Friday, 18 July 2014

Geocaching at Biddulph Grange

Last week, I took the girls to Biddulph Grange Gardens. It is a national trust place, so invited Grandma and Grandad M to come along too, as they have membership. The sun was shining, and it was glorious.

I contacted them previously, to see if we could get a discount, as I was likely to blog about our experience, and they kindly sent a family pass for us. Thank you.
 
I wasn't sure what to expect, as we have never been to 'gardens' before, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was of course beautiful, and plenty of space for the girls to run around and explore. And they had geocaches..... Grandma geocaches too, so off course we had to have a look for them whilst we were there.... but our first response when we stepped out of the house into the gardens... lets take a family photo....
The girlies with Grandma and Grandad M
We set of in search for the first geocache, as there was a fair few, that would take us to all the different areas. The route was lined with huge trees, and it was very pretty, so pretty I got J to pose for a photo....  this is a tree I could imagine fairies dancing around....
 
 
We soon came across the first geocache, and all the goodies....
 
 
After that, we explored the paths that would take us to the next, S found a windy tree that she could climb and explore... so we took ALOT of snaps but this is our favourite.....
 
If butter wouldn't melt....
The path then opened up into a clearing where other children were playing Frisbee. And J asked us if we could play 'tag'..... Grandma had hurt her back, so couldn't run or bend, and I was bulked out with the rucksack and camera etc.... and knowing Grandad would step up to the mark... I could capture perfect memories.... and I sure did... wish it could capture the giggles from them BOTH...
 
 
S soon got stuck in too when it was time to catch Grandad...
 
 
After tag, we came across the pond. (On entering, I bought some fish food) so we soon got comfy to feed the HUGE fish....
 
 
The fish were incredible... they would even let J feel them, and it seemed like they enjoyed it, as they didn't dash away, and sat there lapping up the attention....
 
 
And then got to confident..... and almost fell in.... thankfully Grandad was close enough to stop her, and the little fence along side helped too....
 
 
It was then back to explore more of the gardens, and encouraging J to climb a tree.... oh my word.... we need to encourage on that one, and a lot of practice is needed before we can tick that one of the list f things to do before shes 11 3/4 :-) but we got this snap... with help from Grandad for lifting her up...
 
...and lots more beautiful photos...
 



 

 
S love collecting the fir cones....
 
We soon came across the woodland walk part of the gardens, and this was perfect for our girlies... S found the raspberries, and helped herself for an afternoon snack...
 

 
And came across different activities for them to do....
 



 
Before reaching the sugar bowl, for a good run around....
 
 
We soon had most of the geocaches, and explored all of the lovely parts of the gardens, AND the ice cream was calling.... so we made a pit stop in the café, and enjoyed the sunshine even more by sitting outside....
 
 
....and a brew.... poured by J...
 
 
So, I was pleasantly surprised that the 'gardens' could entertain the girlies with no 'play park' and we shall be returning again and again to see how the gardens change throughout the seasons.
 
 
 
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 11 July 2014

Walking along 'The Edge'

Today Daddy M was at work, and J had decided she wasn't returning back to nursery as they are making her nap. She only has a few weeks left, so let her enjoy the extra time with us before school starts in September. The weather was glorious. So we decided to go for a walk along Congleton Edge. We have never been here before, but was on the hunt for 3 geocaches as well as a picnic spot.
 
We left the pushchair at home as S hates it, and after seeing the ground, I was glad we did. It was dry, but rocky, and I knew the wheels would have constantly got stuck. S struggled a little, but soon got used to it, and J was enjoying the adventure, running off in front.
 
 
We soon reached the top of the hill, and the views were spectacular. We could see for miles. So it was a perfect spot for a girlie picture. And the first time I used the timer setting. A little more practice is needed I think.
 
 
And then we got to work on looking for the first geocache. It was easy to find, and the girls enjoyed looking through for the treasure.
 
 
We then realised just how hot it was, and stripped off our jumpers, but with no room in the bag, the girls had to carry their own... so the first time they have had it tied around the waist... so cute... 
We then headed into the trees and fern... and it was true adventure style..... with J still leading the group, whilst S stopped to explore everything.
 
 
We walked along the top of the summit, and at the other end, S found a dandelion with "fairies" ... the girls love setting the fairies free, but this one was stubborn. J ended up helping S, and it created the perfect pictures....
 
 
Then it was on to find our 2nd geocache. This was close to a road. So the girls stayed put on a boulder whilst I found it. But they happily posed with it.
 
 
We were then on a hunt for a picnic spot, and lucky enough as we were heading down to the bottom of the hill, we came across a big field, perfect to set up a base for lunch.
 
 
As I was packing up the site, the girls wanted to put on a "show". S was the baddie, and J was the goodie... there was a lot of dancing around, but the end result was J curled up in a ball on the floor....
 
 
After our picnic we headed into the deep trees, to find the last geocache. The last geocache was inside a cave. I was expecting one I could walk into.... but we had to slide into it... the girls could stand inside, but I was doubled over. It was exciting, and our first cave. Thankfully I took along the lanterns for the girls so we could see deep inside. And they were much braver then I was expecting with them both going in before myself...
 
 
After the cave, it was then the walk back to the car. We played hide and seek amongst the trees, and found some horses for the girls to say hello to, and of course a stick for S.... she sure does like them.
 

 
Next to the car, we found some more ponies.... tiny ones, or as S called them... baby ponies....
 
 
It was a lovely day out in the fresh air, enjoying each others company, the surroundings, and finding some geocaches.
 
 
 
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Fairy cakes.....

Today, was my day 1:1 or shall I say 1:2 with the girls. No TV, and no getting out the house, as we had to wait in on a parcel. The morning started with colouring very early on, and slowly progressed to Lego. After lunch, I had the urge to bake with the girls, from scratch. I hadn't done this since before we moved, due to a dodgy oven, but I now have no excuses, as we had plenty of time, and a new oven.  
It started with getting scrubbed up, and of course popping on the chefs hat..
...S didn't keep it on for long though....
 
 
Mummy got the ingredients together, all weighed out, ready to be poured....


Our Recipe is:
100g self raising flour
100g Butter (we use stork)
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp. milk and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
 
I asked J if she wanted to crack the eggs, and she jumped at the chance.... the first one was a mess, and had to be thrown, as only half ended up in the bowl...
 
 
The look on her face was priceless when it went everywhere, and then just trickled out... I then showed her how to do it properly, and she done it perfectly.
 
 
It was then time to pop all the ingredients into the food mixer, (or in a bowl and stir, we are just to lazy to stir)
 
 
Ready for S and Tinkerbell to switch it on....
 
 
J then cut up some dried up apricots to pop into the mixture. (You can add chocolate drops, sultanas, anything really, or just keep them plain)
 
 
Then it was time for the girls to spoon the mixture into the cases, as soon as the spoons were in, they got tasting instead, so mummy took over....
 

Then it was time to pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown on 180'
 
 
After they had cooled, I had set up an invitation for them to get creative....
 
 
from all of the bits and bobs that I have collected over the years... and they soon got stuck in...
 
 
S was enjoying it, until she realised she could go straight in and eat the icing direct.... until mummy stopped her.... she then decided to fill the middle of the cake with icing too....
J wanted to spray paint...(edible gold spray paint) the cakes.... crazy child....
BUT both girls enjoyed it, and it kept them happy for a good 45 minutes just decorating, or nibbling away....
 
Mummy wanted to decorate some too, so here is the girls and my pieces of art....
 
 
A great hour or so filled.... and even better, we got to taste them afterwards....