✨Last year we discovered an elf.
We’d headed to the woods to decorate some Christmas hanging biscuits to hang in the trees for the woodland animal to nibble on.
We heard about how Christmas sleigh pulling reindeer practice their flight skills in the woodland in the run up to their big job for Santa on Christmas Eve….they are very elusive but we thought we’d go and see if we could catch a glimpse…
We decorated our biscuitsIMG_4684.JPGand hung them in the trees for the elusive reindeers..

IMG_4685.JPGand although we didn’t catch a glimpse of the Christmas reindeer we did find some sparkly poo which we were convinced was evidence that the reindeer had been there! (I mixed plasterscine with glitter and dropped it whilst the kids weren’t looking..shhhh)

IMG_4680.JPGand then we found her!


IMG_4683.JPGwe reached her down and took her home….we knew nothing about her, where she had come from and what she was doing in the woods…..but we were soon to find out…


IMG_4679.JPGThe next day we visited Santa at Clearwell caves and as we were leaving his grotto we noticed a present under his tree addressed to ‘Mila’ (left there secretly by me!)

IMG_4674.JPGwe took the present home with us and opened it..

IMG_4676.JPGit contained a wishes jar to fill with festive wishes..and a letter from the North Pole explaining that the elf was a Christmas woodland elf and had been in the woods helping the sleigh reindeers practise for Christmas Eve when they got disturbed….The elf had got left behind!


IMG_4673.JPGthe elf would be staying with us until the reindeers returned on Christmas Eve.
We soon found out that the elf was called ELFINA after we awoke one morning to discover she was crafty elf..




IMG_4614.JPGWe arrived home one day to find she had transformed the bathroom into a Christmas grotto!



IMG_4647.JPGshe even turned the breakfast milk into a yummy hot chocolate treat..

IMG_4623-0.JPGwe think they must have been missing her at the North Pole because we stumbled upon a ‘LOST’ poster whilst we were out walking..

IMG_4625.JPGand then one night a very interesting thing appeared under the Christmas tree! It was a North Portal…

IMG_4627.JPGit turned out that the portal was a direct link of communication between the North Pole & Elfina..

IMG_4643.JPGwe awoke one morning to find the beacon of light inside…a light to guide Santa to Elfina on Christmas Eve and take her home..

IMG_4628.JPGElfina made herself at home in the meantime..


IMG_4629.JPGshe even issued he kids with a behavioural notice one morning

IMG_4621.JPGand gave them a warning that they may get coal…..which they did

IMG_4622.JPGwe found her at the beach one day with a thinking bottle for us..(This was on the anniversary of the death of a sibling)


IMG_4672.JPGand we found her on Milas coat peg at school!

IMG_4633.JPGshe had lots of festive fun with us and was quite pesky but lovable



IMG_4632.JPGshe even got others involved in her peskiness…

IMG_4620.JPGwe woke up Christmas Day to discover Elfina and had gone and only the Portal remained…but she had left us a very special package


But it wasn’t the last we saw of Elfina, she regularly pops back during the year, appearing and disappearing in the blink of an eye…she came at Easter..




IMG_4687-0.JPGshe visited whilst I was in hospital


IMG_4613.JPGand she pops back leaving presents every now and them…she left ballet shoes

IMG_4688.JPGone night she even appeared with a pack of cards from the North Pole with Milas design on it! (I photocopied a drawing she had made after she went to bed)

IMG_4604.JPGshe fleets in and out of our home..
✨We woke up today and she was perched on a tree in the garden which was full of Ferrero Rocher!

IMG_4669.JPGβœ¨πŸ’–πŸŽ„β„οΈIt’s lovely having Elfina around…
✨You can follow more of her adventures & antics with us along with bucket loads of childhood magic on facebook…please come and see us!https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725


You gotta love Frozen! Full of magic & enchantment & a lovely film, the kids would watch it on a loop if they could.. But what if you could recreate that magic in the real world?
That’s exactly what we did!!
We found the ideal place in Snowdonia national park for an enchanting walk to the valley of the living rocks on an adventure in search of rock trolls….

Our walk took place at a place called ‘Torrent walk’ in a fantastic valley carved out by the ice age, with rock trolls galore…
Our walk was approx 2.5 miles / 4km
and took us a leisurely 1.5 hours, the path was unsuitable for pushchairs/wheelchairs and quite steep in places and could get quite muddy in wet weather.
Start / Finish: A lay-by near the village of Brithdir on the B4416 (SH 761 182)
Relevant Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL 23 (Cadair Idris and Llyn Tegid)
From Dolgellau, follow the A470 southbound. After around two miles, turn left towards Brithdir (B4416) and over a small bridge (Pont ar Ddibyn). In around 200m you will come to a lay-by on the left with a waymarker marking the path, this is where we started and finished our walk.

Here’s how our magical real life Frozen adventure went…

IMG_8530.JPGwe started in the lay by heading down into the trees following the arrows towards the valley…

IMG_8528.JPGit wasn’t long before we started spotting signs of rock trolls..

IMG_8529.JPGwe took time to explore in the trees and sat quietly to watch for any rock movements..



IMG_8526.JPGthe trees got taller as we headed down into the valley and the abundance of rocks grew…we sang Frozen songs along the way…




IMG_8521.JPGthere was lots of evidence of fairies too..



IMG_8519.JPGwe walked following the path stopping to inspect rocks as we went until we came to an old mill at the bottom of the valley, here we walked over a small bridge to cross the river before heading back up the valley along the other side of the river….here our adventure really started to come to life…


IMG_8516.JPGwe headed through the gateway entrance to the valley of the living rocks…

IMG_8515.JPGwe were greeted by a magical world of rock trolls nestled along the banks of the river..

IMG_8514.JPGand we made ourselves at home dancing and singing and stopping as we walked along to quickly look back for movements…



We stayed a while before saying goodbye to our new friends πŸ˜‰

We followed the magical path of our make believe Frozen set back to the car with a promise to return on a proper frozen & snowy winters day πŸ™‚




We headed to the beach for a magical adventure searching for lost mermaid jewels..
Before we went I had been given some decorative plastic diamonds which can be bought in home ware stores or eBay. I placed them secretively in rock pools & wrote a message on a rock for the kids to find…

I wrote a message on a rock when the kids weren’t looking to install a magical element of mermaids…

IMG_8457.JPGThe kids then scoured through rock pools..

IMG_8461.JPGand then the first jewel was found..


IMG_8460.JPGfollowed by the discovery of a mermaid sponge made out of rock..

IMG_8456.JPGthey looked to the sea in the hope of a glimpse of mermaids playing in the waves and we’re sure we saw the tail of one disappearing beneath the rolling waves!

IMG_8454.JPGNoah even spent some time calling out to them..

IMG_8453.JPGthen we found some more! 5 altogether!!

IMG_8459.JPGour loot bag was full of shells, pebbles, driftwood & diamonds!

And then the most amazing and unbelievable thing happened which threw me….one of the children came to me with a jewel they had found but this time it was not a jewel I had secretly dropped!! On the vast stretch of beach whilst searching for mermaid jewels the children had ironically and crazily stumbled upon a diamond amongst the rocks that I definitely had not placed!! A million to one chance finding of a truly magical gem πŸ™‚
(Not sure if it’s real but the magic most certainly is & maybe it’s just a case of believing!)