Saturday, 6 February 2016


It feels as if it's been raining for days! The fields near us are so muddy and so many sports matches have been cancelled, which means loads of catch up mid-week fixtures come April and May time. We've been darting outside between the showers to jump in puddles and get stuck in the mud, but today I really couldn't face it and stayed by the fire nursing a horrible cough.

Friday, 5 February 2016


Last summer the boys went to Camp Wilderness an all-inclusive residential summer camp in Oxfordshire for children aged 7 - 14 years old. Summer camps are something of an American institution with over 11 million children going on a camp each year according to the American Camp Association in 2010. But they haven't really caught on in the UK, until now. 

"It really is a different type of adventure where the children truly get to grips with bushcraft, and have lots of fun while doing it. We pride ourselves in providing a back-to-nature experience that children will remember for the rest of their lives. Not only do they make new friends and learn new skills, with Camp Wilderness they are able to spend time in the most beautiful woodlands, getting away from technology!" explained Jade Forbes-Wattley of Camp Wilderness.  

The action-packed camp is held in beautiful safari-style tented camps combing traditional bush craft with fun activities that include archery, bush tucker BBQ's and wild swimming. With children spending less time than ever outdoors, these camps offer a wonderful alternative to TV, games consoles and online distractions.

I had butterflies about the boys going away, especially as the nine year old has never been away from home without us before, but the butterflies soon disappeared as we arrived at camp to the best welcome ever. We were waved in from the road and as we opened the car doors we were greeted and bags were carried for us, it was so lovely and so friendly I knew the boys were going to have the best time and my nerves were instantly calmed.

Research has shown that children going away to camp encourages self-esteem as they learn to look after themselves and solve problems, it helps them to make friends often with a more diverse groups of friends than they may have at home. It brings them closer to nature and give children experiences they wouldn't have in their everyday lives such as wild swimming or even seeing a frog up close!

Camp also gives children an opportunity to take on new and different roles, quiet children find a new confidence and leadership skills, and hyperactive children can find calm in new surroundings. It also gives them fresh air and exercise and wonderful memories.    

Camp Wilderness takes place in four picturesque locations in the UK and solves a problem of child care that we face each and every school holiday as despite having a flexible working contract and supportive employers, there are only so many hours that the grandparents can entertain my very active brood!

As I write this we have been looking at the website to plan the next trip, find out more about Camp Wilderness and book your childrens' summer holiday adventure.

Thursday, 4 February 2016


I watch my three boys and how they interact with each other and often wonder how birth order will shape their lives. I parent them differently too, I'd be lying if I said I didn't. I've learned how to be a parent through the eldest, he is the one that tests boundaries, whereas the youngest gets away with murder!

My eldest child was the one that I'd check that he was still breathing in the middle of the night and make purees from only the best organic fruit and veg! Firstborns are said to be confident and assertive, the leaders of the pack they are supposedly organised and reliable.

When the second child came along I was much more relaxed as a parent. Of course he wasn't the youngest for long and with a new baby bother he now has the position of middle child! A middle child is meant to be a people-pleaser, with many friends and a rebellious stubborn streak, this is certainly true of mine.

The lastborn child being brought up in a more relaxed way is thought to be fun loving and have more freedom but also attention seeking and self-centered. It's a little early to tell if this is true of my youngest but he certainly has just started to act the fool to get smiles from his older brothers.

I don't know whether their birth order will affect them as they get older but sometimes it helps me to understand them, their arguments and their frustrations.

Sunday, 31 January 2016


This week's nature table has a range of different things today. Some winter flowering cherry, a teasel, a Roman snail shell and a fossil.

Did you know? Fuller's teasel (a bit different than the one pictured above) was used years ago in textile mills to raise the nap of fabrics such as wool. We find a lot of Roman snail shells here in the Cotswolds but they aren't found all over the country, unlike garden snails that were brought over by the Roman's at the same time!

Friday, 29 January 2016


I rarely buy any beauty products and I'm incredibly brand loyal having spent years finding ones that suit my skin! There are a few staples in my make up bag such as Dr. Hauschka's Rose Light Day Cream, it's an expensive moisturiser at £29 for 30ml but it's the only product I've ever found that keeps my skin from turning into a red blotchy mess each winter and I justify the cost in the saving of the hundreds of lotions and potions that I'd buy that would never work! I also adore REN products, since having a treatment at the Montpellier Chapter Spa in Cheltenham, they always have offers and a loyalty programme and the products last forever, my favourite is the glycolactic radience renewal mask which is a bit of a mouthful to pronounce but the effects are awesome!  

This week the lovely folks at Green People have sent me through some skin care essentials for mums on the run which I am super excited about. Green People are sensitive skin specialists and make natural and organic beauty products for the whole family. The products I'm trying out are their volumising mascara £14.75, lip primer £13.00 and tinted DD moisteriser £36. 

I would never buy a lip primer but this one has instantly impressed me, moisturising my dry weather-chapped lips for hours, it is clear but makes the lips look fuller when applied and the candelilla, carnauba and baobab makes it smell divine! I am never without a mascara and if I don't wear eye make up all I ever get is comments from people asking if I look alright! So am a big fan of black eyeliner and mascara even if it isn't the most fashionable look of the moment, it makes me feel better and this one certainly does that. With a stubby brush it's really easy to get good coverage and control with the wand so I am delighted and would certainly buy again as it is heaps better than my current mascara.

I am also a huge tinted moisteriser fan preferring a more natural look than using a foundation and keeping my dry skin moisterised. The one I currently use just comes in one colour but Green People have given me three colour samples to choose from to find just the right match for my freckly skin! I do have plenty of imperfections so I'll be making sure that it gives me enough cover for the odd chocolate-induced pimple too. I love the fact that you can order the testers online as I find it an expensive mistake to get wrong. 

Thank you Green People for sending me such fab samples to review, I'll let you know how I get on!


It's the simple things that get me through the week. This week I've had so much work on I've been working past midnight every night, which I find hard as I get so tired and snippy the day after. But it's OK as tomorrow's Friday and Friday's are for fun, for playing with my youngest, for hoovering the house and for buying sweets from the shop after school. It's a day to slow down and prepare for the weekend, to wash school uniforms and restock the kitchen cupboards!

Sunday, 24 January 2016


I think the birds are quite confused with this mild weather as they have started their dawn chorus already this year! On our tree in the garden there have been flocks of long tailed tits passing through in groups and goldfinches on the ground rooting through the leaves. We have been trying to identify the egg and nest we found a few weeks ago ~ but it's proving quite tricky. It's a great time of year to clean out old bird boxes and make new ones ready for the nesting season which might be earlier this year if it continues to be so warm.
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