Skip to main content

My Happy List – Eating and Fishing

My Happy List

Oops I’m not very good at this weekly Happy List round-up. Some weeks are so samey and boring that there really isn’t much to say about it.

However, the past week has had some silver linings so I thought I would share them with you.

Sunday I took Isabelle out to the river and did something that we did all the time as kids. We went fishing with a net and a bucket. Simple as that! The trick to fishing for little stickleback fish is to look for spots of water where the sun is shining in it. Unfortunately, last Sunday was quite overcast so we only managed to find one fish, a couple of little sticks (Isabelle thought they were fish) and a few tiny snails. She was a bit worried that we might catch THE Crocodile but we stayed away from the train bridge where he lives!

Monday

Monday saw the return of my part-time working hours so Monday signified the first child-free day in a long time. I worked on my blog of course after taking Charlie for a lovely walk. It was bliss and much needed.

Tuesday

Was a workday for me. As I’m just about to start a new job it feels odd that things that I’m doing now are my ‘lasts’. I have three days left in my current job. It feels like the end of an era!

Wednesday

Was Isabelle’s last day in year 1. She’s come on leaps and bounds in this last year. Her school report was great and she still has so much enthusiasm for school and learning. Off she went with the obligatory teacher present and a smile on her face.

Thursday

Was a normal day until work was finished and we headed off to Princesshay Shops in Exeter for their Summer Eats event. We were treated to yummy cocktails from Coal (the Raspberry Collins was my fave), watched the chef from Cafe Rouge cook mussels in a state of art kitchen set up from Berloni, and sampled some lovely food from the various restaurants. We tried these really lovely parcels filled with pulled pick which were amazing but I forgot to ask where they were from so I need to investigate that. As part of the event, we were treated to a demonstration by the South West Lindy Hoppers. It was a lot of fun and I would have loved to join in but my little sidekick wasn’t having up for partaking.

Friday

Was a great day in that it was the first day where we got up in no hurry at all. We had scrambled eggs on toast and did everything at a slow pace. This was much needed for both Isabelle and me. We walked the dog and then my mum came over later on.

Saturday

Daddy was home with us and after a leisurely morning, both Isabelle and Daddy took Charlie for a walk so that I could get some work done. Ryan is off on holiday on Wednesday so I’ve been trying to get all of his stuff together.

Sunday

I did the last of the holiday shopping which was a total fist-pump moment. Yey me! I also watched Bad Moms for the first time whilst I did the ironing. I loved it! We also went over to my in-laws’ garden party where we stuffed our faces with cake and drank tea!

What’s on your Happy List?

Like this post, then click here for more Family Life posts.

 

#SchoolHols2017 – Killerton House

Killerton House

I think our favourite National Trust property by far is Killerton House. The grounds are beautiful and you can either take a short walk or a long walk dependent on your stamina or if you have little legs with you.

Killerton House

What is there to do?

The house and grounds are family-friendly with baby changing and feeding facilities. You can take pushchairs into the house, but some of the off-path walks may be a bit tricky.

There is a children’s play area and several interesting things around the grounds to climb on. Don’t forget to check out the Bear House.

It’s a great place to take a picnic but you can of course opt to go to one of their two cafes for refreshments.

You can also take dogs on leads (not in the house).

Take a walk around the house and discover the history and take part in the Builder Mouse Trail which area dotted throughout the building and see what jobs they’re doing.

Try it Tuesdays – Take the kids along and let them take part in a new sport.

  • 1st August – Laser clay shooting and rugby skills.
  • 8th August – Frisbee golf and archery.
  • 15th August – American football and archery.
  • 19th August – Frisbee golf and American football.
  • 22nd August – Tennis and cricket.

Wicked Wednesdays – Themed activities for the kids to take part in. Here are the ones upcoming:

  • 2nd August – We’re going on a Bear Hunt 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 9th August – Pirates 2pm – 4pm.
  • 16th August – Knights, Dragons, and Damsels 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 23rd August – Fairies and Elves 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 30th August – Jungle Explorers 2 pm – 4 pm.

Killerton House

Check out the website for 50 things to do before you’re 11.

They also have a Secret Supper Club which we haven’t experienced ourselves, but it sounds like a really nice thing to do.

Opening Times

10.00am – 5.00pm Every day.

How much does it cost?

Child £5.50
Adult £11.00
Family £27.50

Killerton House

What did we think?

We love Killerton. Thankfully Isabelle likes to walk as long as there are interesting things to look at and do along the way. Killerton has everything you need for the perfect family day out so a big thumbs up from us.

Lisa x

Don’t forget to leave us a comment if you’ve been to Killerton – and if you’re looking for inspiration this school holidays then don’t forget to have a look at our #SchoolHols2017 page where we have lots of days out in the South West listed.

 

First year of school Over Already

First-year of school over already!

Ooh, I can’t believe that Isabelle has completed her first year of school already!

This was her on her first day with her brand new uniform, shiny shoes, and a huge grin.

She’s come on leaps and bounds in her first year.

The school that she goes to are big on sensory play, outdoor play (come rain or shine), and imaginative play. She would come home completely covered in mud, paint, gloop, or just general grubbiness which are always a sign of a good day.

We stopped eating jacket potatoes at home as Isabelle would choose a jacket potato for her lunch every single day with a variation of topping between cheese or tuna and sweetcorn.

Isabelle absolutely adored her teacher who she is going to miss terribly. Miss Dyke has told her that she can still sit with her at lunchtime when they go back. She might regret that come every lunchtime!

Isabelle turned five the week that she started school so she was more than ready for it, and has soaked up every bit of learning from reading, singing, phonics, and writing.

She constantly sings the jingles associated with phonics and is pretty good at spelling simple words on her own.

She enjoys reading the annoyingly repetitive books that they get sent home with and her descriptions of minibeasts is second to none.

We’ve met her new teacher who seems lovely, and she explained how the children are mixed with year 1 and year 2 and then separated into learning levels. She is going up with a group of her best friends so I think she will absolutely fine.

Since starting school Isabelle has started playing teachers where she plays miss Dyke. We got her a whiteboard which she props up, lines all her teddy’s up, put on her high heels, and adjusts her voice into teacher mode. She has a lanyard with a smiley face, sad face, and listening ear which she uses when talking to the children. She takes the register and then does reading and writing with them. The naughty kid of the class (which I won’t name on the off chance that his parents read my blog) gets told off a lot and quite often ends up sitting on the stairs!

I feel quite sad that she’s going up to year 1. The reception and pre-school have their own self-contained outdoor area with bikes, a mud kitchen, a sandpit, giant building bricks, and a veg patch. Going into year 1 will be more classroom-based and they go into the BIG playground with all the older kids.

It seems like such a big step that Isabelle is more than ready for, but maybe I’m not quite ready yet.

The teen has now completed his first year of college, and we have to consider universities for next September with the application process this September which I’m sooooo not ready for. Boohoo!!

I’m not going to dwell on it. I know they both have to grow up.

Here she was yesterday excitedly clutching her teacher present for the ‘bestest teacher in the world’ in Isabelle’s words!


We chose a lovely necklace made by a jeweller in Somerset with little shells on it, chosen because Isabelle thinks Miss Dyke is as beautiful as a mermaid! (We got this from the lovely Hyde and Seek Shop).

*Originally posted in July 2016

My Happy List – New Job Talk , holidays and sunshine….

My Happy List

My Happy List – last week I didn’t post anything as it really was a week of slog at work and not much else.

However, this week has been a bit less stressful.

Sleep – I’ve slept a lot better than usual this past week which is always something to feel happy about. This was a big deal especially since Chris has an awful cough and he’s been hacking away most of the night.

New working hours – I was a bit worried about changing my hours at work as three days seems like the best work/life balance and my new job is four days a week. However, given that this is going to be a different job completely I’m up for the challenge (and I have been working full-time for the past year). I have also wangled a Friday off which fits in better for childcare.

Holiday Shopping – we’ve done a bit more holiday shopping this week and I’ve actually bought some swimwear that doesn’t make me want to throw-up!

Park Day – we went to my brothers yesterday and took the kids to the park. It was lovely just sitting in the sun whilst the kids played. Now that they’re eight, six, and six you don’t have to chase them around the park and help them on and off stuff. It also meant I could have some baby cuddles from my nephew.  

Dog walking – I love walking Charlie, preferably on my own. I can walk and think, or not. He has no expectations or demands, just walking. I can see my old age in front of me where flashes of 100 stray dogs and no people spring to mind. Haha!

Have a great week.

Lisa x

Happy Days – A New Beach and a night out

Happy Days Linky

Happy Days Link – This week has been pretty much a working kind of week with not so much in terms of having fun. However, we have managed to sneak in a couple of bits during the week.

Subscription Box – Isabelle received a Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Subscription box. These boxes are amazing so we spent a bit of time doing an unboxing video which I will share with you once I’ve done all the prettying up. Isabelle loves YouTube kids so she’s loving doing the little videos, but we have to try and tone down her Americanised barbie voice that she keeps putting on.

Dog Walking – With the lighter evenings it’s been much easier to get in an after-dinner/before bed dog walks with Charlie. I’ve had to do a bit of bribing with Isabelle, but once she is out she really enjoys it especially if she takes her scooter.

New job – With all the excitement of getting a new job, this week has been a bit of a comedown as since being offered the job I’ve heard nothing more. Every time I think about it my stomach does a little flip of excitement……

Holiday – 5 weeks and 6 days to go…..

Sleep – I’ve slept slightly better this week since the stress of last week with my interview prep. In the last week I’ve probably on average only woken about twice a night which is good for me, and I’ve managed to drop back off straight away. I need to do a bit of research on insomnia as it’s become my norm for over a year now. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Blogger Night Out

Blogger Night Out at Revolution Torquay– I met with some fellow bloggers in Revolution, Torquay for some scrummy cocktails and yummy food. The cocktail menu was awesome. It’s great getting together for a natter about all things bloggy, as I’m sure for most of us our regular non-blogger friends have no idea what I’m talking about. I had a burger with cheesy wotsits (actual wotsit crisps) in it which was very nice.


A new beach – We thought we’d try a new beach this weekend so today we went to Anstey’s Cove in Torquay. It’s not a sandy beach it’s pebbly but it was a total treasure. We had Charlie with us so we had a bit of a paddle, but next time I’d love to take out a Kayak and go and explore the other coves which you can only access by swimming, sailing, or climbing over the rocks to get to. We’re really looking forward to going back.


That’s it from me this week. Having said that I would still consider it to have been a good week.

Lisa x

If you like these types of posts, then have a look at our Family Life tab at the top of the page where you can find out what we’ve been up to.

 

What Katy Said

Happy Days List

Happy Days Linky

I’ve been looking to for the Happy Days linky to try and break my pessimistic outlook which has taken over for the past year.

I hate that I look at all the negatives, but I think it’s fair to say that the last year or so has been quite tough for various reasons.

Life’s too short and all that, but more so when I look at my once chubby faced little boy turning eighteen in April. It speeds on by, and he’s now taking driving lessons and is starting an apprenticeship in September.

For that reason I’m going to take stock of the good things.

Happy Days

My Happy List

New Baby – Technically this happened over a week ago but my brother and his fiancé had a baby boy. He’s so squeezable. He was early so is the tiniest baby we’ve had in the family but he’s gorgeous!

The weather – it was scorching last week. I’m not a sun worshipper but it’s nice getting up and going to work in the sunshine. We finally managed to buy a cheapish paddling pool for Isabelle and Daddy had it all set up for when she came home from school on Tuesday. After sitting on a hot bus on the way home I took my shoes off and got in with her (in my work clothes) which she thought was great since she soaked me!

The paddling Pool – this should have its own title as it’s use after school everyday this week has been great. Isabelle is loving being able to get changed and straight in to cool off.

Last day of college – After two years, Ryan has officially finished college and about to embark on the world of work. 

Holiday – it’s only six weeks and five days until we go on holiday. We cannot wait!

New Job – I spent the most part of last week swotting for a job interview. Trying to cover every possible question that they might ask. I heard that there was quite a lot of competition but……….I GOT IT!!  I’m terrified but mostly excited.

Family day out – life is tiring at the moment but we are trying to make the most of our weekends. Yesterday we went to the circus (post to follow). It was really lovely and then we went for a wander around Darts Farm which is always nice. We love their food hall.

happy_days_linky

Holiday Shopping – Did I mention that it’s only six weeks and five days until our holiday. We’re off holiday clothes shopping today. Ha ha!

What made your week great?

Lisa x

What Katy Said

#devondaysout – The Bear Trail

#devondaysout – The Bear Trail.

On Sunday we went to The Bear Trail in Cullompton for the first time.

Isabelle and I had been looking at the pictures on Facebook at all the mud-covered adults and children. She thought it was ‘awesome and I wondered what on earth I should wear!

I opted for gym gear and trainers to make running, jumping, and climbing possible.

The Bear Trail

At this point, I should mention that the day before we went it absolutely bucketed down so it was definitely going to be an extra muddy day!

I am usually the bag carrier! Daddy is usually the one who does the physical stuff whilst I look after the bags/coats/picnic, but this time I decided that we were all going to take part and have some fun.

The Bear Trail

Our Visit

The Bear Trail was easy to find and there was ample parking when we arrived.

The carpark overlooked the trail where all the equipment was laid out in a wide-open space with plenty of grass space in the middle, perfect for picnics.

Isabelle was very excited (and Daddy too) and were raring to go. When we arrived there were lots of cars arriving for a birthday party. All nicely dressed. Big mistake!

The Bear Trail

The Bear Trail

Inside the Bear Trail.

Aside from the trail itself, there is a barn with inside seating, a kiosk selling hot drinks, sandwiches, cakes as well as freshly made wood-fired pizzas, changing rooms, toilets, and a shower area.

There is also a play area for the littles with a sandpit, but there is no age limit on any of the equipment. The ethos is that if you think you can do it – give it a go. You know your own child’s capability.

Not forgetting in the far corner there is a pen with some alpaca and ponies which when you’re having fun could easily be overlooked, but we went over and gave the ponies a stroke.

The Trail

The trail has a selection of rope climbing frames, swing ropes, bridges, zip slides, tunnels, hay bales, stepping stones, tyres, and more, all with a huge puddle of muddy water either before, after or underneath.

Off we went, and at first, I think most people make some kind of attempt to stay out of the mud, but once you go in – you get stuck in. Isabelle had no hesitation and was a mud slick in minutes. Daddy closely followed whilst I lagged behind shop fresh clean.

After passing a fellow blogger who had got stuck in with her two boys I felt a bit of a wuss and with the help of Isabelle managed to get covered in mud. Squelchy feet and all.

You can go around the trail in order, but there were certain bits that we preferred so we made up our own route.

Some families set up picnics and had blankets and food laid out where the adults congregated and the kids were let loose to play. As it’s all open plan you can give the kids that bit of freedom.

We went around the trail for a good couple of hours before showering off and getting changed before being treated to a lovely lunch of a selection of wood-fired pizzas, cakes, and drinks.

The Bear Trail

About the Bear Trail

The trail set in Cullompton, Devon is about to celebrate its first birthday and was set in motion by Ben a former Army Man.

The trail is evolving and new obstacles are in the pipeline, as are better-changing facilities. We thought lockers were a good idea to eliminate the trips back to the car.

The trail is kept as basic as can be – no flashing lights, music, or bright colours. It’s all about getting outside and having good old-fashioned fun.

All the obstacles have safety nets but it’s very much up to the individual’s capability. Isabelle is six and was capable of taking part in every part of the trail and made the most of it.

It’s an all-weather day out. If it rains, you get muddier!

The Bear Trail

Info

The trail is open from 10 – 5pm. There are no time restrictions – you can stay all day.

Tickets are available at the entrance or online. If it’s the school holidays I would recommend booking beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Prices
Over 1 metre – £7.50
Under 1 metre – £4.50

Don’t wear your best clothes – they will get muddy.

Take spare clothes, shoes, towels and a bag to put all the muddy clothes in.

Food is available – the pizzas are awesome, but you can take your own. There are plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas to sit.

The Bear Trail Birthday Party’s – You can host a birthday party at the trail with different priced packages to suit your budget.

All in all we had a great day so The Bear Trail gets the thumbs up from us.

To celebrate their first birthday they are having a Colour Bomb Run where you will be showered with the colours of the rainbow as well as mud – This is taking place on 23rd July and booking is advisable.

For you lovely readers we can offer 5% off the usual ticket price if you book online. Just add the code: BLOG5 at the checkout. 

The Bear Trail
One of my FAVE pics!

Have fun.

Lisa x

Elastoplast #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge

Elastoplast Tears into Smiles Challenge.

#TearsIntoSmiles

What do your kids call a cut or a graze?

A Baddie
A Boo Boo
An Oopsie
An Ouchie

Isabelle loves to make a huge song and dance whenever she falls over. She starts off crying and we’re desperately trying to work out if she’s hurt herself and if so what damage has been done whilst she bats us off covering up the ‘baddie’.

TearsIntoSmiles

Once we’ve had a look we have to assess the situation and work out if it’s just a bang and we might need to rub on a bit of arnica or whether it’s more than that.

We have, like most parents a whole kit of stuff for every eventuality.

We have arnica for bruises
Antiseptic spray and cream to get all the nastiness out of a cut or graze
Plasters of course in all shapes and sizes
Cotton wool pads – for holding over the baddies (better with a sprinkling of magic water)
A cold pack that we keep in the freezer

I think that the biggest part of a cut or graze is the initial shock of falling over that scares them more than the resulting injury.

If we have plain plasters, then part of making it ‘all better’ is drawing a design on the plaster whilst a cotton pad is held in place to clean it is all part and parcel of making sure that all is good and well in the world again.

I’m not playing down any falls that Isabelle may have, but thankfully she’s never had any serious ones that have needed proper medical attention.

tears_into_smiles

We were sent a set of both Frozen and Star Wars Plasters which have all the characters of the films on them so Isabelle has already pointed out her top few from both sets for ‘future baddies’.

#TearsintoSmiles

I love a challenge so it was no different when we were asked to take part in the Tears into Smiles Challenge – #TearsintoSmiles

So what do you do when your child has a fall?

We do all of the above and Isabelle plays a huge part in this by cleaning it herself and putting the on cream herself. She likes to put on the plaster but her aim isn’t that great so we try and do this ourselves if we can.

Following the clean up we have a bit of calm time when we sit and have a cuddle and either watch a bit of TV or read a book together.

Using Distraction

Once this is all done, it’s definitely a game of distraction that helps get the day back on track.

We were sent a Hoopla Garden Game to try out as part of the challenge which we set up in the lounge to start with but have since played with it in the Garden, and it’s even been on a trip to Nanny and Papa’s house.

tears_into_smiles

Isabelle really liked this game and became the chief score taker (good for helping her count in tens and fives).

All the pieces come apart so could easily be packed away for the day on the beach as well.

tears_into_smiles

This post is an entry for the Britmums #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

Lisa x

tears_into_smiles

#whatwedidthisweek 01.05.17

#whatwedidthisweek 01.05.17

#whatwedidthisweek – Bank Holiday Monday and we should have been out and about making the most of our day off, but after the birthday celebrations it feels like a chore to even smile. We’re all exhausted. Isabelle has opted to watch some things on her kindle laying on her bed and Chris and I are mooching around the house not doing a lot – except for washing!

The laundry volcano is spewing socks and pants like you wouldn’t believe. So much so that the lid won’t even fit on!

Back to work and school as per on Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening we went to meet a couple who may have Charlie when we go away. This time we didn’t go into their house but took the two dogs out for a walk on neutral ground. The lady had a fifteen-year-old poodle, and both dogs seemed happy in each other’s company.

I’m glad that she was able to see Charlie as he ‘really is. He’s a lovable cheeky chappy who loves playing with other dogs and loves people. She saw him as we see him and hopefully, as I really liked her they will be happy to look after him. He will go for a sleepover with them in June so fingers crossed.

I don’t think I had this much trouble finding the perfect nursery for Ryan when he was little!

Thursday Isabelle’s school was used as a polling station so we called upon Nanny P to have Isabelle for the day.

With Both of us working so much we’re finding it a bit of a struggle to muster up the energy to do much at the weekends, but on Saturday we took Charlie out for a walk and sat and made daisy chains. Isabelle is 42  daisies tall and played hoopla which was spoilt by Charlie and one of his mates as they kept pinching the hoops.

#whatwedidthisweek

Roller Disco Baby!

We then did something new to Isabelle. We went to a Roller Disco. I haven’t skated since I was about twelve but it is like riding a bike. The fearlessness of youth has definitely left me and I was terrified that a small person was going to skate out in front of me and I would take them out spectacularly. I was so pleased that I stayed on my feet the whole time.

whatwedidthisweek

Isabelle was a bit terrified at first and did a fab impression of a baby giraffe.

She practiced on the carpet which was a bit easier than in the sports hall. The session ended with sweets to take away the pain of a sore bottom.

whatwedidthisweek
Baby Giraffe impression!

Collectibles

Sunday was a trip into town to get some bits and bobs, look at suitcases for our holibobs, and pick up the longed-for Hatchimals Colleggtibles.

whatwedidthisweek

That’s another thing to add to the ever-growing collectible things. Isabelle is currently collecting the Lego Mini-figure cards from Sainsbury’s, Shopkins have been on the scene for a while, Beauty and the Beast Stickers, Beanie Babies, and now these Colleggtibles.

What did you do this weekend?

Keep up to date with all of our #whatwedidthisweek posts by clicking the Family Life tab.

#whatwedidthisweek 24.04.17

#whatwedidthisweek 24.04.17

#whatwedidthisweek – The last couple of weeks have been really stressful as we were fast approaching  Ryan’s 18th birthday. It’s not just about him turning eighteen (which is sooooo scary) but it signifies eighteen years of being a parent.

All was booked for a birthday meal and I was on track with making sure that I had everything needed to make the cake.

I knew what I wanted to do in my head but it changed slightly from pictures to a word cloud of all the things Ryan loved over the years. Some I’m sure he would love if we forgot such as Hannah Montana! 

#whatwedidthisweek

We had a family meal planned with all the rellies followed by drinks at ours whilst they watched the boxing. Ryan had drinking games lined up, and I planned on staying out of the way so that I couldn’t see the potential drink spillage, hear the noise or anything else related to having around fifteen 18 years olds trampling around the house.

Amongst this, on Thursday Charlie (the dog) went for a sleepover with the dog sitter who will hopefully have him when we go away.

It didn’t go too well. He was really sad and she couldn’t let him off his lead as he was desperately looking around for us. He slept by the door and didn’t want to play with the Labrador puppy that she was also looking after. Unfortunately, she won’t take him so we’re meeting another couple next week.

Poor Charlie!

Birthday Celebrations!

Ryan’s Birthday arrived on Saturday and started off with a game of Pie Face Showdown which was hilarious. The dog also enjoyed cleaning up the cream.

We then went for a birthday brekkie before getting things and ourselves ready for the night ahead.

I think I got away with posting some baby pics of Ryan on Facebook which is probably the only embarrassing ‘mum thing’ that I did.

We went to our local pub which does awesome food where friends and family plied my poor boy with drinks. I think his tequila face was probably the funniest.

#whatwedidthisweek

When the meal was done and all the pressies were opened it was time for Ryan to leave us and join his mates for a night of drinking games, boxing, and a night out.

Isabelle went off for a sleepover with Nanny and Papa so she was a happy girl.

When we arrived home, the boxing was underway and there was barely any room to move. It was fine! It could all be cleaned!

We did have a bit of bother with a neighbour which I thought was a bit mean since it was his 18th birthday, a Saturday night, and the first time we’ve ever made any noise since living here.

Unplanned as it was we ended up going into town and stayed for a little while before leaving them to it.

Home to bed for us oldies!

Sunday poured down with rain and all the boys that celebrated Ryan’s birthday were also all playing football as well. As you can imagine they were useless (the ones that made it) and lost the match.

It turns out that there was quite a lot of drink spillage and lots of sick which Chris managed to get cleaned up without me knowing or having to see/smell.

Overall we’ve had a busy but great week and now our boy is officially an adult.

What did you do this week?