We decided to head to the winter woods to turn it into bloom…

We took an old sheet..

We laid the sheet on the floor and covered the edges with fallen leaves & twigs beneath a ring of huge towering redwoods…

The floor was aplenty with pine cones…

So we decided our blooms wood be Pinecone flowers..

A forest of them standing tall…

We stood back and admired our work…

And then I got a little higher as Noah played in the Pinecone garden in the presence of a beautiful blue sky whilst the rain fell above 😉 



Here’s some fun ways to enjoy food!

Dip spoons in melted chocolate and add sprinkles, leave to cool and then enjoy with hot chocolate.

Make some hedgehog bread rolls.

Have cake for breakfast.

Have a glow in the dark tea.

Make a building site pudding with crushed up biscuits, angel delight and chocolate chunks.

Place small toys in the breakfast cereal to enjoy a blast from the past.

Make some gruesome gingerbread men with some ready made gingerbread men and icing.

Make a movie night nacho tray with an old cupcake box.

Make Vienetta shakes.

Make a giant Toblerone from cardboard and use it as a team building exercise, once they’ve carried it to a location reward them with real Toblerones.

Make Teddy bear toast with peanut butter or chocolate spread, bananas and raisins.

Make a snowman yogurt with raisins.

Make a giant cardboard gingerbread house to enjoy a real gingerbread house in.

Make teddy bear porridge with bananas. Raisins and chocolate sprinkles.

Have eggs for breakfast!

Make a fruit pizza, use grated chocolate as the cheese.

Have a deceptive tea!

Decorate your own egg cups.

Serve your food in something different.

Enjoy hot chocolate in the woods.

Dip breadsticks in melted hcjocolate and sprinkles to make edible sparklers.

Make a tin can marshmallow cooker.

Enjoy some monster cookies with your monsters.

Have a back to from dinner.

Put jokes in their packed lunches.

Use marker pens to make a midnight snack tray. Tray are £1 in IKEA.

Enjoy cake with a beautiful view.

Cook mini marshmallows over tea lights .

Buy apogee cakes for approx 60p each at the supermarket and have a cake decorating competition.

Make a cake that looks like a burger with chocolate sponge and vanilla sponge and ready roll icing and strawberries and have a Wonkalicious dinner.

Make picnic pots with jars.

Have a breakfast picnic.

Make fairy donuts.

Make different shaped pizzas.

Make a jelly baby football table using a box and skewers.

Teach the kids how to make a cup of tea.

Make a chocolate brownie pizza using a brownie mix, Creme fraiche and fruit.

Make basic biscuit into personalised yummy gifts.

Write table manners on eggs with permanent marker pens.

Make chocolate sweetie pizzas.

Have a prehistoric pudding with crumbled chocolate, angel delight and sprinkles.

Make an edible beach pudding with digestive biscuits mixes with butter.

Leave bedtime snacks on their pillows.

Use an empty plastic bottle to plant cress and make a cress hedgehog.

Make a Zingy with a carrot.

Teach the teenager drinks awareness.

Use paint pallets as plates.

Use Creme eggs to make owls.

Have a man versus food tea time.

Head out with all the makings for baguettes and have a baguette battle making competition.

Make a fruity rainbow.

Have a wonkilcious dinner and serve cottage pies in cupcake cases with tomatoes in the top. Use ready roll pastry and fruit to make pizzas. Make a burger cake. Finish by printing off wonka bar covers for bars of chocolate with golden tickets in.

Take cake outdoors.

Make sponge cakes. You can buy cheap packs of sponges in pound stores.

Make a yummy log fire with chocolate rolls and brandy snaps.

Make mud pies.

Make watermelon faces, kids love reviving their own watermelon as a gift!

Pick your own dinner.

Fool the kids by filling Oreos with toothpaste 🙂


Who said food’s not fun?


A message for mothers..

They come in all forms, they’re not stereotypical. The only thing I think that really makes somebody a mother is her ability to exude love. That doesn’t always necessarily come with childbirth, mums can be picked up along the way, gifted to us by fate, born to us from the shadows as a ray of sunshine within a storm. Anyone has the ability to be a mother, if that is truly what her heart desires then she’ll exude maternalness & it’ll be fated as a gift to be preciously accepted by somebody along her path & in turn passed on. 

If you have arms that accept and nurture, a voice that soothes and reassures, eyes that show belonging or an ear that will listen unjudged then you are a mother.

If you can heal with a kiss, condone with a tone, serve up content with praise then you are a mother.

If you fear you are faltering, worry you could do better, think of them often when they’re absent then you are a mother.

If you are proud & your heart exudes love, then you are a mother. 

Motherhood isn’t always a natural process & it does not carry shoes that fit all… but anyone can be awarded the role, it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear, you can walk barefoot just as long as your heart exudes love… 

Anyone can be a mother…

If the shoe fits.

Mums come in many disguises. 

Some mothers are fleeting in their company but their influence lasts a lifetime. 

Anyone can be a mother.

For my momentary foster mother whom I’m sure has no idea of her lasting effects, a natural mother that exudes love..


IMG_0953Toddlers are fab and it’s such a beautiful & busy age, It’s a wonderful stage full of exploration & discovery of the world around them as they take wonder in the simplest of things…splashing in puddles, finding worms, climbing into dens made under the kitchen table.
A time of learning through play at a slow speed & boundless energies & bucket loads of curiosities in tow.
But this all passes in the blink of an eye & before you know it you’re helping them into school clothes, loosening the grip on their hand & watching them as they adventure off into nursery school as you’re left wondering where those toddler years disappeared too.
So here’s our easy guide on ways to slow down & make the most of those pre nursery toddler times with some easy activities & mini adventuring that will help you make the most of every second you spend together.

By far the most important thing is to slow down, let them lead, get down to their level and try to see the world through their eyes. Take pleasure in the simplest of things and move at their pace….which quite often is excruciatingly slow & repetitive but will bring you the most rewards.
You’ll start to see everyday things that are often overlooked by our need to get things down.

Outdoor hunts are great for turning a walk into an adventure! Make some easily identifiable lists of things to find, here’s some ideas..

*A worm
*A snail
*A spider
*A wood louse
Take a jar with you to put your bugs in, toddlers love filling things and will have fab fun filling it with twigs and grass….don’t forget to put a few holes in the top for your bugs to breath.

*An aeroplane
*A bus
*A train
*A bird


IMG_0926You could even go on a train ride or the bus!

*Snow drops
*A feather


IMG_0950Take a bag and bring home some of the things you find to make a picture.


*A Robin
*A Magpie
*A duck
*A Seagull



IMG_0956Don’t forget to write your lists with permanent marker pens on a piece of cardboard to make them hard wearing or laminate them to use again and again. You could also make some binoculars with toilet roll tubes and string.
Let them help with the laundry, they’ll take pleasure in being helpful, they can carry some of your load to the machine, they’ll take joy stuffing it into the drum or pulling it out when the cycles finishes.
Make a low washing line for them with string and let them peg out the socks.

IMG_0939Get them helping with the dustpan & brush, it may mean that the dirt you sweep is quite often brushed around the room and has to be recollected but the enjoyment they’ll take far outweighs the efforts it will take to do the job again yourself.
Make up a spring cleaning tray for them, fill it with dusters, spray bottles filled with water (if you’re brave!), rubber gloves & cheaply bought dustpans & brushes.
Pound stores are great for supplies.

IMG_0930Let them help with dinner, toddlers love to put the vegetables you’ve chopped up into pans!
Set out a tub of soapy water, a towel & some plastic dinnerware & watch them have a wail of a time washing up!

IMG_0946Give them a bucket of soapy water and a sponge and let them clean there toys in a toy wash stationor bike/car wash in the garden.


A puddle suit is a great investment, it means you can head out in the rain and jump, splash, wade and even sit in puddles and keep dry!

IMG_0947Take out some empty margarine tubs to use as sailboats in puddles or make boats with corks & elastic bands.

IMG_0938-0If it’s windy you can take a carrier bag tied to a piece of string for some carrier bag kite flying.

IMG_0929Searching for elastic bands that the postman has dropped is often fruitful.

An old sheet draped over the table can make for hours of fun, picnicking underneath in a den filled with cushions & a torch!



IMG_0942But don’t stop there! Head out to the woods with your old sheets and a packet of pegs and make some outdoor dens.

IMG_0944It really is that simple! All you need is time & the realisation that that time is played out in slow motion for a toddler and cherishing it is easy if we slow down with them, after all you’ll soon be wondering how that time passed by so quickly and wishing you had a rewind or a pause button….

Make the most of every second & forget about the school uniforms til the last minute cos those days will whizz by in the blink of an eye too…


IMG_5651.JPGToday we went on a wildlife adventure at Magor Marsh to blow away some cobwebs, do a bit of bird spotting & make use of the winter wildlife crafts which were on offer. Magor Marsh is run by the Wildlife trust and a great place to visit to explore the marshlands, woodlands & spot lots of wildlife in their natural habitats.
The marsh is free to walk around but has event in which the children are invited to, for a small incredibly reasonable fee, to take part in activities and experience a hands on taste of wildlife.
Today was an open day with a charge of £1.50 per child which included several different craft activities, nature trails, pond dipping, toasting marshmallows around the forest campfire and a meet and greet with a hedgehog!
Here’s how we got on…

IMG_5659.JPGwe started with our activity sheets..
and our first stop was to build our own birds nest..


IMG_5657.JPGwe spotted swans

IMG_5655.JPGwe walked across logs

IMG_5656.JPGwe adventured over boardwalks through the marshes in search of the bird hide..



IMG_5654.JPGwe found fungi in the woodlands

IMG_5648.JPGwe toasted marshmallows around the campfire in the forest


IMG_5635.JPGwe explored the marshes



IMG_5634.JPGNoah defeated log piles..

IMG_5647.JPGand we headed back to the activity centre..


IMG_5645.JPGat the activity centre we did some nature crafts…
We made bird feeders..


IMG_5640.JPGwe explored the nature table..

IMG_5642.JPGwe liked the swan egg!!

IMG_5643.JPGwe even met a hedgehog..

IMG_5641.JPGour favourite part was making a really beautiful but simple wicker heart..


IMG_5636.JPGwe had a great afternoon at Magor Marsh and although we visit regularly to explore the outdoors it was the first time we have attended an event…£1.50 was a bargain and we’ll definitely be going again.


IMG_5587.JPGAs part of my mini adventuring with toddler Noah, we’ve been doing some treasure hunting!
Yesterday & today we hunted for ‘Things that move’ & found some great things on our venture…
Here’s how we got on..
Yesterday we found an awesome truck!

And today we headed to the Forest of Dean to search for tractors, trains and birds…

DSC_0611.jpgwe found tractors at a farm machinery distributor on Catbrook road, Tintern. (The tractors are visible from the woodland path that runs alongside it but we entered the sale shop to ask if we could take a closer look)





IMG_5580.JPGwe followed our list to try and find some trains…. We ended up finding one at the Old Station in Tintern..




IMG_5581.JPGand we even found a bird too…


All to find now is an aeroplane and a boat….


IMG_5539.JPGAs part of our ongoing mini adventuring with toddler Noah I decided to start on some simple hunts for him, our first started with a simple hunt for Spring…
We found all on our list apart from the Snowdrops which we then went on to discover on our school run walk…
Here’s how our hunt went..

IMG_5521.JPGwe picked up some bread on the way for the ducks..

IMG_5522.JPGNoah wanted to feed the squirrels, but they kept their distance..

IMG_5524.JPGwe found our first natural treasure from our list!!
It was a strange looking Pinecone..

IMG_5523.JPGwe checked it from our list..

IMG_5525.JPGthen we found our feather..

IMG_5526.JPGwe then headed to the lake in the hope of finding our ducks…
We found lots of frozen puddles on the way..

IMG_5532.JPGand when we got to the lake that was frozen too… But it didn’t stopped Noahs ability and optimism in trying to entice out some ducks..

IMG_5528.JPGand he waited

and waited

and threw more bread…

and then they came…..


And they came in hoards 😊

IMG_5531.JPGwith our bread devoured we carried on with our hunt and stumbled upon a fantastic tree which we decided was a mythical Octopi Tree 😉……Noah faced it full on..


IMG_5535.JPGafter lots of exploration he retreated with plenty of mud in tow..

Our first toddler hunt mini adventure went well, Noah had a fab time and bought home some lovely treasures..


IMG_5488.JPGYou gotta love chocolate dipping spoons! And they are so easy to make..
Here’s how…
Things you need..

IMG_5482.JPGmelt the chocolate in a bowl placed over boiling water

IMG_5494.JPGonce melted we dipped in our spoons

IMG_5493.JPGand added our choices of sprinkles..
We used a potato to hold our spoons and placed them in the fridge to set..


IMG_5491.JPGwhile we waited for the spoons to set we licked the bowl 😊

They turned out fab..

IMG_5486.JPGand passed the taste test too….


By familydaystriedandtested Posted in food Tagged