Sleeping Through Yet?

A mum of two still trying to get the balance right

Fairy tub


The start of our fairy garden

I’ve always been a bit secretly intrigued by anything fairy like. I’ve never actually seen a fairy but my late nan claimed to have seen some in woods near to where she lived. Whenever we drive past those woods I always like to think that maybe there are fairies dancing there (though it’s now turned into Tree top adventures!). So when we went to Coombe Mill over New Years and got to have a brief look in their lovely fairy garden (it rained a lot) it put the thought into my head of how we could have a little one in our garden at home.

Our garden is a bit of a hill but at the top far corner is a bit of a messy area that could do with something to brighten it up. So, with the agreement of my husband (as I will definitely need his help to tidy it up!) this is where our fairy garden will be. Come the drier, brighter weather I want to get the area dug up, cleared of weeds, fences mended and logs cut up for little seats. As my husband needs to buy a new chainsaw he will be quite happy to cut up the wood.

I’m hoping it will be a great place for the children to be able to play safely using their imagination out in the air. I’m also hoping that we can spend some time doing some crafty things inside to put in the fairy garden.

As a start to our fairy garden though I wanted to make a container with the children at the weekend. I’d bought a few bits and pieces over the last few weeks that I thought might work in our fairy garden. One fab item was a ceramic mushroom from a pound shop that I was really pleased to find!

We set to in the garden late on Sunday afternoon with the children keen to help with tipping the compost into the container. Quite a bit ended up on the patio surprisingly.

Fairy tub start

Childrens garden tools

children’s garden tools

We planted some blue bells and daffodils in it along with some little animals that we’d found at the garden centre, so it’s like a little miniature wood area.

The children helped put the animals and mushroom in place and seemed quite happy with end result. Unfortunately as the light was fading there wasn’t any time to actually play with it. Hopefully they will be able to play with it soon when we get some more opportunities to get out in the garden. Once we’ve got our fairy garden ready the tub will go in it, ready for playing with.

The tub is looking pretty full already so we may have to make another soon!

Fairy tub making

Children helping put the compost in the tub

Fairy tub

Fairy tub

We’ve got a long way to go to get our fairy garden looking anywhere near as lovely as the one at Coombe Mill but I’m hoping that it’s something we can keep adding to over the next few years!

Fairy garden at Coombe Mill

Taking inspiration from the fairy garden at Coombe Mill


Life Unexpected
A Cornish Mum
Coloured rice play


Coloured Rice Play

This has been an activity we keep going back to for a few years now. It is so easy, cheap and simple to get ready and the children will play with the coloured rice for a good while. It’s also really easy to tidy up once they have finished with it. Any rice on the floor gets hoovered up (although this is easier when its on a hard floor rather than carpet or rugs!).

Coloured rice play

Charley (nearly 4) plays with it more than Bodhi (20 months) at the moment but the older he gets the more he understands  that he can play with it rather than just putting bits in his mouth or his other favourite is to swipe it onto the floor!

All you need to make coloured rice is:

  • white rice
  • food colouring
  • baking tray
  • box or big plastic container

I buy the cheapest rice I can find in the supermarket (Sainsburys sell some for about 45p a bag) and spread it out thinly on a baking tray or similar. Just add a few drops of the food colouring to the rice and mix around with a spoon until all the rice is evenly covered. Then leave overnight for the rice to dry. Give it a good mix so there are not any pieces stuck together and pour into the container of your choice. I also add in some extra white rice as well to bulk it up.

Coloured rice - white rice

Coloured rice - yellow, green and pink

The latest coloured rice I made was using three colours pink, yellow and green. Although the green and yellow both looked pretty similar. We already had some blue rice in a container so I added the new colours to the blue to make a fuller, more colourful box.

Coloured rice container

In the past I have just made one coloured rice and added other items into the box of the same colour such as beads, feather, buttons etc. The options are endless.

Blue coloured rice play

Charley really enjoys pouring the rice into different containers and pretending to cook with it so I make sure there are plenty of bowls and spoons to keep her occupied. Charley in particular really enjoys playing with the rice, pouring, spilling, spooning, using her imagination as to what she is cooking. It’s great that once they have finished playing with it the lid goes back on until they want to play with it again. It also looks pretty I think!

Coloured rice playing

Do you have any simple crafty play ideas that the children always go back to? I’d love to know in the comments below!


Devils Punch Bowl horizon


Fresh air at Devils Punch Bowl

We had one of those nights. One where you lose out on about 3 hours sleep and have to eat like a pig all the next day just to feel slightly human, rather than hungover (even though unfairly no alcohol has passed your lips!). The cause of the hungover feeling is feeling refreshed and EXTRA super human after a lay-in of two hours that means she now wants to go to nursery, resulting in a super speedy breakfast and a slightly unhealthy packed lunch, and then a quick whizz round to the nursery (where I’m sure the staff think you are hungover and have just overslept – as dearest daughter does not look unwell or sleepy in the slightest!) I therefore must get out of the house with the toddler in the air otherwise I will collapse on the sofa, so we head to the Devils Punch Bowl in Hindhead, a National Trust site. (And breath!)

It turned out to be a lovely sunny morning, although there was a sharp wind and therefore pretty cool in the shade. I only intended on having a little stroll with Bodhi as he is pretty slow at walking, still having to look at all puddles, passer-bys and four-legged friends in this new found stage of toddlerhood.

Nice fresh air!

Stroll at Devils Punch Bowl

However, on such a bright sunny day it didn’t matter as the view at the Devils Punch Bowl is pretty stunning so with Bodhi having lots of stops there was plenty of opportunity for me to admire the views and keep snapping away.

Devils Punch Bowl view

Devils Punch Bowl horizon

Strolling around the Devils Punch Bowl

Blue skies and trees at Devils Punch Bowl

It always amazes me here as the ‘old’ A3 used to pass through the Devils Punch Bowl but you can still make out the old road form. I had many a journey as a child passing through the Devils Punch Bowl and Hindhead on the A3 going to the coast, but now the ‘new’ A3 goes under it in a mile long tunnel.

Old A3 Devils Punch Bowl

Bodhi had a good little wander, occasionally needing a pick up when the wind was quite strong but mostly strolling along. The route we took was short and flat, just perfect for a little stroll with a toddler. There are various other walking routes at the Devils Punch Bowl, one of which is a gently sloping path which is great for children to use their bikes and scooters on. There are the occasional car and fast bike that you have to look out for though!

Bodhi strolling

That was the morning cobwebs sorted, I just had the afternoon to get through!

What do you do when you’ve had a bad night? Do you have favourite places to go to blow the cobwebs away?

A Cornish Mum

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Charley first outing


My Captured Moment – First baby outings

I was going through old photos the other day and came across the photos of Charleys first outing as a newborn, when she was a teeny, tiny (crying) baby! She looks so tiny in her new cardigan that she is yet to grow into. It was 6 days after her birth that we managed our first trip out. I remember asking the midwife if it was ok to take her out, that there was no amount of time she had to stay indoors for. I think she thought I was a bit mad. I can’t remember where we walked to but it probably wasn’t far as she fed constantly when she a newborn. I know I was very glad to get out and have some fresh air. 6 days couped up, not sure how I’d cope doing that now!

Charley first outing

6 days after birth

First trip out in the pram

First trip out in the pram

I couldn’t leave out Bodhi’s first outing. This was a trip to The Devils Punch Bowl and it looks like he didn’t even have the comfort of being in a pram. How things change for the second baby! This time it was day 4, a bit quicker than with Charley.  With little sleep on the Friday night after Bodhi was born I was wondering how we’d cope with a newborn and a demanding toddler over the weekend. But by Tuesday I was ready to have our first trip out as a family of four. I can’t say it was very comfortable walking! but it was much needed again. So different from out first venture out with Charley when we were anxious about how she was in the pram – too hot, too cold, comfortable etc.

He looks so tiny as a baby as well, even though he was a fair size when born. I love how cheeky Charley looks in this!

Body first trip out

What are your memories of your first outings with your newborns?

Running in Lavender