Stunning Stourhead National Trust Estate

Stunning Stourhead National Trust EstateWe had a real treat recently with our trip to Stourhead which is a National Trust estate with huge gardens and house. We won a family ticket which was a thrill in itself and we wanted to go somewhere that we hadn’t previously heard of.

My OH and I had a look through the national trusts site. With our need to have somewhere; family friendly, a long walk and a good house to have a nose around, coupled with somewhere within 1 to 2 hrs drive, we settled on Stourhead in Wiltshire. It seemed to have all the elements that would suit us. It does state that no balls are to be taken for the kids and I can understand that they don’t want a football to go hurtling into all their beautiful plants and flowers.

We packed a good old family picnic in the morning and set out on our trip. It didn’t take too long to get there from our home in Dorset, just over an hour. Our prize ticket did work OK. I’m always a little worried when using a voucher or something that ‘the computer says no’ or there is a problem with that day or time being excluded. Everything was fine though.

Stunning Stourhead National Trust Estate

The house is stunning and you can see from this view looking up from the gardens that it is framed really well by the care that is taken over the gardens. you can also see by the dark clouds that rain was a feature of our day too!

Stunning Stourhead National Trust Estate

The literature and the information around the house charts the lives of the last family to have Stourhead, parents Henry and Alda Hoare and their only son Harry. The family were devoted to each other and to Stourhead. Behind the public rooms used for entertaining and shared with visitors were the intimate family spaces where the family could relax and be themselves.

As you move around the family home, you follow in the family’s footsteps from their arrival and through the war years. Henry and Alda were devastated when Harry was killed in World War 1. They gave Stourhead to the National Trust in 1946.

Stunning Stourhead National Trust Estate

In the playrooms there were dressing up areas for the children to try on clothes from the era that the family were in residence. Our boys had some fun in there. It’s a good break if you are doing the tour in the house with children as they can let off a little steam without worrying that they will upset anyone.

There is also a picture quiz where they have to go round and find pictures of dogs in different paintings around the house. The boys love a bit of competition between themselves so it was another task to keep them occupied.

Stunning Stourhead National Trust Estate

So much care and dedication was put into the gardens by the family, it was such a labour of love for them.

The greens should be ranged together in large masses as the shades are in painting: to contrast the dark masses with light ones, and to relieve each dark mass itself with little sprinkling of lighter greens here and there.

– Henry Hoare ‘The Magnificent’

Stunning Stourhead National Trust Estate

Dogs are welcome across Stourhead’s countryside areas all year round. They are welcome in the landscape garden from March-October after 4pm, after 3pm in November and all day, every day from December-February.

Stunning Stourhead National Trust EstateThe kitchen gardens were in full bloom. The plants were massive and growing so well. I would of loved to chatted with one of the gardeners to get some tips but I didn’t manage to. In one of my posts where my OH made my pallet garden you can see what we have managed at home. I’m really chuffed with what we have managed on a small scale and for free! My dream would be to have a huge garden devoted to fruit and veg.

The visit was wonderful and I think the rain added to the day in ways that surprised me. There were times we had to stop and take shelter under some of the huge trees or hide under the arches. In those times we felt some more of the magic of Stourhead.

Stunning Stourhead National Trust Estate

Have you been there or visited other walks that you would like to share? I’d love to hear about it.

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Club Hub UK – App Review

There’s a great new app on the scene! Club Hub UK. This has really caught my attention! I heard recently from Tessa Robinson, the creator who quite rightly, had worked really hard around the launch date with getting the news of her app out there to let us all know that we could make use of it.

The app is designed to make finding activities easier…Ok that’s good enough for me already!:)

Club Hub UK - App Review

But let me tell you more….

The app is designed to locate children’s clubs and activities around the U.K. It caters for children from newborns up to 18 years old.

Tessas background is in acting and she started a children’s musical theatre group. She started teaching children after school, and enjoyed sharing her knowledge in everything she could in terms of acting, singing and dancing.

During this time her idea was forming which has now become ‘Club Hub UK’. Tessa thought that there should be a way that she could promote her after school club to all the parents in her local area. She then thought about creating an app where people could locate all the children’s clubs in their area too – a simple app where parents could input their child’s age and interests, and the search results would list local clubs and their details.

Club Hub UK - App Review

Tessa really pushed her idea forward and came second with Club Hub UK in the #InSport competition with Ideas Britain. An app where people are able to show their ideas to the world. That too is very much worth checking out if you need coaches to assist in your app ideas.

Ella Harding is the graphic designer and I really love the drawings she has created for the site.

The app and website is free and listings are free too! You couldn’t want more as a resource. If you are looking for a club to promote your activity, check out the club owner section.

I think this is an app that is well worth keeping an eye out for, it could be one of those that you start seeing everywhere and it comes to be a go-to app at the weekend! Well done Tessa!

Here are all the contact details below:

Website: www.clubhubuk.co.uk

Twitter: @clubhubuk 

Facebook: Club Hub UK

What do you think, is this an app that you’d think of downloading? You can download on the App Store here or Google Play here

I am one of the supporters for this app because I really believe in the great idea and the hard work behind it.

I’d love you to subscribe to my blog so that you’ll be updated on each new post. You can do so here:

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10 Ingenious Ways to Entertain Kids on Holiday 

I’ve been taking my children away on holiday since they were both tiny. I even remember very clearly taking my 2-year-old abroad while I was pregnant and I did that alone whilst potty training the 2-year-old. Now I know lots of parents, single or not have had to do this but I just wanted to set the groundwork that I have some experience of juggling traveling with kids and having to find ways of keeping them entertained! A happy mummy is a happy child in my book. So, I thought that I would share some of my own tips with you which you can add to your own tried and tested methods.

1. Food! Kids love to eat, so whatever is their favourite snack – pack! Remember to pop a small pack of wet wipes in your bag for those sticky fingers!

2. Soothing toy – when mine were tiny my eldest had a small blue bear that went on each and every travel. Even now at 8 and 11 there is always something special that they like to have close to them. I let them decide and *whispers* it’s usually a soft toy!

3. Magazines – whatever the age and whatever the gender there are so many different types of magazines out there to suit almost everyone. It’s a good way to get some reading going on for the kids besides their electronic devices – we’ll get into those later!

10 Ingenious Ways to Entertain Kids on Holiday 3

4. Colouring books – again, a bit like the magazines there are so many that really cross the different age ranges and the children can be really creative. Colouring books theses days don’t just satisfy the 2-5 year olds thankfully.

10 Ingenious Ways to Entertain Kids on Holiday 2

5. Textiles – crochet, knitting, teddy bear making, all of these activities can easily be taken on holiday with very little fuss. I remember learning to knit from both of my mans when I was little and it would keep me amused and occupied for hours. It’s also such a great skill to learn for boys and girls.

6. Writing a diary of the holiday is a great way of getting the kids involved in the whole process of the holiday. As you are planning the holiday they can start jotting down what is happening and sticking in pictures from brochures etc. While away they can collect different flyers and leaflets to do with where you are staying and stick and paste.

7. Kids Club – I always book something that has a kids club of some description. Holidays are for all the family and you need some downtime as well. There are baby crèche, mini club, maxi clubs and all sorts to suit all different ages. All you have to do is look for them. It doesn’t mean that they have to go to the club all the time but it’s there as an option. Leave the guilt at home and pop them in there so you can have a couple of hours by the pool without any worry. You’ll be surprised how good it feels if you haven’t tried it.

8. Take your mum or another family member if you can. I’ve been having a holiday with my mum and my children ever since they were born. It’s amazing and for us it adds a very positive dynamic to our holidays. We noticed this year that there are so many grandparents holidaying with family now. I don’t know if I just didn’t notice it before or that it’s become so much more popular. This year we had fun in Alcudia and it was mainly down to my mum being there with us.

9. Take one of their friends….No I’ve not lost the plot. If they are a certain age, around 9 and above then this is a genius idea. Your child will have their buddy and not need anywhere near as much attention (in a good way) as if they were on their own. They will be happy and feel a bit of independence as they will have their mate to explore the venue or even just the kids club where you are staying. Plus and this is a bonus….your child might even get invited away with them next time. It could be time to get out the Romantic weekend away brochures. I bet you thought that would never happen again!

10. Photography – this year my son started wanting to take photos. Whether this is on your phone if you dare trust them or on a disposable camera it’s a great way for them to feel part of it all and take some photos that they can then show around when they get home. It doesn’t really matter if it’s just the tops of heads or random sky photos, it’s theirs and can form part of lots of craft projects when you get home.

Bonus one  – If you really need to and if it makes everyone happy then take the kindle, ipad, or whatever it is away with you too. Remember, everything in moderation and “a happy mummy or daddy is a happy child”.

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Please share with me what other ideas work for you and your family. The more the merrier to help make the holidays go as stress free as possible.

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents – Reviews Giveaways and Discounts!

If you are stuck for your Fabulous Fathers Day Presents then you are in luck. I have this mammoth Fathers Day Presents Round up. Full of discounts and giveaways, it’s a huge bonanza of ideas and offers. Make sure you scroll down through each one to make the most of all the giveaways. My boys have been so excited helping with this post as they want to give everything! What’s also super about this post and the features are that they can be presents for all through the year and for any member of the family. Big brother, uncle and grandad can all benefit too.

Now as I love all of these, they are in no particular order. I’d love to hear your favourites at the end! For the moment you can sit back and have a look what’s on offer.

Treasure Trails

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

If you’re looking for something new to do with the children this weekend – and want something to encourage them outdoors – then why not try a Treasure Trail. Treasure Trails are self-guided themed walking treasure hunts, ideal for discovering more about where you live or for taking on holiday. They are priced at only £6.99 each, which I think is great value for money and it’s an activity that everyone, whatever their age, can enjoy doing together. We are so excited about this gift as it means being outdoors and exploring new areas. There are over 1100 different Treasure Trails to choose from so you won’t be stuck for choice.

fabulous fathers day presents 1

So, put down the computer games and get out there for some fun time in the fresh air.

You can also enter for a monthly prize draw of £100, imagine what a bonus that would be! Have a look at the action on twitter too: @TreasureTrails

Talking of prizes, look what we have below. Your chance to win a Treasure Trail of your choice.

To win one of these terrific trails, enter here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Knot

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

What Knot Makes tying and untying a rope as easy as; insert rope, twist, done! Oh my word you just have to try these connectors. It really is as easy as they say, you just pop the rope through, turn the connector and it grips it as firm as any knot. Then when you want it out, you just twist theFabulous Fathers Day Presents connector and it’s free. Imagine all those times when you have used a bungee type clip, those elastic ones that are fierce and nearly take your eye out…well this is the new, safe way to tie or hold things in place. I am very pleased with mine, especially with my boys always having their equipment and bikes etc around the side of the house and in the car. My other half will love this and I cant wait until he’s sorting out the garden shed, result!

Have a look and see how easy it is to use:

We have a fab giveaway for you which includes  6 What Knots with 2 x 3.5m and 2 x 5m rope.  This is a really great prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Lostmy.name

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

Lostmy.name have just released their third book ‘Kingdom of You’. It’s a beautifully illustrated book that I am sure you will love. You have a step by step guide to personalised it to your children or…how cute is this…to dad on fathers day.

I love the story behind the books too. In 2012 four friends got together to make a personalized book. As they say – they worked on it in their spare time, as a pet project. Late nights! Understanding families! Pretending to work on work stuff at work, when they weren’t. Gulp who does that! Oh yep, most of us! They also have discount codes on the site that you can share with your friends and options that if 3 of your friends buy one then you get one free! The most magical thing though is the joy people will get from reading their books.

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

You can see them also on Twitter: LostMyName

I am very pleased to offer a Giveaway for you today. For a chance to win one of these great books you can enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Chemist.co.uk

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

Chemist.co.uk

Oh yes this is a mega site and everything is on sale now! Whether it’s a gorgeous spray for dad to put on for those ‘rare’ nights out or nail clippers for keeping himself perfectly groomed, there is something here for everyone. Check out their twitter page for updates and even more offers! Twitter: ChemistUK

There is so much to buy and I was surprised at the prices as I’m sure you would be too. Loads for Men, Women and Children.

There are alternative therapies and dare I say it anti snoring aids! Well that should just about crash the site to see how we can stop the sound of a pneumatic drill going on beside you…not you my darling if you are reading this..oops!

For my haul I’m including these beauties..

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents Fabulous Fathers Day Presents Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

I’m also keen on the Festival Packs, they have pretty much thought of everything over there!

Penwizard

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

Peppa Pig is a firm favourite in alot of households for younger children and this is another in their personalisation series

‘Daddy’s Words of Wisdom’ is a newly adapted, fully personalised Peppa Pig book full of tongue-in-cheek parenting advice from your child’s Daddy and Daddy Pig, and, for the first time ever, up to THREE children can star with their Daddy in this exciting new release.

This is perfect for Fathers Day and with the discount code below you can make it in time.

However, I will also be coming back to this great site in the coming weeks and offering you further discounts and offers!

Fabulous Fathers Day Presents

 

For now I have a whopping 20% discount code to offer you when placing your order which is: FAIRY20 (Valid until 13th June 2017). 

The last order date for a guaranteed arrival for Fathers Day is 13th June so hurry up and order if you would like it for then:)

Terms and Conditions: This code gives you a 20% off the whole range of personalised books.  Offer not valid in conjunction with any other offers or discount codes. Available on any personalised books, not valid on Peppa Pig stationary. Offer valid until midnight Thursday 13th June 2017. 

 

Well there we go! I hope you have enjoyed this round up and have some ideas for Fathers Day and all those birthdays and special events to come. Why not just treat him for no other reason than to say I love you!

Disclaimer: I did receive a sample of each product to review for this post. All thoughts are my own. All giveaways included in this post are for U.K. entries only.

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