Sunday, 19 October 2014

A sunday walk through the woods: A free day out.


Today I woke up, looked out my window and smiled. Why? We finally had some blue sky!! The weather this week has been terrible so there was no way I was going to be staying in doors today. Unfortunately though my bank balance was looking a little empty so it was time to use our imaginations and attempt a fun day out for free. 

Nearby is a little woodland with a park at the end of the trail so we put on our boots to go for a little explore. 

Not many people use these woods so it's such a peaceful and beautiful place to take a Sunday stroll. Through the middle is a little stream which the boys loved to splash in and throw rocks into. There are also so many places to climb and hide.

To keep the children from getting too bored and moaning about walking, I came up with a little activity to do. I gave them a challenge to find as many different species of bug as they could. 

The boys didn't have any success. They only things they found were cobwebs, some flies and a little ladybug. All the bugs must have been hiding today. 

At the end of the trail is a lovely little park. Its kind of a big reward/ goal for the children for getting through a long walk. 

Overall, it was a lovely relaxing Sunday. The children had a lot of fresh air, exercise and fun without me spending a penny.  I hope your Sundays were relaxing too and all ready for the new week. 

Thank you for visiting. 

Gem, Alfie, Thomas. x

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Taking a teddy on an adventure


Yesterday at school, Thomas won star of the week. His prize was to take home the classroom mascot for the weekend which is a little hedgehog named Ham. Ham comes with a scrap book in which the children have to record where they went on an adventure together. I think this is a great idea but a little stressful for us parents as it quite tricky to think of somewhere great to go. After much discussion, the children and I decided on our nearby aquarium in Plymouth, Devon. We took many photos around Plymouth Hoe, the Barbican and the aquarium which I wanted to share with you. Also there is a little video of our amazing day on the bottom of this post. 

Windy day
The Mayflower steps
The cutest ice cream van and coffee shack. 
Eating chips hoping the seagulls don't attack. 

Plymouth Aquarium

Thank you for visiting.

Gem, Alfie and Thomas. xx

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Cheap Halloween craft ideas for the kids.


My favourite time of the year is nearly upon us, Halloween!!! As I am a single mum, I am struggling with money at the moment so I took to Pinterest for some cheap, fun decorating ideas to make with the children.  There are so many great ideas and I wanted to share with you some of the things we have selected to make. Most of these are all made from stuff you might find around the home so ideal for low budgets.

Food makes: 

Potato Stamp found on roaming rose.

These Dracula teeth cookies are amazing and seem so easy to make. You can either choose to bake your own cookies or use shop brought ones. The teeth are marshmallows, the fangs are almonds and the blood is simple red food colouring.

From Crafts Direct

Using toilet rolls:

From Princess Pinky 

All you need here is your old toilet roll holders and some glow sticks. These are great for freaking out the neighbours.

From Mollymoocrafts

These toilet rolls cat are such an easy and fun idea. Simply squish down the top to form the ears then paint, stick and add some pipe cleaners.

Party Treats 


Simply wrap some pipe cleaners around a lollipop stick and add some eyes. These are great to hand out to the local children when they come knocking at your door.


To make these fab party favours, use surgical gloves and fill with a variety of sweets. Finish off with a spider ring and close with a cute bow.

These are just a few Halloween craft ideas that we are definitely going to try out this year. I hope these helped too.

Gemma xx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Taking the ferry to The Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Devon.


I wanted to blog about our first trip to Plymouth's Royal William yard which happened back in August.  Our main reason for wanting to visit was to take advantage of the ferry you can take to get to the yard from the main city. 

The Royal William yard ferry starts its journey from The barbican and costs £3 for adults/ £1.50 per child each way, which is not bad really considering the time it takes to get to its destination. 

Smeatons Tower on Plymouth Hoe

A cheeky photo.

Photo credit: Wikipedia
When we docked at The Royal William Yard I was very taken back on the beauty of the place. The yard is an old Navy victualling depot which has now been handed over for public use. It has a mixture of apartments, restaurants, businesses, and leisure facilities. Speaking to family and friends though it seems people mainly visit for the amazing restaurants and bars that are here. The most famous of these is the River Cottage owned by top chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. I have heard great things about his restaurant. One place that did really catch my eye though was The Royal William Yard Bakery.  Its every tea and cake lovers dream place. The bakery is set in an old slaughterhouse and features long communal benches. I guess this is to encourage a bit of social interaction. The food is served canteen style so you basically help yourself and apparently tell the server what you ate when it comes to paying.  I cant give a review as we didn't sit and eat there but definitely need to head back there soon to try some of their cakes.

Royal William Yard Bakery

After a brief walk around, soaking in both the sights and the sun, the boys were desperate to get back onto the ferry. The sun was setting so made for a lovely cool trip back to the main city.
heading home.
Thanks for visiting.

Gemma, Alfie, and Tom. x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Crabbing on the Barbican for Plymouth's seafood festival 2014

Hello ✩

On the 28th September Plymouth was holding its annual sea food festival on the Barbican. I love the events that Plymouth hold throughout the year. They are always well organised with lots to see and do. The kids especially enjoy them. The festival was held over the entire weekend but I decided to go and visit on the sunday. This was because our favourite cafe on the Barbican, The Boathouse, was holding a crabbing competition. I have never taken the children crabbing before so I was so excited to take them. 

Before we got to the competition we walked around the many gorgeous smelling food stalls and watched a cookery show from the main stage. Also there was a tall ship docked on the harbour called The Phoenix which the boys mistook for a pirate ship so were very excited to be able to walk around it and take hold of the wheel. 

The Crab competition started at around 1pm and cost £6 each which included a line, bait and bucket. To be honest I had never been crabbing before despite living in the West country for most of my life. It took me around 15 minutes to figure out how the line worked and how much bait to use to catch the crabs. Of course the first time we threw the lines in, the boys managed to tangle themselves up causing thirty minutes of me trying to untangle them. I came very close to chucking the crab lines in the bin but hooray I managed to free the lines for a second try at catching some crabs. An hour past, no crabs. Others had already filled up their buckets. I felt like a disappointment to my sons and Thomas had started getting frustrated and upset. The Boathouse cafe's fisherman was walking about and had noticed we were having some very bad luck. He figured out that our lines were not weighted enough to rest on the bottom of the sea, so our bait was floating. Crabs are crawlers not swimmers so they couldn't reach it. 

After the very helpful fisherman had fixed our lines, we caught our first crab!

Soon we had four crabs but that was nothing compared to what other families were getting. We were definitely not going to win in the heaviest bucket category. Other categories included prettiest crab and biggest crab. We were actually catching some massive crabs but these kept falling off the bait as I lifted them out of the water much to my frustration. Maybe we had a chance at prettiest. Our third crab was actually quite beautiful. It had emerald green symmetrical markings. When the time was up after two hours we had our buckets weighed. Of course we didn't win but we had so much fun which is all that matters. The other categories were not being judged for another hour after it had finished. We didn't wait to see who won but I found out from the local paper, the family sat next to us had won prettiest crab so well done to them. The boys were tired so we sent the crabs back to their homes in the sea and headed home. 

I also made a short video of the day if you would like to check it out below.

Thank you for visiting.

Gemma, Alfie and Thomas xx