birthday Boy

My son turned 11 this week (how did that happen!). He is growing up fast and this year chose a trampoline party at Jump Rush in Morecambe with his friends. It was so much fun and I wish I had been brave and joined in.... next time:

2) Bubbles

I had won some Prosecco with extra pop-a-ball and fun additions from a local company Fabulous Flutes. It was perfect to enjoy once my house was no longer full of tween age boys and I could sit back and enjoy Strictly:

3) Mummy Treats

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Yellow Stickers

Hands up if you are a fan of a bargain? I know I am! With my local supermarkets I am learning the best time to go in for the best bargains. Tonight just after 7 PM it was Morrisons as they close earlier than other shops. I basically got a 3 course dinner for 97p:

What are your best yellow sticker bargains?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Annual Bridge Tournament

On Sunday it was the annual bridge tournament in memory of my Granny. My mum and aunt have been organising them since 2011 as close as possible to her birthday. We all helped out to get it set up:

Several ladies had been busy baking and making savoury goodies for the afternoon tea which were served up on an array of wonderful platters:

Then the serious part of the afternoon started with the backdrop of the castle. Even my daughter took part as she has been having lessons:

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Growing Up

One of the great things about social media apps such as Timehop is that you can easily compare how things have changed on the same date over time. As a case in point here are three photographs of my son and I taken over the last four years. It really shows how much he has grown:

Age 8
Age 8

Age 10

Age 11

The only question is... how long before he is taller than me? I am 5ft 8.5 or 175cm which isn't short but he is going to end up a lot taller than that!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Simple Cake Decorating

My son and I weren't too impressed with the party cakes on offer at Morrisons as they are all quite pricey when you only need enough for a few people. So instead we got the basic cake and he chose some things to decorate it:

I did the initial divide with icing and then it was my son's turn to do some decorating:

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Family, Friends and Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Now we are in November I have handed the hostess mantle back to the founder Michelle. We will be in good hands until I am in charge again for December! Its been a pretty good week for me from the tail end of half term and then some glorious weather. Here are some of the things that had made me cheerful:

1) Catching up with friends

One of my school friends was up north with her family for the holidays and we enjoyed spending time with them and showing them our castle:

One of my single parent friends is also in the area for a break and we met up for coffee and cake at Yard 46

2) Time with my girl

We had a delightful day trip to Lancaster to spend birthday money and try out a vegetarian restaurant:

Such a pleasure to spend a laid back day with her. Then last night we were at the Brewery as a puppetry project she worked on had a showing for the parents. She had done an amazing job!

3) Time with my boy

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Historic Kendal: Yard 46

I am making the most of my free time to explore more of Kendal and its interesting places and history. Today I met a friend for coffee at Yard 46 which is tucked away off the historic Branthwaite Brow. It felt like we were in Narnia with the old fashioned street light down the yard:

It wasn't a day for sitting out in the courtyard so I had to make use of the very unusual front door:

I need to find out more about the history of the building as it is so intriguing and quirky! On top of that the coffee and cake were delicious...

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

#CountryKids at South Lakes Safari Zoo

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My parents treated us to a trip to the South Lakes Safari Zoo as an early birthday treat for my son. At the moment it is £5 per adult with children free so its great value. It was our first trip under the new management and my parents hadn't seen many of the changes from the last couple of years. The sky was almost a perfect blue for a backdrop to a Cumbrian savannah:

South Lakes Safari Zoo giraffe

There was a Halloween themed trail but we didn't have a go just enjoyed the decorations:

South Lakes Safari Zoo

It wasn't long before my son found the first of the animal statues that children can climb on to:

Saturday, 28 October 2017

#CountryKids Fell Foot Halloween Parkrun

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Today it was the annual Halloween parkrun at Fell Foot today and my son and I had volunteered to be tail walkers. So we really thought we had better dress for the occasion:

It was good to see that other folks had joined in the spirit of things too:

It was a big turn out with 276 finishers so it was a big briefing:

Then we had the award for parkrunner of the year which went to one of regular volunteers:

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Half Term #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

I really can't believe its half way through half term and my last week as host for another month! It means that the lovely Michelle will be hosting again next week. Meanwhile here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Beautiful Autumn Days

On the days when the sun shines it really is glorious at the moment with all the Autumn colours. I had time to appreciate Fletcher Park when I came home the long, slow way from town:

2) Birthday Goodies

I have finally been successful in spending the last of my birthday money on a much better running watch. It has a longer battery life and tracks my steps as well as connecting to my phone! I just need to sort my foot out to be able to get running properly again:

3) Appreciating Nature

This lovely swan was cleaning itself on the shores of Windermere when we paused at Waterhead yesterday:

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

#CountryKids Wray Castle, National Trust

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My son was asked which National Trust property he would like to be taken to by his aunt and uncle. It was no surprise to me that he chose Wray Castle:

We weren't the only ones who knew that this is the best place to visit with children on a wet, autumn Lakes day and it was very busy with a full car park. Luckily we managed to get in alright. There are plenty of things to occupy children indoors including building blocks in the Peter Rabbit rooms:

We also managed a short table tennis game before checking out the Steam Gondola room:

One of the most popular rooms (and now upstairs) was the castle blocks room. Lots of children building, balancing and having fun with the foam building blocks:

Monday, 23 October 2017

#CountryKids Yet another Pokemon Go walk around Kendal

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Yesterday turned out to be a lot better weather than during Storm Brian so we decided it was a perfect chance to get out and hunt for the new generation 3 Pokemon! We are less than a mile from the castle so set off in that direction to add both distance and Pokestops: 

This little pathway is known as dodging death on Strava as it runs between two parts of the graveyard. I have to say I wouldn't fancy it after dark on my own:

The path comes out at the foot of the hill on which the castle is built. Its not the easiest route up to the castle but its rather beautiful through the trees:

Friday, 20 October 2017 Christmas for a Fiver Challenge #sdfiverchallenge

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I was challenged by BritMums to find Christmas gifts for £5 or less from Being a sporty family this was a perfect challenge for me! There are plenty of gifts listed in their Gifts Under £5 section but there are always plenty of items around the site that were £5 or less too.

First of all for my son, who is growing rapidly, I first of all found some bargain shorts (£5) for all the sport he likes to do:

Then as he often has incredibly muddy football or fell running shoes I bought him a proper sports shoe bag which had been reduced to £4.99:

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Review: Famous Five Adventure Game

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When an e-mail popped up in my inbox asking if I was interested in reviewing a new game about the Famous Five I jumped at the chance! These stories were some of my favourites when I was growing up and I have the entire series somewhere boxed away. As an 8 and 9 year old I was part of a group of 5 that used to act out the stories and have our own adventures. My character was always Dick as I was most definitely a tomboy! 

First of all we were sent modern versions of the first 3 stories to read and enjoy. It was wonderful to to be taken back to Kirrin Island with the exciting adventures. Modern children would never be allowed to go off in the way they did at 12 and under to camp on an island. Of course they are also a bit old fashioned with Anne playing house but they are still thrilling adventures:

The game was released on the App store today and we had fun trying it out. We only had time for the quick game so I am not sure what the full game is like. First of all we had to decide which of the children we were going to have as the lead, so of course I had to insist on it being Dick! Then we had to choose the 2 locations that the adventure was going to be in:

Then we went in to the adventure and discovered what mystery we had to solve. In this case it was missing juggling balls. The characters don't talk in English but the text below them is simple to read:

It was great to see Kirrin Island and the castle brought to life in the game including details like the Jackdaw Tower. We had to visit certain places and collect clues by directing a bicycle with finger swipes. Once we had collected enough then we could move on to talking to witnesses. The only way to get good answers was to speak to them nicely so we had to choose the right way of asking each time:

Reasons to be Cheerful: The Birthday Edition #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Where is October vanishing to? We have had a very busy time as it was birthdays for 2 of us! Therefore I have had plenty of reasons to be cheerful:

1) Birthday Girls

I had a special night out with my daughter to celebrate our birthdays. We went out for pizza and then mocktails at Slate. It was a lovely evening with my mini me:

2) Spoiled rotten

I was very lucky to be sent plenty of cards and some lovely gifts for my birthday. This was one of the wonderful birthday messages that made me smile: