3 Curiously Inspirational Literary Family Road Trips

    My Family and Other Animals, Corfu, The Durrells

    Recently I’ve realised how much I love to find stories on my travels, whether it is the history of a monument, an ancient legend or the setting of a well thumbed book. There is something pretty amazing about road trips that follow in other’s footsteps or bring to life books we love, so when, Europe’s largest supplier of online car tyres, asked me to share some road trips, these three rolled straight into my mind: Continue reading

    Join me on A Golden Circle Video Tour of Iceland!

    This time last year I went on a last minute trip to Iceland, to stay at the beautifully situated Hotel Ranga, and to experience the best of Iceland’s food and adventure.  I wrote up the experience over at A Mummy Too, for my good friend and neighbour Emily, but I have such a huge love of Iceland it’s been frustrating not to have found more time to share all the video footage I had left over. But then an exiting new travel video platform, invited me to upload a video and I knew it had to be Iceland!

    I’m so excited to share this video which features our day out from Hotel Ranga with Midgard Adventure, to Thingvellier National Park and home of the first, and the Viking, Parliament. There’s Gulfoss, the most incredible waterfall and the awesome explosive Geysir of course. Adventuring is hungry work so we took pit stops at Efstidalur Ice Cream farm and Friðheimar tomato greenhouse. I’m still dreaming about our meal there and the Happy Mary cocktail, a green tomato and gin version of Bloody Mary. The Guardian food critic said this was the best Bloody Mary in the world, it really is out of this world!

    I love how Travelcast annotates videos so you can see exactly which part of a city or country you are in, great for trip planning as you can create a wish list of places! My companion was my great friend N from Uni.

    This post was sponsored by, an exciting new video platform. Go check it out and start making wish lists, it’s fun getting an insiders feel on destinations.

    You can find out more about Iceland by checking out these posts about my trip, both full of awe inspiring, and yummy ideas:

    15 Awe inspiring things to do in Iceland with Kids

    A Gourmet Trip to Iceland and a Stay at Hotel Ranga

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    Join me on a tour of Iceland's Golden Circle

    Free resources for your child’s primary school: Premier League Primary Stars

    Theo Walcott reading to children in school as part of the Premier League Primary Stars Programme

    Theo Walcott reading to children in school as part of the Premier League Primary Stars Programme

    Last week I went to a London primary school nestled just behind the Arsenal Emirates Stadium, to find out more about the Premier League Primary Stars programme, which is available free to every primary school in England and Wales. I liked the sound of the free teaching resources, the values and the exciting opportunities on offer, so the next day I went straight to talk to my children’s headteacher about signing up as a school and nominated them online. You and your children can nominate your school online too, be quick, it might win them a trophy visit! Continue reading

    Have you heard about the RSPB Wild Challenges for Families?

    Building a bird bath in the garden

    Did you know recent research by the RSPB showed that only 1 in 5 children are connected with nature and spending a healthy amount of time outdoors?

    I don’t get everything right as a parent, not by a long stretch, but I do make a big effort to get my two out in nature, it makes a massive difference to our sanity and happiness and I want them to grow up respecting and understanding nature. My kids have an amazing time getting involved with the RSPB via my Dad who helps to run his local group. Macclesfield RSPB also has one of the best Young Explorer’s groups in the country and we’ve loved building nest boxes and making seed bombs with the leaders at RSPB events. We even helped to put up a barn owl box and just discovered it has barn owls in – we’re so excited!

    Basically we’ve loved the creative ideas the RSPB have to encourage kids to get on board with giving nature a home. We’re sad we’re not nearer to Macclesfield as the kids would go to Young Explorers events more often and sometimes I know we could be doing more than we are to connect with nature. But we just heard about the RSPB Wild Challenge for families and it sounds like a great way to keep involved! Continue reading

    Self Catering Resorts, the best of both worlds?

    James Villa Holidays Resorts Eden Resort Algarve, Portugal

    It’s raining here and I’m dreaming of escaping for some sun and thinking about self catering vs resort. Where do you stand?

    We’re massive fans of self catering holidays, villas, cottages, caravans and motorhomes, mainly because when we go away we love the idea of our own space. Holidays for me are about relaxing and retreating into our family unit a little, away from rules and schedules and the rest of the world. Whilst it’s sometimes nice to have someone else do the cooking and cleaning, it’s also lovely to be able to eat when you like, make trips to the local markets and supermarkets and enjoy local foods and even cook up your own feast. Continue reading

    Shopping for a crafternoon of soap making and letterpress printing

    We’re really lucky to live near to Victoria Retail Park in Nottingham, which has some great shops for keeping the kids busy, crafting and present finding. One of our favourite ways to while away an afternoon is crafting, so when the park invited us to go for a little pre Mother’s Day look around, we immediately planned an afternoon of making stuff together. We ended up making soap and trying letter press, with lots more things to try next time. It’s probably my dream way to spend Mother’s Day, sat at the table with tea, cake, my kids and a load of creative ideas.
    Continue reading

    Barn Owl Spotting

    I’m over the moon this week, my Dad called me with two updates on the barn owl box we funded when Macclesfield RSPB had a crowdfunding appeal for bird boxes. It’s sited on a public SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest) in my old hometown, so all news comes via my Dad.

    Last year he spotted a tawny owl which was lovely, but as the box was specifically designed to host barn owls I was totally thrilled to hear a barn owl had finally moved in.

    I was still smiling about this news when Dad called me again two days later to tell me there were now not one, but two barn owls in there. This makes me so happy! Continue reading

    Could You Put Up A Nest Box?

    nesting box blue tit

    Having had some lovely news about the barn owl box we put up in a nature reserve with Macclesfield RSPB – a pair of barn owls have been spotted – we’ve also been turning our attention to the bird boxes in our own garden. It makes me so happy hearing news about our barn owl box from afar, but it also makes me want to do more in our own garden too.

    Kennedy Wild Bird Food asked me to share some insights into putting up a nest box this week, something we loved doing and have had a lot of fun with. Continue reading

    8 types of family bonding holiday that are a little different

    Family camping holiday

    Family holidays are a great opportunity to make life-long memories and bond with those closest to us. After all, even though families come in all shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common – they benefit from quality time together. In fact, family holidays can make children happier and smarter.

    But it’s quality of time, not quantity, that counts. It might be a cliché – but it’s true. To help your family bond, we’ve come up with eight suggestions for your next holiday. Check them out: Continue reading