We’ve ticked off another from our Family Bucket List 2016! We went to Fingle Bridge on Dartmoor.
Since getting the dog a couple of years ago we love finding new places to walk him and thankfully Isabelle loves a good walk as long as we have the following:
One of our fellow dog walkers recommended Fingle Bridge as a place to go with the dog and the littles. Lots of opportunity to paddle in water, lots of mud to splash and splodge in and being woodland lots of stones, twigs, acorns and other things to fill our pockets with.
We started off at the bridge noting the HUGE pub with it’s lovely setting and garden.
What to do!
The route that we took was not the easiest of walk with lots of tricky areas, huge muddy patches (thankfully we all managed to keep our shoes on our feet) and narrow rickety steps to contend with.
This was great for Isabelle who at five is slightly more fearless than we’d like her to be.
Charlie (our dog) was amazingly well behaved and loved to explore his new surroundings. We kept our beady eyes out for families with food as unfortunately at only two he’s still a total scavenger and will gatecrash, steal and run!
Strangely there were canvasses dotted around the place which kind of looked a bit odd, but Isabelle quite liked looking out for them.
The walk took us a good couple of hours with a picnic stop along the way.
Isabelle found a walking stick along the way which she held onto until we found a waterfall so she sent it on its way out to sea and wonders what country it will end up in.
It was a lovely day and we ended it by visiting the pub at the start (Fingle Bridge Inn). We may even have to go back for the Duck Race which takes place in April/May of each year.
For a full list of #southwestdaysout pop over for lots of inspirations on days out with the kids.
#whatwedidthisweek – I’ve missed doing this for a couple of week’s as I lost my whole entire blog for just over a week which was so unbelievably stressful, and then it took me about a week to catch up and get over the whole debacle (not sure why I added that word as I’ve never verbally used it before).
This week I’ve been off work with the little miss as it’s the Easter Holiday’s so we’ve had our fair share of much needed lazy mornings and yummy weekend style breakfasts.
Monday we didn’t have anything planned so we decided to take a road trip with Daddy as he’s a top sales dude. We ended up in Burnham-on-Sea where I don’t think I’ve visited before. It was so windy but that’s never stopped a trip to the beach for us. The sea was so far out that you couldn’t actually see it, but we had a nice walk along the seafront and Isabelle wrote our names in the sand. We found a cafe come chip-shop as I was really hungry and fancied some chips. How disappointed was I when we didn’t get ‘chip-shop chips’ but were served a plate of chunky home-fries style chips. However all was not lost as we had ice-cream on the beach and won a teddy in the arcade that came had a velcro stick-on tear that Isabelle named Max.
We were treated to Isabelle singing us all the way home which she video’d for prosperity. The videos gave us quite a chuckle as you can hear Chris and I almost screaming over the top of her to shut-up!
Isabelle had a sleepover at Nanny and Papa’s (of her choosing) which she has only done a couple of times since she was born, but she was really excited and looking forward to it. Sleep and Isabelle are not two words that fit together in a sentence so this was as exciting for us as it was her.
Off she went with no problems, and we should have made the most of being in a child-free situation, but instead we had takeaway and vegged in front of the TV.
Tuesday, again being child-free should have been used a bit better but Daddy set off for work, and after a lovely walk with the dog I sat and updated blog post SEO and other tedious jobs.
Wednesday was definitely a stay at home day, as we had a catch up with the washing and other housey stuff so none too exciting.
On the plus side, or scary side we have confirmed the booking for Ryan’s 18th Birthday meal. His impending 18th birthday is really scaring the Shizzazzle out of me and making me feel about as old as can be. I hate having a teenage son!
Ha ha I need to rephrase that. Having Ryan as a son is great, but ME being a mum to an 18 year old makes me feel old and decrepit!
Wednesday did give me a little, actually BIG ‘fist pump’ moment. We have been accepted to be a Rainbow Awards Toy Tester. I love that Isabelle plays a part in my blog and her being given the opportunity to review toys is so cool. My kid is cool!
Thursday we had a park day with one of Isabelle’s friends, so I had the chance to have some adult conversation whilst the littles played. Following this I met with a friend whilst Daddy took both kids for their dental check-up. The dentist trip for the kids has to be done by Chris as I’m such a baby when it comes to the dentist. Just sitting in the waiting room sets my teeth on edge. It’s not great when you’re trying to coax a six year old into thinking that the dentists is a fun place to go ‘and you get a sticker’!
My friend and I sat and had a coffee and carrot cake in peace and quiet and had a much needed catch-up. She’s definitely one of those friends that I might not see for ages, but when we do it only feels like yesterday!
The kids came back from the dentist check-up with the good old thumbs up for the next six months. Isabelle had to have something removed from her teeth which got me worried, but it was just a piece of popcorn that I fed her before her check-up. Oops!
Friday we played on the trampoline and then Daddy took Isabelle out on her bike for a little de-rusting practice as she hasn’t been on it for a little while. We hadn’t realised how long her legs had got, but she definitely needs an upgrade.
Yesterday we started the day by making up chocolate truffle mixture for our Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles. We were sent some rather unusual ingredients by Yutaka along with some recipe ideas to make. Once this was in the fridge setting we went off out for a lovely dog walk along the river. Charlie went for a little paddle, only up to mid-leg though as we have a bit of a fradey-cat when it comes to water. We ended up at the Double Locks pub. It’s a great place to go when the weather is good, and it seems to have changed quite a bit since we last went with the addition of an outside bar and toilet block and it looks as if more work is being done as well.
Easter Sunday started off with CHOCOLATE. The Easter Bunny had left a great easter treasure hunt for Isabelle which she found and loaded into her easter bucket at lightening speed. We’ve been waiting for Easter Sunday for about three weeks now, or should I say Isabelle has been waiting for Easter Sunday and we’ve been suffering along the way.
You see my MIL had her for the day about three weeks ago and they popped into Sainsbury’s where Isabelle spotted a DC Superhero Batgirl Doll and Nanny bought it for her – For Easter. Realising that she wasn’t getting the doll on the spot she had the mother of all temper tantrums which lasted from Sainsbury’s to The Range and then carried on at home.
This Barbie Doll has been the topic of conversation since then with her even going as far as making a Barbie Day countdown calendar, a Lego Batgirl house, and an every day question of ‘How many day’s is it til I get my Barbie Doll?’
This morning we were on hourly countdown until we got to Nanny’s house, where at last she got the much wanted Barbie Doll and of course loads of chocolate!
This week has been one of those weeks where I’ve regretted my decision to work full-time. It’s only a temporary measure and ends in the middle of July, but it at the moment I’m so tired that I wish I could fast-forward to July.
It’s also frustration as I’d much rather be here blogging my butt off but hey we all have bills to pay.
So Pancake Day we had normal pancakes with sugar and lemon (the kids had fruit as well).
We seem to be ending our days at the moment by putting on music and having a bit of a boogey before winding down with a game of some sort. We have a version of headbands, but the one we have has glasses that you attach the cards to and each person has to guess what animal or person they have. It’s my least favourite game of Isabelle’s as she cheats something chronic. We have coloured glass doors on one of our units so she either looks in glass on the unit or looks at her reflection in the TV and then pretends (badly) that she doesn’t know who her character is and strings it out for ages. I’ve hidden this game away for the time being as one day it will be quite fun.
The weather has been pretty pants this week with lots of rain and wind.
My biggest is going to turn eighteen next month.
Eighteen years old!
I thought looking after a baby was difficult, but sorry to say it but having a teenager is way harder. All those hormones and teenage mood swings.
It was World Book Day on Thursday and having just watched Alice through the Looking Glass we thought Isabelle would like to dress up as Alice. However, she opted for the Queen of Hearts so she could say ‘Awf with her head!!’.
Saturday was Rainbows morning which wasn’t as fun as she thought it was going to be as her friend wasn’t there so she was a bit reluctant to stay. We should have made the most of having daddy home with us this weekend, but as I’ve been so tired and achy I’ve been a bit of a a hermit this weekend.
We did get out with the dog today and Isabelle had a really good time jumping in all of the puddles. Charlie (the dog) didn’t look too thrilled as he’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to water.
Isabelle was soaked inside her wellies and everything but she had a good time, and they will dry.
#whatwedidthisweek – Monday was my first day back at work having had the half-term holiday off with the kids. It was a bit of a shock when the alarm went off as I always sleep really badly the night before I go back to work. The day just went downhill from there as my computer didn’t work (a bit of swapsies went down in my absence) so a few cups of tea later and a bit of a catch up and it was time to leave. Phew!
See you on Wednesday (impromptu day off on the Tuesday).
Tuesday was my birthday and I was hoping to keep quiet but my not best mate, Facebook blabbed about it to everyone! Anyway I had the day off and did some work in the morning (my choice) and then Chris took me for a lovely lunch at Five Guys.
The burgers were enormous and the cajun fries were moreish. There was no attractive way to eat the burgers as they were so big that you could hardly get your chops around it to take a bite. I would definitely never recommend it for a first date situation. We even had a weekday daytime beer to wash it down.
The rest of the day was a flurry of people and lovely presents including The Unmumsy Mum Diary which I’ve just started reading and I’ve bought a ticket to a Night Out with the Unmumsy Mum at the Puerto Lounge, Exeter. We then might have popped into the local pub for a couple of drinks (on a school night).
It was a lovely day even though I would have loved to have stuck my head under the pillow with a giant bag of Monster Munch.
I took part in a Twitter chat and won some beauty goodies which came in the post. I love getting things in the post even when I’ve ordered them and I know what’s inside. I like to shake it and prod it to guess what’s inside!!
On Saturday Isabelle went to Rainbows and got a badge for World Thinking Day. Apparently this means that she’s good at thinking. Ha ha!
Isabelle’s friend came back with us afterwards so it was a great opportunity to try out Pancake Kebab Recipe. These were really easy to make and you can just give the pancakes and a selection of fruit to the kids to construct. They both really enjoyed them, and even better you can batch make them and freeze for future yummy breakfasts.
Saturday night was watched Bad Neighbours 2 which wasn’t as good as the first one, but still worth a watch.
Sunday we started off the day with American Pancakes with Crispy Bacon and Maple syrup. I’ve never tried it before and it was a bit strange with the sweet and salty mix, but I kinda liked it. The afternoon was a trip to the pitch to watch Ryan in all his glory. It’s been a while since I watched one of his games as now that he’s nearly eighteen, it’s just not the same. It’s way more aggressive and the language and there’s only so many times that I can put my hands over Isabelle’s ears to block out the F’s and C words being flung around.
We finished off the day with a roastie. It’s been a while since we had a roast and it was absolutely delish.
It doesn’t mean that we get a lie-in but it’s so much nicer not waking up to the sound of the alarm and having to immediately jump out of bed and get ready. Non-alarm days or weekends we’re usually woken up by Isabelle climbing over us so it could be a misplaced arm, let or elbow that awakens us.
It was a great start to the week as the sun was shining, albeit it the wind was biting. Up we got at a leisurely pace and off we went to Wildwood Escot for a day of Creepy Crawly Welly Walking, walking in the woods and eating flapjack (which I’ve posted separately about).
We were really lucky with the weather as the following day it poured down with rain so we headed off to soft play in Exmouth. If you’ve been to Exmouth before then you will know that when it’s cold – it’s flippin freezing there! Isabelle had a really lovely time. We bumped into several people from school including Isabelle’s teacher. It ended with the filling in of an accident form as Isabelle got herself a lovely slide burn on her back and her arm.
We finished off that day with MacDonalds and a trip to a local farm shop where the Ostrich took a slightly liking to me and followed me backwards and forwards. I tested this theory by running up and down and it copied me. I only received a couple of odd looks.
Wednesday we had a lazy day at home and made cupcakes and Carrot and Lentil Soup.
Thursday we met up with a dog walker friend who is hopefully going to have Charlie when we go on holiday in August. This will be first time that we’ve left him so I’m a bit nervous as I don’t want him to think that we’ve left him. He had to meet the other dog that will be there at the same time as him to make sure that they would get along. I knew that Charlie would be fine as he’s such a friendly boy. He’s never shown any aggression to any other dogs or people, and just loves to play so I knew that he would be fine.
Isabelle had a playdate with a friend in the afternoon so I had a bit of a catch up with sorting washing and a little bit of blogging.
Friday was another dodgy weather day so Isabelle invited one of her friends over to play. It was the first time that her room wasn’t turned upside down and inside out. They sat and played pony hairdressers.
On Saturday we went to the cinema to watch the Trolls movie which we hadn’t got round to watching due to illness/being busy. I gave her a choice of pic n mix or Ice cream, and she chose ice cream. She opted for a two scoop tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. What flavour did she want? Phish Food, Caramel Chew, Double Chocolate Brownie? Nope she wanted vanilla. Really said the man serving. You just want vanilla? He tempted her into having one scoop of vanilla and one caramel honey.
The film was fab so we need to get it on DVD.
Today we went to Budleigh Salterton Beach with the pooch. The whole beach is just pebbles, no sand.
It’s really difficult to walk on pebbles as they move so running is almost impossible.
Charlie wasn’t keen on the beach to start with, but I think it was because the waves were quite fierce and they make a lot of noise going back and forth over the pebbles. We walked down as far as the nudey beach, and thankfully there were no nudists for Isabelle to point at and laugh at (luckily for us).
By the time we made it off the beach it felt like we were walking on fluffy clouds.
Wildwood Escot – We used to be frequent visitors of Escot when Ryan was younger so it’s nice to be invited to take Isabelle, especially as she seems to quite like mud, walking in mud, squishing in mud, poking sticks in mud……..just mud.
We started off in the Anglo Saxon Village which was really cool. It was all set out as a proper village with a kitchen area, bedrooms, fire places and is used as part of the Camp Wild setting which offers holiday camps for children aged 7 – 12 years.
The Welly Walk
This February half term they have Creepy Crawly Welly Walks running twice a day which are definitely worth going on. We had a lovely guide who showed us some rather strange looking dried animals and skulls. Isabelle didn’t seem phased by the flat squirrel or hedgehog.
We stomped through the park to a pond where we dipped to see if we could find any creepy crawlies lurking underneath. We found some little ‘slug like’ bugs on the leaves and further on we found some frog spawn which Isabelle thought looked like snot.
You know the saying that you learn something new everyday?
Well at Wildwood Escot they have a deadly predator laying in waiting.
It doesn’t have claws, sharp teeth and it doesn’t growl.
It’s called Hemlock Water Dropwart and is poisonous if eaten.
We then took part in making mud creatures using mud, twigs, leaves and anything else that we could find on the ground.
Isabelle made a squirrel, a squirrel house with a fire outside the front and an antenna on the top for the TV.
It was amazing seeing all the other children using their imagination to make creatures including an alien and a fairy.
Exploring the park
After the welly walk we went to explore the rest of the park. There are some amazing climbing trees with really gnarly intertwined branches.
It was a lovely sunny day but the wind was quite biting so unfortunately we didn’t see the squirrels, but we saw the Lynx being fed by the keeper. There was one at the back, and we finally spotted the other one which was hiding in the giant tree trunk in it’s enclosure. They really are beautiful. I could just imagine one curling up on your lap.
The Wild Boar were all foraging for food and some were outstretched in the sunlight.
We went over to the Death Slide and Isabelle was really up for having a go. That was until she reached the top and looked over the edge, and then we came back down again. Ha ha. I was totally going to show her how it’s done but I had to help her back down the steps!
I really wanted to go and watch the Otter feeding, as they’re really interesting. They obviously know exactly what time feeding time is as they were all by the door that the keeper comes in whining in unison, and running round as a group waiting for their food.
The otters were given a selection of food including turkey meatballs and cherry tomatoes which was thrown all around the enclosure so that they had to look for it. They work really fast at getting the food!
A hanging type basket filled with straw and bits of food was hung up so that they had to rummage through the straw to get the food. It was really funny to see them find something like they were dipping into a lucky dip, run over to the water to wash it before eating it.
We spent some time in the outdoor play area where there are plenty of things to climb on, and then had a go on the rope swing where I very nearly took out a child. Oops.
Coffee and cake is usually quite high up on the list of things to do on a day out but we opted for flapjack which was so yummy and chewy (big thumbs up).
Isabelle found a tree where there were loads of wine bottles hanging. We told Isabelle that that’s where the witches lived and that they hung the bottles on the branches when they finished the wine.
There are loads of picnic tables or open grassy spaces around the park which is what we would usually do in the nicer weather.
Wildwood Escot is the place for you if you like being outdoors where the kids can explore, use their imagination and play.
Wolves are moving to Wildwood Escot shortly which we can’t wait to go and meet. Wildwood Escot is a registered charity and your admission is treated as a charitable donation. You can support this further by adopting an animal to help ensure that the animals are cared for and fed as they should. It also ensures that the park can be looked after for years more enjoyment.
After last weeks coughs and colds finally lifting, normality and routine has been restored.
As it’s half term next week this week has been a bit of a drain waiting for our week off.
We haven’t really done very much aside from the usual round of dog-walking, cooking, school run and all the usual housey stuff.
As Isabelle wasn’t at school for most of last week we had a surprise Valentines School disco sprung on us on Thursday. Isabelle had a great time. She made up dance routines with her friends and they’d made a pact to all wear pink! One of her friends broke the ‘rule’ so she was mad with her. So young yet so grown up.
It SNOWED! On Saturday. I tried to take a picture but it was so fine that you cant see it in the picture.
Isabelle went to her second session of Rainbows on Saturday which she seems to like so I think we’re going to sign her up properly. We have the magazine for the uniform which is awful. I can cope with the top and the zip up hoodie, but the wide legged jogging bottoms are awful, so I think we’ll get the tops but pair it with leggings.
We also made these Aquabeads false nails which Isabelle really enjoyed making, but unfortunately they didn’t stay on for very long so some are missing, and I’m pretty sure that they dog might have eaten a couple as well.
Isabelle hasn’t been out on her bike for ages so we thought we’d go along the river and get an icecream (yep come rain or shine).
It was a disaster. She learnt to ride her bike in the summer but as she hasn’t been out on it for ages she was so nervous and wouldn’t let Chris let go of her so it was short lived, and we didn’t get anywhere near the quay to get icecream.
We’ve spent the rest of today in the warm playing and watching TV whilst the boys are out at football.
The best bit is knowing that for the next week our lives won’t be dominated by the morning alarm clock.