Take a Moment – Rebecca Stidson Q&A

Hey friends,

I want to introduce you to Becky.  A good friend of mine & a fantastically talented local artist.  Through chatting she offered to do a painting of our home with personal touches included, like our cat & the children playing in the garden.  We received our painting just before Christmas & we’re thrilled with it!!  It totally encompasses everything we love about our home.

Rebecca Stidson Artist

To throw the spotlight on Becky & her amazing artwork I asked if I could interview her, I’m thrilled she said yes.

Q. Hi Becky, first tell us about yourself & where you come from?

A. I live in stoke sub Hamdon which is the village I have grown up in. I love living in the countryside and having all the beautiful areas nearby like Ham Hill.  I paint a lot of pictures of the local landscape which I sell through galleries and exhibitions.  A lot of my paintings are commissioned by customers who want a special painting of their house or specific landscape.  I also create a range of bespoke personalised gifts for children that I sell through various shows and fairs throughout the year.

Q. When did you first realise art was something you were particularly good at?

A. I think I realised when I was at school as I enjoyed the subject and I had a great art teacher who inspired me and really helped build my confidence.

Q. Who realised the potential in you to paint professionally?

A. Throughout my education I have been very lucky and I have had lots of teachers that gave me lots of encouragement to do well so I think they realised my potential.

Q. What made you pursue art as a career?

A. I have always really enjoyed art since I was little and it was a natural progression for me to further my study in art and design.  I started selling my paintings while I was living in Australia and found there was a real market for my style of work, which built up my confidence and gave me the encouragement I needed to set up my own business when I returned to the UK.

Q. Who is your favourite artist?

A. My husband recently bought me a beautiful print for our wedding anniversary, It was by a local artist that I have admired for a long time.  Her name is Yvonne Coomber and her work is truly amazing.  Her use of beautiful glowing colours and the energy in her work is very inspiring.  I am saving up for an original!!

Q. What inspires you the most?

A. My children, family and friends.  The beautiful landscapes around where I live.

Q. Is art part of your personality?

A. Definiately!  I love looking at art, making art and sharing ideas and making art with others!

Q. How do you paint, what techniques do you use?

A. I use a variety of media in my work, but mainly use acrylic ink and a glue based medium that I pipe on a bit like icing!  I enjoy experimenting!

Q. Where can we buy your work?

A. You can view a lot of my work on my website at www.rebeccastidson.co.uk and can buy direct from myself.  If you want to commission a special painting of your house, landscape etc  I can come out and visit you if you are local or I work well from photos if you live further away.  A few local galleries stock my work including Blue Lias Gallery in Lyme Regis and Sherborne, Martock Gallery, 303 Gallery and First View Gallery at Stourhead.

Q. What would be your idea of a perfect day?

A. A Summer’s day out with my family….maybe down at the coast.

Q. What five words would you use to describe yourself?

A. Happy, creative, eccentric, sensitive, sociable

Q. What would your friends say about you?

A. I don’t know, I hope they would say good stuff!

Q. What is your best attribute?

A. I’m a good listener!

Q. Finally, tell us about your favourite painting & why you love it?

A. There have been many paintings that I have loved creating.  My customers have such great ideas for paintings which helps me a lot!   I remember painting a beautiful image as a surprise wedding present.  They were getting married at River Cottage.  So I painted the main cottage with all of the aspects of the wedding going on around it, the hog roast, tea and cake, the jazz band and welly wanging!  I guess it was a very special gift to commemorate a special day.  There are loads of paintings that I have loved and it is always sad saying goodbye to them.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today.

Rebecca Stidson

Click HERE to find out more about Becky’s work.

Until the next time friends, have a great day!

Lizzie xo

Five on Friday – It’s Been Awhile

3a538-5onfridaylogo-final-forblogsidemenu_edited-1_zps7fcf6068Oh Five on Friday, how I’ve missed you!

Did you know that this simple series was the inspiration I needed to start my blog?  I first came across a blog called Hello! Happiness a couple of years ago when looking for quotes & visuals for a home group session on happiness.

As I started reading through these blogs, with the girls sharing their lives & loves online, I just felt so inspired to share my love of the simple things in life with you all.  Check out April, Christina, Darci & Natasha too!

Did you also know it takes me about 2 hours to produce each post?  If you know how awful I am at organising my time you’d know that means each one is a little miracle!!

Here are my FIVE loves recently:

O N E – BIRTHDAYS GALORE

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Oh I do love a celebration, my sweet Grampy turned 101 !!!  We had an afternoon tea party at the family farm, it was so great to see my uncles, aunts, cousins & little second cousins.

My sister & bro in law were down for the party too which was on Rosie’s actual birthday, I made her a funfetti cake & got her gifts from Monsoon, I love their accessories & stationery I think they always make great gifts!

My little Sweet Bea turned 2 beginning of March, we threw her a sweet confetti themed party.

I found a great little online party shop called Pretty Little Party Shop where I got the Tablecloth, Straws, Bottles, Napkins, Plates, Gold Stickers, Vintage Paper Bags.  I loved how the party turned out.

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sb funfetti party

TWO – FUNFETTI

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I had a board on Pinterest for Sweet Bea’s birthday, I just loved the whole funfetti idea.  So colourful & vibrant just like beabea.

I made her a funfetti cake from this Betty Crocker cake mix & used Betty Crocker vanilla icing! For the bright pink middle I used Kool Aid to flavour my icing with cherry.  It was delicious! Thanks to Christina at Carolina Charm for the ideas.

For gifts we kept it fairly minimal, a ride on mouse, a bouncy ball, a pull-a-long trailer, a VTec Princess Sofia keyboard & a Makka Pakka toy with belly that changes colour!

THREE – CURLS, CURLS, CURLS

My girl has the sweetest curls, but I’ll be honest it’s sometimes hard harnessing them!  I saw these scrunchies & slides at Joules & loved them.  Jury’s out as to whether she’ll keep them in more than 5 mins!

sb curls

For her tresses we use a great brush my parents got her for her birthday called a Tangle Teezer, thoroughly recommend this product, not one tear for a tangle so far!

FOUR - OXO TOTS

oxotots

I already have an OXO Tots bowl from when I was weaning SH so when they got in touch to review a bowl & spoons, I knew I already loved the brand! We still use the bowl as it has a weighted base & the size is still right for him as SH hasn’t got a massive appetite.

This divided bowl arrived & I thought it looked a little small, not necessarily a bad thing, it is perfect for stage 2 weaning which we’re past now Sweet Bea is 2.

What I like is how versatile the bowl is, it comes with interlocking bits that turn it into more of a bowl for weaning & a lid to store leftovers!  Again, it’s weighted base keeps the bowl grounded & it’s non slip.  Really compact & easy to take out & about! I’m chuffed with it.

sb oxo tots tester

Seeing as Sweet Bea’s preferred method of feeding is her fingers I can’t really say how good the spoons are, I was impressed with the lightweight & innovative covering on the spoon though, metal against those little teeth is not right is it?! I like how they look & they’re easy to keep clean, as is the divided bowl set.

I’ll be honest I would have been thrilled if I could have had these when I was in the later stages of weaning but I’m still very happy to have these in my cupboard & I know we’ll use them.  For use from 6+ months, great quality/durability, love.

FIVE – HOSPITALITY & SRT

Oh sweet friends a little while ago I talked about having a brick wall up about hospitality, if you prayed for me (you legends!) thank you!!  I downloaded the She Reads Truth bible study on hospitality & it spoke to me.  Well, one quote really spoke to me.  ‘Hospitality is not about opening your door, it’s about opening your heart’.

SRT Hospitality

It really is as simple as that.. isn’t it??

Until the next time friends have a great day!

Lizzie xo

Don’t forget to visit my sweet hostesses & if you like this post please share! Cheers xo


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Blaze Women’s Conference New Wine Poole

Hi friends,

What an amazing weekend highlighting  to me once again that God is in the business of transforming & renewing lives.

A few months ago my sissy Rosie asked if I’d like to go to the New Wine women’s conference in Poole.  I’ve been to the Summer Conference before & loved it, so of course I jumped at the chance to spend the day with her & hear what God wanted to tell me.

The venue was THE LIGHTHOUSE in Poole, just over an hour from me. The Conference was called BLAZE 2015. My sister lives in Chichester so we met in Poole, along with Rosie’s friend Joy.

Ele Mumford’s talk really made me laugh a lot. She heads up Vineyard ministries with her husband John.  It was a privilege to hear her speak.  She’s got a real sparkle in her eye & I loved hearing her speak God’s Truth so much.

She talked about Judges 13 v 3-5:

Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” 4So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, 5lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.

I had never heard this story in my life but the way Ele spoke about Samson causing such destruction to the enemy camp & her inference that we (the 900 women) could do so much damage to the enemy fields if we were ablaze for God and his cause.  Well I think we could do quite a lot of mischief to be honest!  The theory that 900 women, set on fire for God could cause pandemonium in the enemy camps made me laugh out loud…& I agree! I say YES.  Let’s be on fire for God, let’s do some damage to the enemy when we stand up & say God is Lord of all & His ways are gracious & wonderful.

Well of course there were other speakers & lots of other great words of affirmation & encouragement.  We worshipped a God who loves us. Our name is on the palm of His hands!

I came back after hearing about my Identity & I got called quite a horrid name!  But God has immediately bought my mind back to Ele’s words, “well what do the scriptures say?”,

During the day I was also reminded of the word ‘Hallelujah’ which is a word I LOVE! It is such a joyful word & we sang it loudly on Saturday… all 900 of us!

Sunday was amazing too at my home church with 3 baptisms, all with their individual stories of transformation & how God had worked in them to bring about massive change.  My niece Liv was there also, it was so awesome to see her lovely face there.

I am so uplifted, encouraged & joyful because the BLAZE conference was awesome & Church was awesome on Sunday.

We are blessed to be part of a wider family, a family of believers that transcends the Church we attend, the Country we live in & the Culture we adopt.

Best

Lizzie XO

Embracing the Winter Break – Centre Parcs Longleat Forest

Centre Parcs Kids Hey friends,

Just before Christmas I had a brainwave.  My bestie Roberta & I had been to Centre Parcs Longleat Forest for a Spa Day at Aqua Sana & I loved it.  I know I can feel a little bit deflated in January & it can seem as if the year is stretched out before me.  So to combat this I put it to Jon to book a winter break at Centre Parcs, something we’ve never done before.  I never thought that going on holiday in the cold would offer me what I needed.

We found a great deal online as we can still go on holiday during school term, it was around £300 & we booked a 2 bed executive style forest lodge for a 4 night break in January, it’s honestly the best thing we could have done.

– Firstly we tend to take our holiday in Cornwall which is a good 2-3 hour drive, Longleat is a 45min to 1 hour drive from our house. It was the shortest & sweetest drive we’ve ever done.

– Secondly, Centre Parcs would be amazing any time of year, but going in January when everyone else was getting back into work mode felt indulgent.  It was quiet, great value (normally 3 times the price) and it got us outside being active when we’d normally have been sat inside.

– The third & most important factor was that we would be together & since we’re better together we were hooked on this place that allowed us breathing space to just be us.

When we got to Centre Parcs I was so struck by the forest, huge tall pine trees, thousands of them on a 400-acre estate.  I love pine trees.  It felt like we were a million miles from home, in a really, really good way.

Our lodge was perfect, two bed, modern, light & airy.  All on one level so totally kid friendly.  We were happy unpacking & the kids ran around the rooms squealing.

Centre Parcs Lodge

Centre Parcs Cosy Fire

Why we loved our Winter Break:

We felt like we were on an adventure with no set plans, going for a walk felt like we were being active & sporty
Prosecco/White Wine/Beer every night, we took our own!
Watching ‘Winter Watch’ on BBC , kids in bed,  wine/beer & a cosy fire
The Swimming Pool (the only activity that was free!) is quite a highlight
The Jardin Des Sports Bar with soft play area (a pub where they come serve you at your table & the kids can play AND they have balloons??? win/win/win all  round!!!)

Centre Parks Jardin des Sports

The kid friendly restaurants/Eating out
‘Treats’ sweet shop (daily top up of PEZ sweets)
The walks/forest scenery

Centre Parcs Adventure

Biking (loved it!)
The deer outside our window/being with nature

I haven’t ridden a bike in years, it’s something Jon has wanted us to do together for ages as he’s such a keen biker & although I was shaky at first I soon got into it!  We hired a trailer which the sweet kids sat in & we cycled for about 4 miles, up & down terrain & over wide boardwalks.  I only crashed once, into a fence but no harm done!

Centre Parcs Bike Confidence

Centre Parcs Biking Adventure

Centre Parcs Biking

We ate out twice & ate in the other two nights, it was a good balance for us as the restaurants are not cheap.  We loved Hucks the best, it had a great American diner vibe, kid friendly buffet & a soft play area.  The night we ate there we stayed 2 hours, I think it’s the longest we’ve ever been in a restaurant with the kids before.

Centre Parcs Dexters

Dexters Kitchen

Centre Parcs Pancakes

The Pancake House

We decided not to put the kids in the Creche or do any extra activities, they would have incurred extra cost & we were really happy just walking, cycling, swimming, eating & drinking!

Have you ever been on holiday in January?  We loved our winter break & we’ll definitely go away in January again.  We loved Centre Parcs too.  If you’ve been to Centre Parcs what did you think of it?

Going away in January is the perfect way to start the year.

Centre Parcs Nature

Until the next time friends, have a great day!!!

Lizzie XO

 

Five on Friday

Five on Friday – 5 Special Years

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Hey friends,

It’s time for a 5 on Friday, today is the perfect day to celebrate the number 5.

O N E – 5 YEARS IN OUR HOME

We moved across town to our ‘forever home’ 5 years ago today.  The 13th February 2010 fell on a Saturday & it meant we spent Valentine’s Day in our new home getting settled in (a chinese takeaway & unpacking boxes, bliss & I loved it!).

The feeling when we put the key in the door, turned the lock & stood in the hallway knowing it was ours was amazing, it was also a massive relief.  Me & Jon just stood there (with sweet Harry in my tummy @ 6 weeks pregnant) & hugged it out.  We were so happy!

It took 9 months to secure our house and at times it felt like we’d never get here.  Fast forward 5 years & we’ve extended, decorated, welcomed two children & truly made this home ours.

Sweet Harry loves the number 5, he uses it to describe the greatest amount > in every situation.  Sometimes Harry says ‘I love you Mummy’ & I say ‘yes? how much’? & he says ‘5’ & holds out his hand!   I tell him that I love him more than 5, so much more than 5.  I love his little ways.

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T W O – CELEBRATING VALENTINE’S DAY

Since me & Jon really wanted to mark this wonderful anniversary day we’ve decided to go out for our Valentine’s Dinner tonight instead of tomorrow night.  We’re going to our favourite restaurant where we celebrate often, Lanes in West Coker.

I love the cool vibe there & we’re known by name & I like that.  We almost always have the Fillet Steak (his medium & mine medium well) & Moules Mariniere might make an appearance for the starter.  I love that I already know what I want!  Their sticky toffee pudding is to die for, I hope it’s on the menu tonight.

Prosecco may be involved.

T H R E E – PARTY PLANNING // SWEET BEA’S 2ND BIRTHDAY

I love party planning & the theme this year is ‘Sprinkles & Confetti’.  SB is so adorable, she’s babbling away in her baby talk & I’m catching some real words in there.  She said ‘tractor’ the other day.   This is my favourite age so far, she’s coming into her own & her personality is shining through, she’s a real people person.

I’m scouring Pinterest & blog posts for ideas for her party & I’ve ordered the cutest bits from the Pretty Little Party Shop & pretty much loved it all, I had to reign it in to a few key
things.  Follow on Insta the pic is on there now.

F O U R – SPRINGTIME SURPRISE PROJECT

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© Lucy Heath 2012-2015

I was excited the other day to get the email I’d been waiting for from Lucy of Captured by Lucy.   In it was the reveal! The girl I’d been partnered with & her address, likes & loves.

This gal really sounds like me with her loves, nautical, sparkly, blue & white stripes, floral, vintage, Farrow & Ball yeehah! Yup can totally work with that.  It’s like we’re kindred spirits.  Post to follow on the final package & my ideas for gifting.

F I V E – PINTEREST MOTIVATION

QUOTE

I put this quote on Instagram the other day & shared it on Facebook too, loved it then, love it now.  Truth!

 

Thanks April, Christina, Darci, Natasha.

Have a great weekend all!

Lizzie XO

 

 

Springtime Surprise Project – with Captured by Lucy

Hello friends,

So lovely to see you!  I’ve got something in my springtime plans that are really exciting to me, the Springtime Surprise Project; a chance to get creative, to find lovely little things in the nooks & cranny’s of quirky shops & market stalls that will inspire & give someone real joy; not someone I know, but a stranger.

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The Springtime Surprise Project is the beautiful idea of talented photographer & blogger Lucy Heath.  I’ve followed Lucy’s Instagram for a little while & her photo’s always inspire & make my day a little brighter.

A recent move means Lucy & her family are fellow Somerset residents, so welcome to you guys, I hope you’re getting settled into your ‘forever home’ in a beautiful Somerset village.

Lucy is a natural light photographer.  She has kindly allowed me to use some photo’s on this post & I think she’s such a talent I had to share her with you.

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Recently two of Lucy’s blog posts have really spoken to me.  The first is this one “Words of encouragement in 2015” in it Lucy talks about my favourite subject it seems of 2014, comparison.  Once again hearing the words I’ve also written on my own blog re-iterated by Lucy with her own observations & thoughts reminded me once again that we are all just trying our hardest here, so let’s be kind to each other.  Someone else’s win is not my failure.

The other post which kind of sprang out of the first post is the Springtime Surprise Project. Read all about it on Lucy’s blog Captured by Lucy, isn’t it a lovely idea?

So I’m all signed up & eagerly awaiting my person to happily make things for & send a beautiful package in the post. I’ll receive my person’s likes & loves, hopefully they’ll love how I interpret that into their parcel.

I’ll also receive a parcel & when I signed up I wrote my loves & likes, so even though I’m excited about the giving bit at some point I’ll get an exciting parcel too! I can’t wait to share it with you guys.

One of my Love Languages is Thoughtful Gifts, not expensive gifts but a gift someone has really put some thought into really touches me & I love to do the same for other people.  The price limit for the gift is £5 which I think will be quick tricky to put together but I’m so excited to be part of this.

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Here are some ideas Lucy has put together to start us off!

So excited! Springtime is just around the corner.

Until the next time friends, have a great day!

Lizzie XO

All images in this post have been graciously supplied by & are copyright of Lucy Heath 2012-2015

Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer – A Review

Hey friends,

I’m delighted that Braun have sent me a Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer to review.

Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer

I’ve wanted a proper thermometer for a while but with the higher price tag I didn’t know if it was worth the investment.  On receiving the Braun Thermoscan I found out some really interesting facts, for example; Did you know that the definition of fever changes with age? Neither did I! The Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer comes with 3 age settings, 0-3 months, 3-36 months & 36+ months, making it suitable for use with the whole family including newborns.

The Braun ThermoScan has an age-adjustable fever guidance for the entire family, really handy once you’ve taken the temp is the screen colour will be green, yellow or red dependant on the reading to make it easier to spot a fever.  A normal reading will show green, an elevated temperature will show yellow & a high fever will show red.

So why an ear thermometer?  Reading the information booklet included in the pack I read this statement:

“the goal of thermometry is to measure core body temperature, which is the temperature of the vital organs.  Ear temperature accurately reflect core body temperature, since the eardrum shares blood supply with the temperature control centre in the brain.  Therefore, changes in body temperature are reflected sooner in the ear than at other sites.  Axillary temperatures measure skin temperature and may not be a reliable indicator of core body temperature.  Oral temperatures are influenced by drinking, eating and mouth breathing.  Rectal temperatures often lag behind changes in core body temperature and there is a risk of cross contamination”.

As a Mum of two young children I’ve tried forehead thermometers, in the mouth thermometers & I’ve tried thermometers in the form of a dummy, all with limited success.  I wasn’t really sure I’d ever gotten a completely accurate reading.

I can’t count the amount of times my sweet kids have had a temperature, from colds, to ear infections to teething, we’ve seen elevated temperatures with all of those situations.  I think if you have really young children you will agree that getting them to SIT STILL long enough or even open their mouth is a frustration in getting to the root of the issue & working out whether you need to ring a doctor or not.

The Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer is really easy to hold easily in your hand, big enough to get a grip of but not bulky or heavy.  It comes with a base which it fits very snugly into.  I also liked the pre warmed tip feature, no-one wants a cold thermometer in their ear.

Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer in base

Firstly I tested my own temperature, a healthy 36.7, so a green screen for me!  I then took the whole family’s temps & we were all green as we’re in good health at the moment.  I found setting the age really easy & the most surprising part was how quickly it read the temperature, it literally did it in about 2 seconds.  The kids didn’t mind having the thermometer put into their ear, probably because it didn’t take very long.

I really like the coloured screen as part of the reading, I’ve spent anxious moments on the internet in the past looking up what a dangerous temperature is, with this you can tell straight away.

What’s included:

Thermometer 1x

Protective Case with lens filter storage 1x

Disposable lens filters 21x

1.5V AA LR6 batteries 2x

I’m really impressed with the Braun ThermoScan.  Recommended by doctors, it’s light, easy to use, easy to clean & gives an accurate temperature really fast.  I would use this thermometer over the others I have in my cupboard because I know it’s accurate & quick from testing it on my little lot.

We all need to know we can look after our family to the best of our abilities.  Having a thermometer that reads a fever quickly can help us as parents to assess the situation wisely.  The Braun ThermoScan will help me to do just that & with it comes peace of mind.

I’m delighted to have been given the Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer to keep & review. This post has been written in collaboration with Braun, but as always all thoughts & opinions are my own.

Until the next time friends, have a great day!

Lizzie XO

I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf.  I may have been paid expenses, and have been supplied with a product sample for this review, but retain all editorial control.  All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.
This is a Netmum’s sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

New Years Eve Trip – Haynes Motor Museum

3488   Hey friends,

I’ve been meaning to write about our New Years Eve day trip to Hayne’s Motor Museum. As a family we like to go on a day trip on New Year’s Eve as we like to see the year out as we like to start, together having fun with the sweet kids!

We decided to go to Haynes Motor Museum, having driven past it for years we’d noticed a major overhaul.  Millions of pounds have been spent on upgrading the building & facilities & from the outside at least it looked fantastic.  The kids are the right age so it was time to give it a go.

The entrance fee is not the cheapest we’d come across for days out with the kids, but with Jon’s huge interest in cars & the fact you can Gift Aid your entrance fee to get a 12 month free pass we thought it was worth a try.

The first thing we noticed was how striking the building is.  It’s very colourful & modern & that really sets the tone of the whole visit.  The parking is ample but there are no child/parent spaces.  We found the space big enough though.  I was excited to get inside & check it out.

As we went early (10ish) walking into the airy reception the place didn’t appear busy &  we were served immediately.  Sorting out the Gift Aid was easy & we were given a long receipt to keep as our entrance for our annual pass.  I did think that a voucher type card would have been a better alternative, since we appear to have a  penchant to lose receipts.  Haynes do not replace lost receipts which I thought was a negative since it’s on a scrap of paper & they have your details on screen.  So we’d better keep hold of it!

The postives really outweighed the negatives here though! My goodness walking into the car museum was amazing! So many beautiful cars & they were all gleaming!  Every vehicle is lovingly polished by the many volunteers that work at Haynes Motor Museum.  Speaking to one of them it was clear he loved volunteering there & being amongst these wonderful old & more modern cars.

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Me choosing my new car, a midnight blue Bentley!

Jon was in his element, cars are his work & in his soul, mixing that with our little family he just loved sharing his loves with us, especially with SH.

HAYNES JON AND H

For the kids they provided Little Tikes Cosy Coupe cars.  The walkways are really wide & were  brilliantly flat for pushchair/wheelchair & the push along cars, the kids had a great time with those!

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There is so much to see at Haynes Motor Museum & if you love cars & the history behind them you will really love it here.  The collection of cars & the way they’re set out is really impressive & informative.

After a really good look around & lots of fun with the kids we decided to have an early lunch in Cafe 750 set down within the foyer.  I was impressed with it’s light & airy space.

Because we’d gone for our visit early it was still quiet.  We ordered a panini, a portion of chips & a sausage roll & salad which we shared with the kids.  The only options on the kids menu were cooked meals as they didn’t offer kids sandwich meal deals in the winter.  I thought this was a shame as we eat our main hot meals at home at tea time.

The staff were very friendly & polite & went through everything they had on offer though so  I could make an informed choice from what was available.

There were loads of highchairs (I could see about 6), although missy now prefers to roam free.  The baby changing facilities were right off the cafe & although I didn’t use it the facility looked clean & easily accessible with lots of space.

We went back into the Motor Museum to see the Red Room which Jon loved!  Then we peeked at the playground through a window at the back.  SB was getting a bit tired at this point & we decided to go home for her nap & come back another day.

We really enjoyed our day out at Haynes Motor Museum & are looking forward to going back when the weather is warmer to enjoy the playground & look around the gift shop.

Things that were great:

– The reception & cafe are light & airy & very clean.

– They’ve kept children in mind with the wide walkways, roped off displays, cars to scoot around & brass rubbings with crayons dotted around.  Also the fun exercise we were given at Reception for SH, although really suited to older children SH still enjoyed finding the elves in the cars.

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– Highchairs & baby change.

– Playground (saw it but didn’t play on it this time)

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– Some of the car displays were interactive with buttons you could press to set lights & sounds off.

– Lots of fun things for the kids in the gift shop (we walked through will return for a proper look!)

All in all we had a really fantastic time & we’re looking forward to going back with our free pass!  Feel free to do the same & we can meet up for a playdate in the play area.

Lizzie xo

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored & all thoughts & opinions are my own.

Take a Moment – Minimum Price for Milk e petitions

Hey friends,

Following on from my last post about my uncle who is a British farmer, (Take a Moment – Fair Trade for British Farmers) it has come to my attention that I’m certainly not the only person who cares about the fact our farmers are making a loss on every pint of milk they produce.  We need a minimum price for milk paid to our British farmers.

Milking 2

A petition was shared on Facebook by my friend & farmer Em which I signed & shared immediately.  It is urging the Government to ensure a minimum payment to our farmers for the milk they produce.

I’ve seen a heartfelt letter shared on Facebook & spoken to Mum’s at the preschool gates about it.  It is so frustrating that consumers & the every day person want to see farmers paid a minimum price but feeling unable to do anything about it.

Signing the petition is something we can do & literally takes seconds.  If you think it’s not right that a farmer should make a loss on every pint of milk they sell, please sign this petition & spread the word amongst your friends & family.

We need the Government to know that we care about our farmers, these are hard working people who invest so much time, money & energy to maintain our British countryside & provide us with home grown produce.

Milking

Sign the petition here:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73628

Also please look out for the British flag on the products you buy in the supermarkets, buying British drives up demand & therefore a better price for the producer.

Cows

Photographs used with kind permission from Sam Loder

With heartfelt thanks

Lizzie xo

 

Take a Moment – Fair Trade for British Farmers

Have you heard of the food chain? When you buy in the supermarket you are at the end of it.

At the beginning is the farmer.

I belong to a family who farm, we’ve been farming for generations & I grew up with the farm as my playground with my cousins. We used to get sent out by my Grandma to collect eggs, sometimes the hens would hide their eggs in the hay barn, they were my happiest days growing up, being packed off with a picnic of jam sandwiches & a basket to collect eggs.

My Grampy is 100 years old & has farmed all his life.  My Uncle Stephen took over the farm from him & with his wife they now run our family farm. They are tenant farmers.

My Uncle runs a dairy farm & he also grows corn.  I was talking to my Dad about it & we talked a lot about how things are not easy at the moment & the milk price he is paid is falling.  Supermarkets use cheap milk to attract customers.  £1 for 2 litres is common & I have seen it for as little as 89p.

My Uncle sells his milk to ARLA & they make many products that can be found in most supermarkets.  ARLA products include Anchor Butter, Cheese & spread (often on offer), Cravendale Milk which is higher in price with a longer use by date.  Also Lurpack Butter & spread & Alpetina Cheese.  Castello creamy blue cheese & Lactofree milk, cheese & yogurt.

My children, especially SH, love going to the farm & seeing the cows.  Most of all though he loves Tractors.  I love tractors, cows, fresh air & the hard working ethos of my family’s farm.  It makes my heart sink when I see milk being sold for so little a price, if the price of the milk is low, then the price which is then paid to the farmer is low.

If FAIR TRADE is such a big deal in our supermarkets for the farmers abroad, then why aren’t we making a bigger fuss about it here?  On a Facebook thread about it the other day a lady commented that if she could buy milk direct from the farmer (to give them all the money for the pint of milk) then she would.  Since the milk has to go through a process that’s impossible. But it must be possible to give OUR farmers who work so hard , a fair price for their milk?  I really don’t know how.

I’m opening this up to all of you, I want your comments & I want you to share this post.  I don’t have any answers, you could buy the products above which would drive up demand & hopefully get my Uncle a better price for his milk.  But what about all the other farmers? I can’t help but think there’s a bigger issue here.  I want to see FAIR TRADE for OUR farmers, not just farmers in other countries.  Before they can’t sustain doing it anymore.

Should I be writing to someone? My MP, the PM, the milk board?

I really don’t know, but I do know that this country without farms would be the saddest day for us all.  The frustrating thing is that consumers want the farmers to get a fair price, do we have any choice in the matter as consumers?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook.

Best

Lizzie XO