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Monday, 6 July 2015

Little green fingers

Ava and I were recently sent a gardening kit from Elm House Tree Services, to enter their competition and to get Ava in the garden.

To be honest we don't really have a garden at the moment. Not one with grass in any case (that's next Summer's project) and even if we did I wouldn't know where to start! So Ava and I took our seeds and our plant pots to my favourite, green fingered duo, my grandparents.



My grandparents garden holds so many memories for me, from running through the sprinkler on the lawn with my brother to sneaking under the raspberry net and filling my face with lovely, sweet raspberries.

My nan was more than happy to help and Ava was pretty ecstatic. She was given cress, sunflower and a mixture of various flower seeds which she careful scooped into her pastel coloured plant pots.


She then had the very important job of watering (i.e drowning) the seeds.


We then asked my nan to plantsit whilst we went to Bluestone Wales and were excited to see how the seeds were doing after our trip.


I was amazed at how much the cress (purple pot) had thrived! The sunflowers (green pot) are also doing really well but the mixed flowers (blue pot) need to catch up a little.


I can't wait to see how our flowers bloom. I find gardening so exciting and definitely want to dip my toe into it once we get some grass in our back garden.

Ava is the perfect little helper! I tag fellow mummy bloggers Kerry & Charl, if they would like to take part.

*If you would like to join the competition and be in with the chance of winning £50 go to their website here.
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Monday, 29 June 2015

The Weekend #8- Sunshine & Netflix

Saturday 

This weekend was shaping up be the least busy on our calendar so Nath and I wanted to take the opportunity to sort the house out a little. We still have a lot that we want to do to it.

Saturday started slowly, Ava and I skipped ballet and we had a lazy morning which was nice. We then met my dad for some Starbucks lattes & overpriced muffins in the sunshine.



It was then back home for the rest of the day where Nath and I hung up our old wedding bunting in Ava's room which I love and did some other odd jobs.

I ended up weeding the garden which was oddly therapeutic and I then had the bright idea to take Ava up to my grandparents house on her bike. She is obviously still on stabilisers but can't yet peddle properly so I ended up having to push her all the way to my grandparents house, Thank god they only live one street away! They had the sprinkler out in their garden and Ava had an amazing time running through it. It brought back so many happy memories of me and my brother playing in the spray when we were younger. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera, it's definitely something I want to capture.


We then had an indoor bbq, we have yet got a barbecue so improvised with the George Foreman. I then had the usual "I have nothing to wear" issue before going out for a few drinks with friends.




Sunday

Sunday, Nath and Ava went to a motocross competition to watch his friend race, so I took the opportunity to do...nothing! I've re-discovered Gossip Girl on Netflix and I'm not ashamed to say I'm completely addicted. I must have watched about 6 episodes whilst eating Ben & Jerry's.



I managed to de-clutter our sun house that we are doing up but couldn't muster up the strength to clean it! I then met Nath, Ava and some friends in Nandos.

So a pretty brief weekend for me. Unfortunately I have bee in bed ill today, hence the late publication of this post. Next weekend we have Ava's school summer fair & Nath and I have a fancy dress party, the following weekend is my birthday weekend and also our nephew's christening and we have a wedding the weekend after that! Phew!

What have you been up to?



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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Folly Farm review

During our trip to the Bluestone Wales resort in Pembrokeshire we spent one of our days out at Folly Farm which is a 15 minute drive from Bluestone itself.

Folly Farm has been given the accolade of "Best day out in Wales" so we were excited to see what it had to offer.



Folly Farm, as the name suggests, has farm animals but also zoo animals and attractions. We began our day out in the farm area and both Nath and I remarked how great the layout was. It was set out like a real life, indoor market. You almost expected farmers to show up and start auctioneering off the animals.




They had a small indoor play area as well as interactive games and a huge chalkboard. We loved Cwtch corner where Ava got to meet one of the kids who was gorgeous.





I also loved how educational the farm area was. There was a hatching barn which showed detailed graphs of how an egg turns into a chick and they had eggs in incubators with dates of the next hatch.








We then moved on to the sensory garden which was very educational. Ava's favourite part was the "whoose poo?" game and brushing for fossils. Ava got to see some small reptiles, monkeys and parrots.




Next stop was the vintage funfair. It was HUGE! I was seriously impressed with how big it was, I had expected a handful of rides but we were spoilt for choice. Some of the rides were slightly worse for wear and had gathered a thick layer of dust over the years but that's oddly part of the charm and it wouldn't be a "vintage" funfair otherwise would it.




We ate in the adventure part of the funfair, which again, was huge. It housed a massive wooden play area along with two smaller soft play areas. Nath and I both remarked that while the sandwiches were nice (much better quality than any other theme parks we have visited) it was still quite expensive and we would have been better off bringing a packed lunch.

The zoo animals were great. The lookout point in the giraffe enclosure is amazing. Although it's slightly terrifying when you have a massive giraffe head, looming right next to you. Ava also adored the penguins!




There were so many outdoor play areas and as we'd chosen a quiet day Ava had her pick of them.




We ended the day by visiting their big gift shop, Ava didn't know what to choose first!



We had a brilliant day at Folly Farm, there is something there for everyone! It definitely deserves it's title of "Best day out in Wales" If you are in the area you must give it a visit. You can find more information on their website.



*We were given free tickets to Folly Farm in return for a review. Thoughts are 100% my own
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Our Bluestone Wales Review diary- Days 3, 4 & 5



Wednesday 17th June 2015

We knew that today was going to be the most miserable day weather-wise but we weren't going to let that spoil our fun.

Nath and I woke around 8am but Ava amazed us both by sleeping until 9.45! She has never done that before, it must be the Welsh air. Whilst she was snoozing I took a stroll to the bakery. After the amazing aroma coming from there yesterday morning I just had to pay it a visit. They have a wide selection of freshly baked breads, pastries and muffins aswell as cooked hash browns, bacon, sausages, cakes and ice cream.

I grabbed a cooked breakfast for Nath and some pastries and went back to wait for Sleeping Beauty to wake. The pastries didn't disappoint, they were perfectly flaky and golden, and tasted delicious. Definitely recommended.

We'd decided to hire bikes today, I would definitely recommend pre-booking these, we were told not to but luckily managed to nab the last trailer, we would have had a very disappointed toddler on our hands otherwise, she was so excited and it meant we could zip around with ease.



Our first stop was the Blue Lagoon waterpark. Ava enjoyed the lazy river and the wave machine but although there were areas for smaller children, there were no slides suitable for little ones. Despite the park having three slides for adults we thought that it could do with one for toddlers.



I'd booked Ava into messy play at the Adventure Centre early in the afternoon. She was slightly unsure at first. Apart from painting we don't really do any form of messy play at home. She soon got stuck in and I'm definitely going to recreate one of them at home. She also had her face painted which she loved.



Blurry one of us but I love it all the same.



The Adventure Centre was amazing! A huge wooden play area, soft play, bouncy castle, mini golf... we were spoilt for choice.



Ava had a quick play before we hopped back onto the bikes for lunch at Camp Smokey. Camp Smokey was amazing, after walking down the steep boardwalk you end up in the middle of the forest in a fab wooden hut. Ava had her first hotdog which she quickly gobbled up, she said it was the best thing about the day. My chilli dog was huge, but so good! We then roasted marshmallows over the open pit fire which was great, something I've always wanted to do.







Then it was back to the Adventure Centre to try and tire Ava out! As we'd had lunch out we decided to eat in. We grabbed some supplies from the village store and I made some burgers topped with cheese, Safe to say the diet has completely gone out of the window whilst we've been here.



We all watched The Lion King together and Ava was fast asleep by 7.30pm. We have another busy day tomorrow as we've decided to go to Tenby beach! I can't wait to have a Mr Whippy on the beach.



Thursday 18th June 2015

We'd settled on today as our day at Tenby beach and luckily the weather was in cooperation. Tenby is about half an hour away from Bluestone and is definitely worth a visit. I've never seen such a gorgeous beach in the UK.



The golden sand stretched on for miles and Ava couldn't wait to get onto the beach. Being a week day during term time the beach wasn't too busy which was perfect for us as it was a glorious day. Nath actually got sunburn on his back! Luckily we'd packed Ava's suncream and slathered it on her as soon as we got there.




It was wonderful just lying in the sand with my eyes closed, just listening to the waves and the seagulls. It was so relaxing and I actually managed to start my new book, which I'm really into. I want to get back into reading as it's always been one of my favourite hobbies.




We dug around in the sand, built sandcastles and buried each others toes until our bellies started to rumble. Right on south Tenby beach is a lovely restaurant called South Beach Bar & Grill which I highly recommend. Their Celtic pride burger with the promise of a brioche bun, Stilton and apricot chutney won me over. I'm a sucker for stinky cheese. It was amazing! In an effort to be healthy I opted for the salad rather than the chips but I think the cheese on my burger tipped the scales.






We then had a wander around Tenby. I was surprised at how lovely it was. Not like the tired looking seaside towns closer to home which I'm used to. Tenby had some gorgeous shops and I fell in love with Jago, a shop that stocked all of my favourite contemporary homeware designers. They need to expand to Shropshire! We bought some fab cannisters for tea & sugar (neither of us drink coffee) which we'd been wanting for ages but couldn't find any we liked. There were far too many mugs that I wanted in there. I have a mug fetish.

We had the obligatory Mr Whippy on the beach and headed back to Bluestone, sun-kissed and very happy.






We had our last meal (sob!) at The Knights Tafarn. Some of the decor inside the pub is a little worn and tired looking and if I'm honest I wasn't looking forward to our meal all that much. The menu impressed me, they serve light bites until 5pm but we were too late for that so I ordered the mussels from the specials menu, Nath had the Hunters chicken and Ava had sausage and mash.



My portion of mussels was huge! It was so delicious, the sauce was perfectly garlicky and creamy and my crusty bread was perfect, Nath really enjoyed his chicken and Ava's sausage and mash was a good size. It came with two good quality cumberlands. Proof that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover! I gave myself a slap on the wrist after that meal for being such a snob!





We returned to the lodge full and completely knackered after our busy day!

Friday 19th June 2015




I can't believe our time at Bluestone has come to an end! You have to check out at 10.00am but as usual we were late! Nath walked up to the carpark to drive our car down to the lodge and picked some pastries up from the bakery en route. After checking out you can use the facilities until 3pm, we were going to go swimming but decided against it after realising what a faff it would be. We opted for the Adventure Centre once again.

We had a quick peek into the circus room which was a little too young for Ava and is more aimed at babies a lovely room all the same.



Ava had a hours' run around in the Adventure Centre in the hope of tiring her out for the journey.

We then got ready for the long drive home. I so wasn't ready to leave! Both Nath and I said that our time at Bluestone flew by and we had no down time as we were on the go constantly but we LOVED it. We've made such happy memories at Bluestone and I couldn't recommend it highly enough. Nath overheard an old lady make a good point though, she said that 4 days in the Winter would be perfect but you need 5 days in the Summer to really make the most of what Bluestone and the surrounding area has to offer.

I was feeling a bit low before our visit and I think that some time away has done me the world of good. It's reconnected us as a family and it's giving me a bit of a kick up the butt blog wise. I felt so content during our little trip and it's a feeling that I really want to cling onto. I'm so lucky to have my two loves, even though they can both drive me round the bend at times.

Bluestone is a beautiful place, it's a must visit of you are looking to have a fun holiday with your family close to nature.

You can visit the Bluestone website here for more information.



*We were invited to Bluestone Wales for a 4 night self-catering break free of charge in exchange for a review. Thoughts are 100% my own.
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