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The Bear Trail

The Bear Trail

Have you found the Bear Trail yet? Do you like the outdoors? Do your kids like mud? Do the kids need to burn off some school holiday energy?

If it’s a YES to all of the above then you need to add The Bear Trail to your list of School Holiday activities.

The Bear Trail
One of my FAVE pics!

Things to do!

Get Muddy!
Get Wet!
Have Fun!
Get the Kids Muddy!
Get the Adults Muddy!
Climb!
Roll!
Wallow!

There are loads of climbing apparatus, stepping stones, wobbly bridges, rope bridges, hay bales, tyres to squeeze through, a mountain to climb, and more……

Wear your oldest clothes and trainers and go and have some fun!

Either take a picnic or choose from their menu of panini’s, stonebaked pizzas or selection of cakes and drinks.

There is no age range, the idea being that if you feel able to take part then do it.

There is a smaller area for the littles to play but if they are feeling adventurous they can also take part in all of the equipment.

Once the kids have had enough (you can spend as long as you like) there are shower and changing facilities on-site to get you to a respectable cleanliness before heading off home.

The Bear Trail

How Much Does it Cost?

Under 1 metre £4.50
Over 1 metre £7.50

It’s advisable to pre-book your tickets during the school holidays to guarantee entry.

Opening Times

10.00am – 5.00pm Every day.

Our Thoughts

We loved it! Daddy and Isabelle (6) were straight in whilst I needed a bit of coaxing, but once I got stuck in we were all loving it and got thoroughly muddy. We went on everything and there were no tears just tired happy mud smeared faces by the end of the day! The pizzas are awesome too!

We hope you’re enjoying our #SchoolHols2017 series where we’ve posted some of our fave places to go in the South West. Drop us an email if you can think of any great places that you would recommend.

Lisa x

The Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour

The Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour

It’s a given that we’ll be heading to the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour this school holidays.

We had Isabelle’s 6th Birthday Party there last September. We took a huge picnic, played and then finished off with some scrummy ice cream with a selection of toppings.

If you haven’t already paid a visit to the Orange Elephant then here are a few bits and bobs.

You must have seen the actual Orange Elephant if you’ve driven towards Torquay or Plymouth before you get to Telegraph Hill (we always look out for it).

The Orange Elephant

Info

Opening Times Every day 10 am – 5 pm until September

Entrance is £2 for adults and £1 for kids. Under 3’s are free.

A family pass is £12.

Baby changing facilities are available.

Summer Meadow and Play area – There are animals to see such as cows, pigs, and sheep as well as the Play area which has lots of wooden play apparatus as well as sandpits and open spaces (perfect for a picnic).

The Maize Maze – Find your way around the Maize Maze which is in the shape of an elephant. Split up into teams and see who finds their way around first.

The Ice Cream – The Ice Cream is amazing. There’s a huge selection. Last year we tried a Lemon Sundae and a Chocolate Brownie Sundae. It was total heaven in a glass. For Isabelle’s birthday, we had a little girl who was dairy-free, but she had a choice of several sorbets which was nice.

The Orange Elephant

Is it worth a visit?

Definitely!

We would recommend getting the annual pass so that you can visit any time that you like. You would only have to visit a couple of times before you would have paid for it. You could meet up with friends and spend the day and take a picnic or you could pop along for a coffee and an ice cream treat.

How to get there

This is part of our #SchoolHols2017 series for things to do and places to go in the South West. We’d love to know of any great places you take your family to. Do drop us an email if you have any gems to share.

Lisa x

The Orange Elephant

#SchoolHols2017 – Summer Eats at Princesshay

Summer Eats at Princesshay

To kick off our #SchoolHols2017 series we thought we’d stay close to home and head for the Summer Eats at Princesshay on Thursday 27th July 2017.

If you haven’t been into Exeter town centre recently then you’re missing out. There are regular events that pop up with the next one focusing on the restaurants and food available within Princesshay.

Princesshay Summer Eats

From 11.00am – 3.00pm there will be samples to try, live cooking demos, music and outdoor games.

Take the kids along, watch a demo or two by local chefs whilst they play games on the turf.

To add to the outdoor Summer theme there will be live music and face painting available. You can of course do a spot of shopping as well.

Pull up a deck chair and get involved.

Our top two places to eat in Princesshay are Carluccio’s and Cafe Rouge and on the odd child-free occasion, I do love a cocktail two at Coal.

Here are some fab Summer Holiday Offers for family’s.

Have fun.

Lisa x

PS – If you know of any great events or places to visit in the South West drop us an email.

PPS – We’re listing loads of great places to visit and things to do which you will find on our #SummerHols2017 page.

Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case – A Review & Competition

Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case

We were really pleased to be asked to review the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case. We’re going on holiday next month and it will be Isabelle’s first time on a plane. The journey is relatively short as we’re going to Spain, but there will be plenty of opportunity for Isabelle to get bored so we’re going prepared.

What do you do on journeys to keep boredom at bay?

The last time we went away I put together a little bag for her to open once she was in the car which had a kids magazine, some colouring pencils, some snacks and a sticker pack which went down a treat.

We play all the usual games such as eye spy, count the number of (whatever colour) cars.

We also let her take her tablet with some of her favourite apps on.

The other week she had a little lego set in the car which was a disaster as she dropped some of the pieces which nobody could reach as we were driving along. I don’t think we’ll be doing that again.

 

Cue the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case

Not only does this case look super cute with the star print which comes in a choice of Blue, Pink and Red, it as both a case handle and a detachable longer bag handle. It’s really well made from oilcloth to withstand the heavy handedness and has everything you need to keep a little one busy on a journey.

What’s inside:

  • A Pencil for drawing and writing
  • A Set of 12 colouring pencils
  • A Pencil Sharpener
  • A Gluestick
  • A pair of scissors
  • A ruler
  • An Activity Book

Pipity Kids Activity Case

The activity case has a built in easel with elasticated straps to keep your activity page in place whilst you colour it in.

Each of the activity books are packed full of exciting activities and games. Each page has a perforated edge so that you can easily tear the page out to use.

We love that these aren’t run of the mill activities, but cute puppets and games that you colour then cut out to create something to use.

We were sent the full collection of activity books which will provide many many hours of entertainment for Isabelle. These can be bought separately to top up as and when  you need them.

Also in the Pipity range is the Pipity Portfolio which is an expanding file where all of your kids creations can be kept safely together. These are also available in the matching Pink, Blue and Red Star design. I initially thought that the portfolio was for us parents to keep the creations safe which do tend to rack up, but I was quickly corrected by Isabelle that it was so that she could keep the things that she had made so that she could play with them.

Pipity was founded by Kate who was inspired by her own happy childhood memories of cutting and sticking and creating wanted to give her own three children the same experience. The Pipity has everything to spark the imagination and keep little hands busy.

The Video

Watch our video which shows you what you get in the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case.

What we thought.

As a mum I think the Pipity is pretty awesome. Isabelle loves all things crafty and I know this kit will keep her happy and busy during any journey. The case has everything you need so no scrabbling around for things or having to add extra bits to my bag. It also gets a huge thumbs up from me personally as Pipity is a Devon based Independent Business which I love to support having been there myself.

Isabelle was so excited when the Pipity came out of the box. Before she even opened it she was doing her catwalk walk as pranced up and down with the case hanging off her shoulder. She’s going to love carrying this herself. She loved all of the activities, with the puppets and dolls being her absolute favourite. I should post the outtakes of the video that we did as she spent way too long messing about with the scissors (why do kids love scissors so much) AND the bendy ruler cracked her up.

This is a total winner for both of us and it will be coming with us to Spain next month!

Fancy Winning your own Pipity?

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck.

We plan to take our Pipity in the car, on the plane and possibly to the odd restaurant to keep Isabelle busy. Keep an eye on the Babynotincluded Instagram feed for updates.

Lisa x

•We were sent a Pipity Activity Case, a Pipity Portfolio and Activity books for the purpose of this review. All opinions and thoughts are our own.

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

How to cope with the kids in the hot weather!

How to cope with the kids in the hot weather!

How to cope with the kids in the hot weather.

Well

We moan when it’s raining!

And we moan when it’s cold!

We also moan when it’s cold and it’s raining!

Lets’s face it, whatever the weather us Brits LOVE to have a good old moan about it!

How to cope with the kids in hot weather

It’s no secret that I’m not a HOT day person. I don’t cope very well in the heat. I suffered from heat sickness as a child and really don’t cope very well. I’m irritable and ratty, and everything feels like such a chore in the sweltering heat!

You won’t find me sitting at the side of the pool sunbathing!

You’re more likely to find me hiding away inside or tucked neatly under a huge sun umbrella with my VERY white legs.  On the subject of that, I do look odd in the summer with my tanned face, arms, and feet, and the rest of my body as white as can be. Haha!

Having kids and actually having to do stuff in the sun can be a chore.

Having a baby in the heat can be the pits when they constantly want to be carried and cuddled.

So what can you do to stay cool both in and out of the home?

At Home

  • Dress your baby or child appropriately at night – light clothing (cotton is best) such as a vest or short babygro and thin shorty pyjamas or nightie for older ones. A light cotton sheet instead of the usual bedding or sleeping bag may be better (especially if the room is over 25 degrees).
  • An hour or two before bedtime, have the windows and doors to the nursery or bedroom open to allow air to circulate through.
  • Air conditioning – Hmm yes I wish!
  • Have drinks available at all times so that little ones can drink throughout the day.
  • For older ones, freeze strawberries, raspberries, and halved grapes and add to drinks instead of ice cubes which doubles up as a sneaky fruity treat.
  • I’ve never done this one personally, but I have heard that it’s a good idea to open your loft hatch which will allow further heat to go up through the house (as heat rises).
  • A quick lukewarm or cool bath before bedtime to relieve clammy skin may help.
  • Make yourself a water spray by filling up a spray bottle (you can buy in most chemists) and keep in the fridge. Spray over the face at a good arm’s length for a gentle mist of cool water.
  • A thermometer in the room would be good so that you can dress them appropriately.
  • Fill a bottle with water and freeze. Put this in the room which will cool the air – an ideal place would be in front of a fan.
  • As difficult as it is for all concerned, try and keep the bedtime routine as calm as possible as the more irritable the hotter you all get.

Out and About

  • Babies under six months should not be exposed to direct sunlight so using appropriate sun shades for your pram, car shades and ensuring that you sit in shaded areas are a must.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Cotton is always good for keeping cool so dressing as simple as possible on hot days makes it cooler for baby and less faff for mum and dad.
  • The sun is at its hottest between 11 am – 3 pm so trying to plan outdoor activities outside of this time would be good but not always avoidable. Have regular breaks from the direct sun which could tie in nicely with drink breaks.
  • Making sure that you apply suncream every day with several top-ups during the day. I’m not going to preach on suncreams but even the once-a-day creams are said to lose their efficiency after 60 – 90 minutes so regular top-ups should be done. The lowest recommended is factor 15 but we always use a higher factor than this.
  • Keeping cool can also be fun. Fill up a paddling pool, give them bottles, cups, and a tea-set if they have one and this will keep them happy and cool.
  • Buy a sunsuit that will also protect them from the sun for beach days and paddling pools.
  • Wearing a Sun Hat which has a wide brim with neck protection for added protection. There are various brands, some of which have UV and UVA filters. Having a wider brim gives them protection also for their faces, ears, and necks which can be easily burnt.

Eating and Drinking

  • Breastfed babies may want to feed more often to avoid hydration.
  • Bottle-fed babies could be given additional boiled cooled water.
  • As above make sure that drinks are accessible throughout the day. We recently made Strawberry and Raspberry Lemonade which was a lovely treat.
  • For older babies and children you can also help by giving them ice cubes (actually very amusing for babies) and ice lollies which not only taste great but an additional way to get fluids into them (I will add some ice lolly recipes to the blog but to get you started try the Blueberry Yoghurt Bites).
  • For babies, over six months old and toddlers you could try freezing some of their favourite fruit which is also great for teething.
  • Both babies and children may eat less in the heat as do us adults so adapt food so that they eat little but often. Keep meals simple such as filled pittas, kebabs (meat, veg, and fruit), dips, jacket potatoes, pizzas, salads, grilled meat which can be easily put together and can be picked at.

I’m no expert so these are the many things that we’ve googled over the seventeen years of parenting we’ve done so far.

How to cope with kids during the hot weather

 

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.

Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Box – A review

Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Box Review – Part 2

We were squealy excited to be sent a further Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Box through the post. Crafting definitely plays a huge part in our lives. Making something together post-dinner time has become a bit of a regular routine for us which gives us something nice to do after work/school.

MIla & Pheebs Kids Activity Box

I didn’t tell Isabelle that she was getting another box as she drives us totally insane when she knows something is coming through the post. She thinks that it’s going to appear at the door five minutes after it’s been ordered. It was a lovely surprise when it arrived, and I think I was just as excited to know what was inside as Isabelle was.

I did wonder whether this box was going to beat the previous Activity Box that we received, but we weren’t at all disappointed.

What was in the box?

  • Safari Criss Cross
  • Safari Colouring-in sheets
  • Lion Eraser
  • Safari Dotty Art
  • Safari Pencil
  • Safari Memo Pad
  • Safari Wordsearch
  • Safari Greeting Cards
  • Safari Foil Stickers
  • Parrot Collage Kit
  • Safari Scissors

Isabelle’s favourite piece in the box was the scissors. She was so excited to get her own pair of scissors. Doubly so that they had monkeys and bananas on them!

So over to Isabelle who will walk you through what she got in the box.

As you can see, she was thoroughly impressed with all of the things that she got in the box, especially the monkey scissors.

I’ve sneaked the colouring sheets and activity sheets to put away for Isabelle to do on the plane when we go on holiday next month.

There isn’t a single thing in the box that Isabelle wasn’t excited about or looking forward to making.

Value for Money

There are various options for the subscription boxes as well as various payment options. As well as the monthly subscription boxes you can get one-off themed boxes including Birthday, Superhero, Unicorn, and Fun on the Farm just to name a few.

If my convincing isn’t enough, pop over and check out their social media:

Twitter: @MilaandPheebs 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/milaandpheebs

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/milaandpheebs

Hope you like the video.

Lisa & Isabelle x

 

Family Fever

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

Strawberry and Raspberry Lemonade

Strawberry and Raspberry Lemonade

Strawberry and Raspberry Lemonade Recipe – This is the perfect recipe for my daughter as it involves Strawberries (she’s a total Fruit Bat) and fizzy drinks (what kid doesn’t).

Strawberry And Raspberry Lemonade

Difficulty Rating: Easy Squeezy and great to do with the little ones.

What you will need:

  • 2 Cups of Strawberries (maybe a few extra as they get stolen)
  • 1 Cup of Raspberries
  • 1/2 a Cup of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 Cup of Caster Sugar
  • 4 Cups of Water (Still or Sparkling)
  • 1 Cup of water
  • Ice Cubes to Serve

Strawberry And Raspberry Lemonade

Puree the strawberries and raspberries in a blender and put through a sieve to get rid of the little pips.

Strawberry And Raspberry Lemonade

Put the cup of water and caster sugar in a pan and heat until the caster sugar melts and leave to cool until room temperature.

Strawberry And Raspberry Lemonade

Once cooled, mix the strawberries, raspberries, lemon juice, and 4 cups of water.

Chill in the fridge and serve with ice cubes.

Strawberry And Raspberry Lemonade

The lemonade was perfect to have alongside dinner in the lovely sunshine and we’ve also put some into ice lolly trays as it made quite a bit.

For all of our tried and tested Family Recipes click here and for more Cocktails and Mocktails we have a whole Pinterest board of ideas. 

Enjoy!

Lisa x

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may get a small payment at no cost to you if you click and make a purchase. 

 

 

Bargain Food Haul from Approved Food

Bargain Food Haul from Approved Food

Our bargain food haul from approved food – I’m loving all the TV programmes at the moment on how to eat for less, and making savvy purchases to save money. We never used to be very savvy when it came to shopping. Gone are the days where we shopped at the same supermarket and bought whatever we wanted, sometimes not even taking note of the price. We stopped shopping like this quite a while ago, and now alternate our shopping trips dependent on what we need such as store cupboard staples, fresh fruit and veg, and meat.

Approved Food

I was really pleased to be asked to try out www.approvedfood.co.uk which essentially is a bargain online shop where you can buy food that is either surplus or short-dated stock.

I placed my order at around 8.30pm on Tuesday 4th July with an expected delivery time of 2 – 3 working days and it was delivered on Friday 7th July.

You can buy everything from cupboard staples such as pasta and rice to all the kids chocolate biscuit treats, toiletries and cleaning products, and even a healthy and beauty section.

What we bought

  • Amoy Plum Sauce x 2 = £1.00
  • Amoy Soy Sauce Reduced Salt x 2 = £1.00
  • Bottle Green Elderflower Sparkling Presse x 4 cans = £1.49
  • Cavalino Bucks Fizz x 1 = £1.99
  • Chupa Chups Air Heads x 3 = £0.99
  • Combos Cheddar Cheese Cracker x 3 = £0.99
  • CorNiche Apple Teddy Marshmallows x 5 = £1.00
  • Don Mario Fusilli x 2 = £1.00
  • Don Mario Spaghetti x 2 = £1.00
  • Fabiola Pasta Spaghetti x 2 = £1.00
  • Flash All Purpose Cleaner x 1 = £0.99
  • Foxs Nice Creams x 2 = £1.00
  • Foxs Triple Layered Biscuit 10 pack x 1 = £0.99
  • Giovanni Di Firenze Tomato Pasta Sauce x 2 = £1.50
  • Globe World Foods Plum Tomatoes x 3 = £0.99
  • Go Ahead Yoghurt Breaks x 3 = £0.99
  • Golden Wonder Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodles x 4 = £2.00
  • Gratify herb baked mini dippers x 2 = £1.00
  • Jacobs Jaffa Cakes x 2 = £1.98
  • Maryland Double Chocolate Chip Cookies x 4 = £1.00
  • Napolina Conchiglie Pasta x 1 = £0.95
  • Purina Delibakie Stars Turkey and Bacon x 1 = £0.99
  • Quaker Oats – Oats so Simple Morning Golden Syrup Bars x 1 box = £0.99
  • Real Handcooked Variety Pack Crisps x 2 = £0.02
  • Ryvita Crackerbread Pepper Flavour x 2 = £1.50
  • Simple Soothing Facial Toner x 2 = £1.00
  • Wubba Dog Toy x 1 = £2.99

Grand total = £32.34

Postage and Packing is worked out by box. We had one large box which cost £5.99.

Fun Fact – I quite liked the Fun Fact at the end. Mine was that I’d saved £44 by buying from Approved Food which is the equivalent of 36 litres of fuel. That’s a total bargain in my book.

The offers come in daily and since signing up, I’ve received quite a few emails with all the latest offers.

What we think

Approved Food is definitely a website worth a monthly visit to fill your cupboards. Nothing lasts very long in our house what with a pot noodle eating cookie monster of a teenager and a six year old who loves a treat or two and a midnight munchie man around. I think my favourite bargain is the kong dog toy which are usually quite expensive and was very much appreciated by Charlie!

Have you shopped at Approved Food?

Let us know what your BEST bargain was.

Lisa x

For more competitions and reviews Click Here.

*We were given £30 credit to spend for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
Family Fever