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Category Archives: holiday

Little fun fest

Thanks to twitter blogger Tiredmummyoftwo we learned about an exciting festival for children being held in Altrincham near Manchester. The festival ran over two days so a friend and I decided to go on the Friday.

Little fun fest was held at Red house farm and had pretty much every thing small people could want, from fairies and dancing to Harry Potter, Hagrid and broomstick rides.

We were greeted by giants and fairies as we waited to hand over our tickets, before enjoying coffee and cake in the lovely little tea room.

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Next we moved on to the open barn where some fairies made a rainbow from magical invisible coloured objects. The children loved handing over invisible creatures and ended up underneath a beautiful rainbow cloth before the next treat of storytime with cBeebies star Alex Winters.

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Not just one story though – we had two stories. We went on a bear hunt and found room on the broom with a friendly witch. On the bear hunt the children went exploring round the barn, through all the obstacles before getting to run away from the “bear” (a poor dad with the misfortune to be sat in the middle). Alex was brilliant with the kids, he engaged them from the start while managing to keep their attention throughout.

There was so much to do we didn’t get round everything although we were there from 10 till 4. Things we did do included watching cBeebies’ Mr Bloom on stage and going on the free fairground rides. We played in the sandpit and on the slide before running in and out of the playhouse again and again (the children that is – we sat on the side and drank coffee).

The highlights of my son’s day were when Alex said hello to him and when he got a high five from Mr Bloom while having his photo taken. His smiles when he met his cBeebies heroes were the best parts of my day.

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Egg hunts and easter trees

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Easter is a wonderful chance for families to spend time together but I have to admit that I struggle with the massive amounts of chocolate given to children. Although close family don’t give us chocolate eggs we still seem to end up with quite a few. In true hippo-critical fashion that pretty much means more for me. I want my children to enjoy Easter but I won’t give them massive amounts of sugar. We have an egg hunt on Easter morning with a very limited number of small eggs and try do do other things to make it special.

Easter Friday this year was spent making and “Easter tree” a german tradition that I vaguely remember my mum making one year when I was little. For the month up to Easter if I was making anything with eggs for the family I blew out the eggs instead of cracking them, meaning we ended up with about a dozen hollow egg shells (after breakages) to dye. It’s a simple enough process – warm water, vinegar and food colouring. I thought this would be a great thing for the kids to get into and we tried putting stickers and sticky tape on some of the eggs to make patterns. They very much enjoyed making the eggs, although as the water was quite hot the couldn’t join in as much as I originally hoped. We strung our eggs on brightly coloured ribbon and hung them from a “tree” which was really branches cut from one of the many overgrown bushes in our garden. (Our house’s previous owners were very keen gardeners who left us with a lot of lovely bushes and trees. Unfortunately the extent of my gardening involves cutting them all back twice a year).

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I have to admit to being pretty impressed with the results, although the original vase turned out to be too unstable meaning the final result was the picture below.

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The tree lasted for a week and a half and according to my three year old one of the eggs cracked and there was a lovely baby bird inside.

The yellow flowers came out in the heat and looked great, every year I cut back this bush and think what a waste it is of beautiful flowers, so it was nice to get some use from them.

To finish off the weekend we went on an egg hunt at Erddig, a National Trust property in north Wales which runs one of the Cadbury Easter trails each year. In previous years we’ve gone to this event and picnicked on the grass in glorious sunshine while children played football around us. This year was a little different due to the late heavy snows. As we drove nearer the world got whiter. By the time we arrived there were banks of snow on the sides of the road. We had a lovely time searching for hidden nests and identifying which bird layed which eggs, but stayed well wrapped up and headed off for coffee and cake paninis at a local Starbucks as soon as we had finished.

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Posted by on April 14, 2013 in holiday, Parenting

 

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From the Seychelles to Center Parcs in 5 years

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Once upon a time we had a fairy tale wedding in a castle and a honeymoon in the Seychelles. Beautiful white sand beaches, cocktails at sunset and glorious sunshine. To be fair there was no internet and my husband would have been happier if the local hospital hadn’t been on the next island but in general it was an amazing holiday. This year was our 5th wedding anniversary so naturally we wanted to do something a bit special, but the addition of two little people means that a 10 hour flight to the middle of nowhere is a lot less appealing and a bit too pricey. Instead we went for the less glamorous but much more practical Center Parcs in Sherwood forest. We’ve been before and knew it would be a child friendly, comfortable holiday with a reasonably short drive that potty training toddlers could cope with.

We agreed that we wouldn’t get each other presents as we were spending a decent amount on the holiday, but I found out the day before we left that my husband had been all romantic and got me something as a surprise. Because I never know what to get him I decided to make a cake, although naturally I’d run out of everything so had to make a mad dash to Sainsbury’s.

Apparently the 5th wedding anniversary is wood so I made a rectangular cake and cut it into a number 5. The morning we left involved packing the car and decorating the cake with the “help” of 2 toddlers. The wood effect icing and the ivy were my idea, the butterflies were my 3year old’s.

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Times change and so do holidays but we had a wonderful time as a family. The sub-tropical swimming pool was brilliant, the restaurants had crayons and colouring books for the kids and the wildlife was wonderful for entertaining little ones. At night we sat in front of the fire and just enjoyed relaxing.We had such a good time my son didn’t want to leave. In fact he spent the next week saying he wanted to go back.

I look at the last 5 years and so much has changed. We have two wonderful children, a grown-up house in suburbia and are well on our way to being “middle aged”. It hasn’t always been easy and anyone who has suffered sleep loss from a small baby will understand that it really really really is so much harder than you ever believe it will be. Like most people I always thought parents were exaggerating and that my baby would be different and perfect. But however hard it’s been there are moments when you sit quietly and see how worthwhile it’s all been. I can see the light at the end of the (sleep deprived) tunnel and wouldn’t change it for anything.

 

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