Monday, 27 April 2015
Imagine discovering a secret meadow full of flowers on a bright summer's day, lying on a blanket in the long grass and listening to the chirrup of grasshoppers, the song of the sky lark and the buzz of the bee. Tania Pascoe has done just that, and in her new book Wild Garden Weekends she invites you to visit Britain's most enchanting gardens and wild flower meadows.
I've had my head in this book all weekend, mentally planning a summer full of adventures on hot sunny days. The delicious pictures of wild flowers meadows include many Wildlife Trust nature reserves that are home to so much of the country's rare wildlife. The book is helpfully split into regions and includes cafe's and accommodation too and even better is that I've got one to giveaway to one lucky reader!
WIN A COPY OF WILD GARDEN WEEKENDS
All you have to do to win a copy of Wild Garden Weekends is leave a comment below with a link to your blog or email address so I can contact you and I'll randomly draw a name out of a hat after the closing date of midnight on the 30th April 2015.
*no cash alternatives will be given
*the winner will be contacted so please leave a way I can contact you or check back here
*Wild Things Publishing will send the winner a copy directly
Sunday, 26 April 2015
My circus loving nine year old had a circus party this year with School of Larks our local circus school. He and his friends enjoyed learning juggling skills, having a go on the trapeze, silk and ariel hoop, diabolo and unicycles! It was brilliant - my friend and I also had a quick go on the trapeze too. For his birthday cake, a friend helped me to photoshop Ted's head onto a vintage circus image so we could create a tightrope cake topper (original idea found here). Then we came home to make pizza's from scratch!
It's birthday week in the Bradshaw household with two birthdays over two consecutive days! For the littlest Bradshaw, a simple celebration with friends and a snail race!
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
I have been following Sian, the founder of Fforest on Instagram for years, she was one of the first Instagrammers I followed, enticing me with pictures of her gorgeous life. Her pictures give you a taste of the wonderful holiday destination that has attracted numerous bloggers and Instagrammers to stay. And this Easter we holidayed at Fforest for the first time and got to jump headfirst into Sian's gorgeous pictures.
Sian and her husband James, moved back to her childhood home of Wales with their four young boys, you can read about their inspiring move here. They bought Fforest and have created a camping holiday with a difference across three sites, near Cardigan.
We stayed in a crogloft, which with its underfloor heating, large walk-in shower and warm welsh blankets was really luxurious. The uniqueness of the croglofts and in fact all the Fforest accommodation are the outdoor camp kitchens and dining tables, with obligatory enamelware and gorgeous bunches of flowers.
There is even a little pub, the Bwythn, the oldest building onsite and lovingly restored. It sells Welsh beer and whiskey, I *may* have sampled many a bottle of the enchantedly named Tipsy Tup pale ale, which was delicious.
Fforest is 500 acres of Welsh woodland and meadow, brimming with bluebells, ferns and twisted ash trees covered in lichen. It is perfect for children to roam and play to their hearts content, rising with the dawn chorus and collapsing exhausted into bed after many an adventure with new found friends.
There is even a Canadian oak barrel sauna onsite and the other accommodation includes domes, tipi's and camping shacks all with wood burners inside to keep you warm at night.
We needed this holiday so much, to spend time as a family away from the distractions of work and wifi. When the children talked, we spent time listening and playing with them, reconnecting and laughing.
We made Welsh cakes on the griddle, enjoyed a pizza night with Tom Herbert, delighted in novelty of the huge toaster at breakfast in the lodge each morning, discovered a secret beach, played with friends, learnt to play Uno, shared in a delicious communal supper of marinated lamb, walked to the river and nature reserve next door, sweated in the sauna.
All the simple things that are so important in life, to reconnect and to press the reset button.
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
I rarely get time to myself without one or all of the boys, but a few times a year I do get to escape on my own to my favourite hairdressers in Bath. After my spring chop I avoided the bustle of the shopping streets in this popular tourist destination and discovered ghost writing on buildings, the back of the Pulteney Bridge and the artisan streets around Walcot. I love discovering places that I haven't visited before and admiring buildings that I haven't noticed before.
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
We have just had the pleasure of looking after a little sausage dog for a week whilst her owners were away. She was such a sweet thing and easy to look after, the boys adored her and yes we did dress her up to take to a fancy dress party!
Sunday, 5 April 2015
Each Easter we make an Easter tree using a few branches from our twisted hazel tree in the garden. Using vegetables we dye a mixture of white, green and brown blown eggs with red cabbage, red onion skins and purple sprouting. It's really easy, you boil the vegetable of choice add a good glug of vinegar (I used the vinegar left over from our Christmas pickled onions!) then leave to cool. We then pop the liquid with the eggs into Kilner jars in the fridge overnight.
My favourite dye is using red cabbage which produces a gorgeous deep blue. It's a great way for the children to experiment (or should I say 'egg'speriment?) To hang them on the tree a snap a match in half tie a bit of thread around it and carefully push it through the hole we made to blow out the contents, it then wedges itself width-ways to enable you to hang it.
Of course we still eat tonnes of chocolate ones too of course!