A lovely village festival!

We live in a small coastal village in Wales and I adore it! I completely love the peace, quiet and tranquility. We have the beach on our doorstep, woodland up the road, beautiful mountains and belong to a fantastic community.

Each year our lovely village hold a festival during the school summer holidays. Residents make models, hang bunting and hold games and stalls. My kids love it and this year was no different! We had an amazing time. The kids especially loved all the models that the village residents had very skilfully made!


There was also a vintage car show this year which my son was super excited by. He loved looking at all of the old cars on display! Some of them were indeed very beautiful….

For a very small charge the kids could also take part in some mini games. The girls really enjoyed this and were even happier when they both won a prize! 

We had a super time and really appreciate the time and effort that goes into things like this. It helps keep the community spirit alive and brings different generations together, which I believe is so important these days. 

We finished off with a picnic dinner in our garden and I just may have had a cheeky glass of wine to celebrate such a lovely day! 

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One lucky little guy!

Last weekend took a surprising turn of events! Whilst I was visiting my Gran’s house with the kids, my daughter and son had been playing outside in her garden when they came racing in, shouting “There’s a hedgehog in the garden!” Now to say they were excited is an understatement, but there was also an edge of panic to their voices. It became clear as to why, when we went outside and saw exactly where the hedgehog was – down a rather deep hole in Gran’s garden! The poor little guy must have fallen down and got completely stuck!

My daughter was very worried bless her and went to go and get her Grandad (or Popsy) as we call him to help! He donned some of his welding gloves (“I am not getting those spikes near my hands!”) and tried to get the hedgehog out from the hole.

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It took several attempts before he managed to grab him and pull him out to safety. He was looking very dusty and was pretty wobbly on his feet. I wasn’t terribly hopeful that he was okay. We gave him some water which he drunk so quickly! It made us wonder exactly how long the little guy had been stuck down there for! It was strange as he wasn’t fearful of us at all – think he was just very grateful to be out of his tight squeeze!

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Once we knew that he was okay and that he had drunk plenty, we set him free down in Popsy’s allotment. The kids were so happy that they had played a part in rescuing the hedgehog and were chuffed to see him walking happily around back in the wild!

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A very strange end to our weekend but a lovely experience for the kids to see a hedgehog so close up and help to put him back where he belongs!

A special moment captured!

Firstly, sorry I haven’t been around a great deal recently…… I am still here but just very busy as we are well into our school summer holidays and although I love the holidays, I feel like I have zero amount of free time right now! I hope you are all enjoying the school holidays too. Let me know what you have all been up to!

I wanted to share with you this picture I took the other day when I took the kids (including my two year old nephew) to the beach. My son loves skimming stones and uses every available opportunity to practise and perfect his technique! My nephew always tries to copy him and my son always tries to help him out and teach him how to skim. I watched them the other day and was struck by how lovely it was, so I grabbed the camera and took a quick picture. I think it captures a truly special moment between them!

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I genuinely believe that childhood should be about simple pleasures like this. I try to create memories for the kids which are more about special moments rather than expensive toys and presents. I hope that these moments will stay with the kids as they grow, and remain special to each of them. I know that they are certainly some of my most precious memories!

 

Our first Kite Festival!

As a family on a budget I am always on the look out for ways to entertain the kids and spend some quality time together for little or no money. We spend lots of time outside going for walks and to the beach and I am so thankful for where we live!

The other day I saw a Facebook post advertising a free kite festival in a nearby coastal town. I wasn’t sure about it at first as I have never been to a kite festival and wondered whether it would have enough to hold my kids attention for long. I decided to go for it though as it was completely free, sounded fun and the weather looked good for the day (always a bonus when it is an outdoor event on the beach)! I took my five year old son, eight year old daughter and seven year old niece (plus my youngest sister for some adult company)!

We travelled there on our local train and my wonderful gran had given us some money to treat ourselves to chips for lunch so we bought our chip lunch and headed quickly to the beach!

The kites were amazing! So many different kinds and something for all ages. The kids (and myself) were all completely enthralled by these beautiful kites flying in the sky. It is one of the quietest and most peaceful meals I have eaten in a long time! (Hey, maybe I should set up a few kites in the garden?……) They sat there watching the kites for a while before deciding to play on the sand. Next we headed to the bouncy castle, where for a small charge the kids could play on for as long as they liked! I was impressed with this – usually you pay a small fortune only to be told five minutes later that the time is up! This gave me and my sister some much needed time to sit and catch up whilst the kids were happily playing. Spending time with my youngest sister is very precious at the moment as she is hoping to head off to university in September – a university which is right at the other end of the country! I am going to miss her terribly – as are my kiddies!

 

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After we had spent a few hours at the festival we caught the sea ferry back home to our village which was quite honestly a perfect end to a very lovely day. The kids had a lot of fun and are already asking to go to the festival next year – I think that means that they enjoyed it!

 

Home sweet home!

Regular followers of my blog will know how happy I am and how much I love living where I do. It is genuinely one of my favourite places to be. I grew up in the city until mum and dad decided to move us all to the country (right by the beach!) here in beautiful Wales, UK. I now have a husband and two wonderful kids and still live very close to my parents (just five minutes drive away). I cannot imagine anywhere better to bring up our family. The beach is on our doorstep, woodland is everywhere and nature is all around us. Wales has some amazing scenery and people come from all over the world to visit and see it for themselves! I wrote on the blog a little while ago about a place called Blue Lake where we love going for regular walks. It is one of our favourite ways to spend family time!

I thought it would be nice to share with you a photo which I took whilst sitting in our back garden the other evening. You can see the beach wall from our home and on this particular night as I looked up I could see people walking along the wall enjoying the evening sunset. It made a beautiful picture so I quickly grabbed the camera! I hope this photo shows one of the reasons I feel so lucky to live in this beautiful country.

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To the Sea!

It was finally warm and sunny enough to head to the beach last weekend and spend an afternoon there (rather than a quick ten minutes blowing out the cobwebs in the sea breeze gales). We were so excited at the prospect of a sunny beach afternoon!

When we arrived I set up my place with the beach bag, toys, towels etc and my much longed for book! The kids straight away shook off their shoes and socks and literally ran……….. they ran and ran and did not pause until they reached the sea. I took a quick snap of them racing to the water and as I did it got me thinking…. When did I lose that sheer excitement of just splashing in the water? As a kid all I wanted was for mum to say we could go in the sea on our holiday beach days, as a mum now, all I wanted was a few minutes of peace and quiet on the sand. (Don’t get me wrong I love playing with my kids on the beach but getting into the water doesn’t hold as much appeal any-more)! The sea is kind of Daddy territory! I watched them for a little while then took off my shoes and headed over to them. What followed was a water splash battle which ended up with us all pretty drenched but incredibly happy! The joy on their faces was so cool to see. It reminded me that kids get such pleasure from the things that we probably don’t see as being huge or important, but are probably the things that form the best type of memories for them……

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The voice of the sea speaks to the soul – Kate Chopin.

 

A Woodland afternoon!

Last weekend the beautiful sun had finally started to shine (hooray!) and me and the hubby wanted to take the kids out for a cheap afternoon somewhere. I had seen a free local Woodland  open day advertised in my facebook feed so we decided to head over there and spend the afternoon exploring the woods!

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When we arrived we were greeted by a very enthusiastic man from the Woodland trust who immediately dragged lined us up for the guided wood walk. (To say he was quick is an understatement – our wellies had barely touched the ground)! This did feel a little strange as we regularly go for woodland walks, so to be guided around felt odd! We did learn quite a bit though and the kids loved listening to the different birdsong. There was a man from the RSPB who helped the kids identify between the different songs. The children were also given guides for them to keep which helped them identify different creatures and different woodland trees.

After the walk we browsed the stalls, which included home – made jam and honey for sale, bat boxes, cakes and cookies (we spent a few pennies here!), kids lucky dip, pick a stick and face painting! Everything was really reasonably priced. The admission was free so you could spend as much or as little as you liked. My daughter wanted her face painted (my son is never too keen on this so decided against it this time). She chose to have a fox painted (keeping in with the woodland theme!) much to the lovely face painting lady’s horror. She said she had never done a fox before – we think she did an amazing job! My daughter loved it and got lots of comments afterwards!

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There was also a stall giving away free wooden bird boxes. I was so impressed! It’s not often in this day that you get something so lovely for free! You could choose to have a ready made one or one that needed building. We chose a bird box that needed building – Daddy was very eager to help the kids build it at home!

The kids loved helping Daddy make the bird box and it was a lovely activity to encourage them to work together. They are going to paint it together soon too, when we have the right type of paint so that it will last and look pretty longer!

We had a fantastic Sunday afternoon and I will certainly be looking out for the next one!

Trampoline Chalking!

This idea came up on my Facebook news feed a few days ago and I thought it was a super idea! We have all done the whole chalking on the footpath thing as kids and have probably done it with our own little ones so I thought this was a brilliant new take on it! All you need is some kids chalks, the trampoline and some imagination!

Let the kids free with the chalk, draw and colour to their hearts content on the trampoline base and the next lot of rain will wash the artwork away! Such a simple idea but we loved it!

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The kids loved the freedom of being able to chalk on such a large area of space. I loved seeing how they worked together to create what effectively became a pretty cool mural! We will definitely be repeating this activity! A lovely way to create a piece of group art!

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A wonderful day out!

I decided to take the kids on a day out yesterday as an Easter holiday treat. I decided to take them to one of their favourite places – Gypsy Wood, near Caernarfon in Wales. Gypsy Wood is a children’s activity park which isn’t too far from our home and since we visited just over a year ago, the kids have constantly wanted to go back! I went with my little ones, both of my sisters, my niece and nephew and my mum, so it was a real family day out!

As soon as you enter Gypsy Wood you feel like you have stepped into a magical wonderland! The park is always immaculate and is obviously well looked after. The staff are friendly and are fantastic with the kids, which is such a bonus in places like this!

There is a lovely model railway which the kids can control by pressing the different buttons. It is brilliantly interactive and hands on!

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Watching the trains!

The play equipment is excellent. There are ride on vehicles, slides, a zip wire, climbing frames, trampolines, see saws – you name it they have probably got it! There are so many opportunities for the kids to use their bodies to navigate the equipment – it is brilliant! My son especially loves the ride on vehicles and the huge amount of space he could ride them!

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There is also a little train that you can ride which takes you on a journey around the park whilst you try and spot the owls and fairies along the way. This was a big hit with the kids! (and was my favourite thing there too – Hey, it means you have a chance to sit down for five minutes! As a mum this is a huge plus)!

The displays of fairies, elves and other magical creatures are brilliant. They really make you feel like you are in some magical woodland. So much for the kids to spot and see!

There are also plenty of animals which you can buy bags of feed for an extra charge. My two year old nephew loved feeding the goats especially!

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My daughters highlight of her day was riding a donkey. As a huge animal lover this made her so happy. Her face whilst riding was a picture! One of those moments which will stay with me forever I think! (She used to be incredibly shy, so much so that some people believed she was selectively mute. Out of our family home she literally would not speak). Since moving to her present school just over a year ago, she has completely changed. Her confidence has grown so much and she converses to people she meets now – just like the lady in charge of the donkeys. She has always wanted to ride but has never had the confidence to do it, so this was quite a big moment for her. I felt quite tearful watching her. Sounds silly as it is something most kids do at a much younger age, but for me as her mum it was wonderful to see!

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There was also a place to practice long jumping which was good fun. The kids enjoyed a bit of healthy competition with their jumping skills!

I thought another lovely touch was the ‘giants’ footsteps. We followed the trail of footsteps which led you to a huge giants chair which you could clamber up and sit on. Really great fun for the little ones!

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Following the footsteps!

We had such a lovely day and enjoyed some hot chocolates from the little cafe to warm us up. If you are ever in the area I would highly recommend Gypsy Wood for a brilliant day out! I hope you are all having a fun Easter holidays whatever you are up to!