Sunday, 27 July 2014

Project 365 week 30 20th - 26th July 2014

What a week it has been weather wise, far far far to hot to be alive, I am not a lover of this type of weather I have to say, but it has been great for the school holidays.


Could not believe the mist we woke up to this morning. Normally through here you can see the hills of the outlying countryside. Today you can see nothing.

foggy over the hills


Another hot hot day. But we decided that we would go for a walk round a few more caches and finish off an area we started a few weeks back. Sadly we had to mark one of them as a did not find, was far to over grown to see the ground properly, will need to try it again in the winter months when the 5 ft high nettles and brambles have died back.

Saw this butterfly while we were out.

butterfly on a fence post


Needed to do some gardening  but it has be far to hot. So I took the bull by the horns and went out just after 7am to do it before it got too hot. Really rather pleased with how its coming on.

quite a few tomatoes


Took the children out for the evening, we went to do some geocaching and to play in the park. They had a fab time. You can read more about it here. Here is Fifi with the GPS on finding a cache under a bridge.

picking up a cache


Another very hot day, so again after tea time we took the children out. Fifi decided today she wanted to go to Dumfries house as she likes the park up there. It was out of the direct sun as it is built under the shade of the trees. Have to say since the other week I have invested in a deet based bug repellent which seems to work quite well. We took the twins with us as well. Here they are exploring the textures of the wood, and eating the chipped bark.

sat on the climbing frame


OH and I decide we would go for a drive along the coast road, doing some geocaching along the way. It really was too hot but nice to go off and do something together.We had hoped for a coastal breeze but no such luck.

Anyway one of the places we passed was "The Electric Brae" wiki tells us

The ELECTRIC BRAE, known locally as 'CROY BRAE'
This runs the quarter mile from the bend overlooking Croy railway viaduct in the west (286 feet Above Ordnance Datum) to the wooded Craigencroy Glen (303 feet A.O.D.) to the east. Whilst there is this slope of 1 in 86 upwards from the bend to the Glen, the configuration of the land on either side of the road provides an optical illusion making it look as if the slope is going the other way. Therefore, a stationary car on the road with the brakes off will appear to move slowly uphill. The term "Electric" dates from a time when it was incorrectly thought to be a phenomenon caused by electric or magnetic attraction within the Brae.

There are sign posts telling you to expect cars stopped in the road as you go round the bend as people try it for themselves, I would imagine one of very few places allowing you to stop on a 60mph road or the fun of it. Not really sure how somebody came up with this phenomenon, I mean why would somebody have tried it on that spot in the first place?  There use to be signposts with this information on but people kept stealing them, so they replaced with this rock.

Electric Brae sign


Got a winning tweet during the week.and today when I got in from work here was my lovely little hamper. Very pleasant Summer fruit flavour fillings.  Thank you @experienedays for the prize. Its a while since I have had a win so is much appreciated.
Not actually a bad buy (if you were buying it) considering it comes with the hamper as well.

the hamper I won.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Two fun sunny evenings with the grandchildren

Like the rest of the country we have been sweltering in the heat this week. The kids are crabby and argumentative. Fifi is grounded to the back door and has had her phone taken off of her for her "attitude". So I thought I would take them out give mum a break from them. So we headed off to Eglinton Park in Irvine. Never been before, passed it often enough over the years, and as there are some geocaching events on there this week I thought we would go and check it out. 

There have been quite a few new caches placed round the local area due to the Mega event that is being held locally so we decided to do some of the drive by ones on our way up. They have all been placed in lay bys along the bypass, so with due care and attention and being very vigilant of the children we managed the ones on the way up.
We arrived at the park and had a look at the layout before we wandered off. 

First off we wandered round the park doing some caching. The children took it in turns with the GPS to track them down. We managed to pick up ten in total.

there was a cache under a bridge

Some of them were easy to get at, other involved getting wet - so we gave that one a miss. But this bridge looks beautiful.

the bridge

We wandered round past the castle

different views of the castle

Once we had finished picking up some of the caches we headed to the play park. It  has equipment suitable for all age groups. Fifi likes the trampoline best. We wiled away nearly three hours in the park in total, and I drop them back off just before 9pm, both hot and exhausted.

Took a bit of video footage, love how Bob jumps at the end so he didnt loose the race. 

posing on the concrete horse. 

As Thursday is my day to have the children I asked them earlier in the day where they wanted to go. Offered them the river, the beach,a park, and so Fifi decided they would go to Dumfries House, a local property owned by Prince Charles who rescued it and paid to renovate it a few years back. 

There is quite a bit to see up there but to be honest it was too hot to do much walking round and as daughter and the twins came with us we decided to stay in the shade of the trees and play in the play area. There is a seat there carved out of a log and I got them to sit in it and have their picture taken, Bob was not amused and put a scowl  on his face. 

This looked like a giant Jenga climbing frame. They climbed up and then slid backwards down the poles. 

I had hold of Dinky quite a bit of the time we were there, and did various things with her. Both of the twins liked feeling the different textures of the rough bark and the smooth pieces of wood, to standing on the chipped bark. 

They both liked the round swing, and were giggling when being pushed. 

Fifi was happy to go on with her brother and get pushed gently

Took a bit of video footage of the twins on the swing and see saw 

There was also a zip wire swing there, Bob insisted on pushing his sister really fast on it, but then he could not keep up safely and fell over and hurt himself - not once but twice. He has a lovely bruise on this hip.

The only piece of equipment  that was toddler sized was a small climbing frame, so we sat them, both inside for a while. Again they were intrigued with the smooth texture and had too try eating the bark.  They are getting comical now as they hold a conversation with each other and babble away.

We went up to see the sundial. 

The surrounding farmland as part of a Morrisons farm and they have sheep and cows there. We discussed how they would be available to buy in Morrrisons shops for people to eat. 

It is just a shame really as both places offer parks and play areas open for the whole family till dusk, but close their toilets and cafes before 5 o'clock, never understand why.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
fun as a gran

Thursday, 24 July 2014

#RealMumsAllBran 5-Day Challenge!

I was one of a group of bloggers accepted to try out the All Bran 5 day challenge, a challenge about embracing your tummy, using the Kellogg's All bran range which have digestive health benefits to make you feel happy inside and out. Eat cereals for breakfast every morning for five days, not a hard challenge for me, I have often seen me have a bowl of cereals at supper time as well as I am quite a cereal lover.

The 5 Day Challenge, you could set tummy niggles aside and mark the start of a bran-new you in a truly delicious way. All we ask you to do is try the cereal for 5 consecutive days to see if you notice a difference in your general digestive well-being

Did you know that 90 to 95 per cent of the ‘happy’ hormone serotonin is made in the gut? A study* of 1,000 UK women found 52 per cent experience digestive complaints, such as bloating or gas, at least once a week. Eating fibre everyday is a simple remedy for happy tums. 

  1. Many people suffer from symptoms of digestive discomfort such as bloating and feelings of sluggishness from time to time. In fact, research estimates around 40% of the population suffer from bloating regularly.
  2. Fibre is an essential nutrient that our bodies need to feel good inside. Unlike others, it’s not digested, but acts as a lubricant to help make sure everything else is. So although it passes through the gut relatively unchanged, it’s the most important ingredient to getting rid of what we don’t need.
  3. Switching from a relatively low-fibre diet to one that’s rich in high-fibre foods can be uncomfortable at first, and may cause bloating. But don’t give up. After just a few days, the body will start to adjust
  4. Fibre can be broadly split into two types – soluble and insoluble (wheat bran is the insoluble type). Both types are important in a healthy balanced diet.
  5. Foods are 'high in fibre' when they contain 6g or more of fibre per 100g and a 'source of fibre' when they contain 3g or more per 100g. Checking food labels in the supermarket to compare fibre levels is a great start to achieving a higher fibre intake                             * source of information

I have to say if you said all bran to me I immediately think of the stick like bits of bran that taste like soggy cardboard once you add milk to them. (I have to say I don't take milk on cereals, I either eat them dry or with yoghurt on.) Well if your like me you need to think again. Kelloggs do a range of six different all bran cereals and two breakfast biscuits that come under their all bran range, so something to suit nearly everybody.  

I also have to admit that I do have tummy issues. For all I am fortunate that I have a bowel movement normally twice a day. Sometimes due to foods I eat (and that list grows ever longer) sometimes twice a day can be four, five, six times a day complete with huge discomfort if I am not careful.  sorry too much information.  Maybe the twice a day is because I eat a healthy diet high in fibre and drink far to much water.  

Anyway I digress, so I was sent out three boxes of different cereals, Golden crunch, red berry crunch and chocolate wheats. Have to say the first two appealed to me more than the last one did.  But the wheat ones were dead handy to take to work to snack on, dry, eaten with fingers in my break, much better than grabbing unhealthy crisps and chocolate. My favourite was the red berry crunch, but just because I like red berries. The cereals were crunchy, the clusters were a nice siz but broke up easily in your mouth and they did not soak the yoghurt in and go soggy at all. I have to say I thought the forty grammes was a generous portion size, and as I always do I added some sultanas to my breakfast which complimented the crunch nicely. 

But these cereals are for me a great healthy start to the morning, are packed with vitamins and iron that a woman of my age needs with nothing artificial added. I add a handful of sultanas which are virtually fat free, totally cholesterol free, but add fibre and potassium.

I also used some in a recipe; a handy snack now the school holidays are here, great for the children to make as well, no baking needed. 

chocolate crispy crunch

  • melt 200-400g of dark chocolate
  • chop a few figs, apricots and prunes
  • stir the dried fruit through the chocolate, and then stir in enough Golden Crunch to uncorporate all the chocolate
  • spoon into cake cases and refrigerate until set. 

So  having tried them for more than five days, all three boxes and finished with only me eating them, my tummy feels good, my bowels feel good and they are sustaining me through the morning. I cannot start my day without breakfast, and for me it needs to be a healthy start to the day, and these certainly fit that criteria. Why not try them yourself for five, or more days? 

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Project 365 week 29 13th - 19th July


Not being at work and not feeling like going far the garden was as far as I got. This is the plant Bob bought Granddad for decorating his room for him. Sadly it has gone a bit brown, but if you look it up on t'internet it tells you only to water with rainwater, never tap water, and it was quite wet when we got it so not sure if the garden centre had watered it with tap water or not, will see how it goes over the next few weeks. Hopefully it will recover.


Had gone for a wander down to pick something up from daughters garage. Popped in to say hello just as she was going to bath them, so had to stay and help as best I could one handed. The two of them quite like a bath. When you have one child it is easy to hold them while you bath them and then lift them out, but not so easy when there is two of them, these seats have been a brilliant help.

one in pink, one in blue


The caterpillar has changed into a butterfly. Not sure what type, and this was the best picture I got before it flew away when I tried to give it sugar water.

my butterfly


Wednesday evening has always been babies round evening and just cos the Guides and Cubs have finished for the Summer they still come visit anyway. Minky can manage to crawl quite successfully now and is in to everything. Have to say I am not the type to move ornaments etc out of their reach, never did with my own, so he is being moved away from things he is not meant to touch. I know he is too young to learn but never seen the point in letting them when young to not allow it when they older.
Dinky is still quite happy to sit where you leave her, though we did try putting on her hands and knees and encouraging her but she not ready just yet. She is comical though can she can now blow raspberries, and if you blow one she blows one back and then waits on you doing it again.

Here she is turning round cos Granddad shouted her name.

you called me Granddad?


Was a very hot dry afternoon, and OH wanted to go fishing off the pier so we went along to play on the beach and in the beach park. It was heaving, hundreds of kids in there. Always amazes me in situations like that how so many children can play nice together and take it in turns to go on the pieces of equipment. We made a meeting so if either of them should get lost they knew where to go stand and wait as its impossible to keep an eye on both of them when it is that busy, and they are both old enough to go play themselves. They split up when they first went it, but later on they met back up ans played follow the leader up, on, under and round a climbing frame. Difficult to get pictures without other people's children in the way but got this without them knowing I was watching them.

follow the leader


OH goes out to feed the birds in a morning, and the sparrows and young starlings now expect it and sit on the fence and the shed roof waiting for him to go out. Here they are getting some brie that he had not eaten as well as their normal  bread. Its like something from the Alfred Hitchcock movie.

"feed the birds - tuppence a bag"


I did a bit of shopping on the way home yesterday needed to buy OH rolls and cold meat to take fishing with him today and while I was there I saw these and decided to treat myself. They were ok but wasn't overly impressed, were too strong flavoured for my liking.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hot Wheels Zoom and Boom free days out

We are now into the third week of the school holidays and for many families trying to entertain children on a budget gets harder every year. The last thing parents want is for their children to be sat vegetating over screen time.

So I thought I would share this with you, a FREE fun day out organised by a big company.

Keep the kids entertained this summer and visit your free ZOOM N BOOM event!  See them become the ultimate TRACK MASTERS with an adrenaline-fuelled HOT WHEELS experience at five leading shopping centres.
Kids can get in the driver’s seat and RACE cars on awesome Hot Wheels TRACK BUILDER SYSTEMS with daring stunts to challenge friends with and become the masters of track design! 
Other fun-filled activities include a PHOTO GREEN SCREEN where kids can try on fun props and have their photo taken with family and friends against themed backdrops! 
Kids can also HAVE A BLAST with BOOMco and test out their BLASTING skills with the cool new AIR-POWERED BOOMcoblasters!  With colourful Smart Stick darts and targets, kids can see exactly where they nailed it as the tip of every plastic dart sticks like crazy to the targets! 


Dates & Locations:
  • 30th July-3rd August – Lakeside, Essex
  • 6th-10th August – Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes
  • 13th-17th August – Arndale, Manchester
  • 20th-24th August – Castle Court, Belfast
  • 27th-31st August – Braehead, Glasgow

Why not go and join in your local event?

Shame the Scottish date is after the schools have gone back.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Bloggers transformations with Dulux Bedroom In A Box

I was lucky enough to be one of a group of bloggers chosen to work with Dulux, we were given the chance to transform a room using their new
Bedroom in a box range.

In case you have missed my review you can find it here, where we went from this;

blue with very childish stickers

to this 

big, bright and colourful room with this fabulous mural, with our chosen Jungle Adventure Bedroom In A Box. This is great for Bob right now and will still be suitable when Minky is moved in with him in a few short months time. You can find others by using #asifbymagic to search for them, dont just take my word for it. 

They have various different themes at the moment available, from (sorry if I sound sexist) traditional Disney Princesses for the girls, to Avengers, Peppa Pig for the younger children as well as the jungle and Sea Adventures as well, they are planning on adding more to their range.

They have made a fabulous  video put together from clips of other parents and their children, here you can see their happy faces as well as the delighted parents at the results that can be achieved fairly quickly and very easily.

Dulux are also running a competition to win an Annual Merlin Pass, to enter you just need to buy A Bedroom In A Box from their website.  (terms and conditions apply). A great incentive to buy your box now. 

Disclaimer - I was compensated for this post but my findings are not influenced by this.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Mixed fun in the sun.

Had the children on Tuesday this week as mum and dad were away for the night. The weather has been brilliant and as the school holidays are well under way up here there was no really need for a set bed time so we popped off into Ayr to do a few things.

First off all we decided to do some geocaching. The children enjoy this and we not been for a wee while. We decided on a trail through the park that I have done before on my own. Cant find the first in the route and thought three heads are better than one, but we could not find this at all. We had taken some swaps with us so they could swap with something else in the tubs we found.

walking through the park

I had planned which way we were walking so that we ended up where we needed to cross a main road. This gave them the chance to carry on caching or play in the park that was there. Fifi is nearly twelve and goes off to secondary school after the Summer. Some times she is quite grown up other times she is eleven and is happy to play in the park. They opted for playing in the park.

The two of them played happily together on the tyre swing.

The slide built into the hill side provided lots of fun.

Fifi asked me to video her on the side. Dont get this opportunity too often now as she usually objects to being videoed, so when she asks I make the most of it.

At this point two other children came and played with them, and it was difficult to get pics of my two without one of them in so thats all we got.

One of the reasons we had decided on playing in Ayr was because a friend of ours was going fishing on the pier at high tide and we wanted to take Bob along to watch ( and maybe even have a go). So after the park we drove down to the beach.

Sitting in the harbour was the PS Waverley. I have always wanted to go on this ship, just because its the last passenger carrying paddle ship in the world, and it sails from the local harbour during the summer months. Sadly its approx £70 for the two of us to go for a day out on it so its never likely to happen. 

We were just going to wander down to the end of the pier when our friend came cycling over, the fish were not biting and so he was giving up. Not a lot of point in going to the end of the pier now so the children went to play on the beach instead. Fifi has to take her shoes off on the beach, so the two of them removed their shoes. Bob put his back on again within a few minutes as he hates the sand but has to copy his sister!!.

Bob on the sand, with his shoes back on

Bob on the wall

Fifi on the sand

and on the wall
By now it was nearly 9pm so we headed back to the car and home. The children enjoyed the variety of the evening, and again all for free and made all the more pleasant by the sun.

fun as a gran

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall