I have some exciting news, we are moving house. Our new house is still being built but should be ready by the end of July and we will move in during August, well, that’s the plan, fingers crossed nothing goes wrong.

At last, the children will have their own rooms and we are already thinking of ways to decorate them. The girls will probably go for something pink and girlie, although Boo’s favourite colour is blue so maybe a mixture of pink and blue. The Little Man loves cars, trains and boats, a typical little boy.

kid's bedroom
I love this girlie pink room with little splashes of colour
kid's bedroom
I think the little man would love a boat theme like this!

I just love these blinds, they would brighten up any room!

Rainbow Blinds available from http://www.shutterlyfabulous.com/

These are just initial inspirations, I’m sure as time goes on we’ll change our minds many times. We’ll have to stick with adding accessories for colour at the start because being a newly built house we won’t be able to paint for twelve months. So plenty of time to get the creative juices flowing and then we can let go with the colour.

In the meantime we could use prints and wall stickers to brighten up the walls. Next has some great ideas, like this Space Invaders Wall sticker, a great way to add a splash of colour.
Space Invaders Wall Sticker £24 from Next

Or the girls would love this flowers sticker,

Flower Wall Sticker from Next
It will be lovely to have a blank canvas to start with and I’m really looking forward to decorating.
I have found this brilliant free e-book of decorating tips ’28 Tips on How to Decorate’ to download. 
It has loads of information on wallpapering and painting as well as tips for tiling and fixing shelves. Also, there are handy tips on getting paint out of carpet (oh yes, done that before!) and how to fix squeeky floorboards.
You can also download a free app. to give you quotes from local traders if you don’t fancy doing all the work yourself.
This post has been submitted to the Next Bloggers Network. I have not received anything from Next for writing it and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

On the 10th June we set off for our adventure to Center Parcs Whinfell Forest. I am lucky to be a Center Parcs family blogger and to receive this wonderful prize holiday along with my friend and Blogger Mrs Bee. One of the reasons I chose Whinfell Forest is because it has red squirrels. Also, I hadn’t been to Cumbria before.

We had a midweek break from the Monday to the Friday. First thing we did on arrival was pick up our bikes. I’d not been on a bike for around 35 years but guess what, it was easy as riding a bike! The only problem I found was how harsh it was on my poor old bottom. (Ok maybe that is too much information) The Little Man got a ride in a seat on the back of Daddy’s bike and the girls had bikes with stabilisers. Star fell off hers as soon as we got back to the lodge and hurt her arm. She didn’t ride again but pushed her bike around. Boo fell off hers a little later when she turned too quickly as a car approached and really bashed her knee which needed medical attention. The real bad news was that we were advised not to take her swimming.

The first evening we went for a stroll around the Village Center and had a meal from the take-away diner which we ate on the patio overlooking the lake. We played bowling and had a wonder around the arcade before retiring to our comfy beds. The only child we had problems with was Star who found it difficult settling in an unfamiliar place.

center parcs

The next morning we went to one of our pre-arranged activities, mini golf. We played along with our friends and had lots of fun. Although with the little ones being so slow it was going on forever so they kindly let us have a ticket to go back and play the second half another time.

center parcs

We had lunch at Hucks restaurant which was very tasty but also a little expensive. Then we did some shopping in the Parc Market. I was really pleased with the Parc Market, the range of products was very good and the prices where mostly in line with the supermarket back home. There were more expensive brands in more prominent places, but it was easy to find the better value products.

On Wednesday the kids were overjoyed to be left in their own clubs. Seriously, my kids have no attachment problems and will leave me at the drop of a hat with no fuss, so long as they know they will have some fun. The Little Man went into the creche where he played with the toys, had snacks of fruit, played with more toys and poo’d his pants (ok too much information again, sorry) The girls went to fairy school where they were face painted, made magic wands, fairy cakes and wish boxes.

So what did we do while the kids were having fun? Some nice relaxation in the wonderful Aqua Sana spa. We had three hours of saunas, showers and pools. Then I had a fantastic massage and facial which was bliss.

A big favourite with the kids was the huge wooden playground which was near to our Lodge. It was big but also safe, the Little Man was able to join in with everything, although he did go on the zip slide with his Daddy. It wasn’t the only playground on site but it was the nearest, and in my opinion, the best.

Wednesday evening we had a BBQ back at our lodge and invited the neighbours around. We had good fun without leaving ‘home’ until the rain forced us indoors.

|Just look at our back garden!

Thursday was our last full day so we decided to go to the pool. Boo couldn’t come with us because of her poorly knee so her big sister looked after her. I was really impressed with the pool, it was lovely and warm in there and lots for everyone from the smallest to the grown ups. The Little Man loved the baby pool with it’s watering cans and Star loved the waves in the bigger pool. We went around the rapids with me holding the Little Man and Daddy holding Star. The Little Man loved it, but Star was a little scared.

On the evening we had a fantastic meal at the Lakeside Inn. The staff were very accommodating and the food delicious. We had a very lovely evening, and of course the views were pretty stunning too.

center parcs

On the Friday morning, when we were all packed up and I was up early enjoying a little piece with my cuppa on the patio, I got a wonderful surprise. All week we had been trying to get a good picture of a red squirrel but even though we’d seen a few they were very shy and very quick, so we had been disappointed. Then that morning a gorgeous little fella came right onto my patio to take drink of the rain water that had collected on a chair. I even managed to fetch my camera and take some photos. What a glorious way to end my holiday.

red squirrel
In part two, I give more of a review of our stay at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

In my first blog post I give an outline of the lovely holiday I won for becoming a Center Parcs Family Blogger with Tots100.
In this post I wanted to give a more of a review of our holiday.

We stayed in a New Style Lodge, we were right at the edge of the park but it only took five minutes to walk to the village centre and even less on our bikes. The lodge was lovely and clean when we arrived and we also had a grocery pack delivered which contained all the basics you would need, tea, sugar, coffee, milk, bread, sausages, bacon, sauce, washing up liquid and a lot more. There were also some samples of tea, coffee, sugar and milk for those that do not order a grocery pack.

We were all provided with a bath towel and a hand towel and their was a hairdryer in every bedroom. That sure saved a lot of space in our suitcases. The kitchen was well stocked with utensils, there were even BBQ utensils provided and we had brick BBQ outside on which you could use a portable BBQ pack from the Parc Market. We also had a dishwasher which was a novelty for me, and a microwave. The oven was full size and the fridge a good size too.

The beds were cosy. I found the double to be ok but my 6ft daughter found the single to be a little small. The bedding was really nice and soft. I had no trouble sleeping.

Here is a little video tour of our lodge

The views all around were absolutely stunning. I loved looking out of the window and seeing just trees with the sunlight shining through. The walk to the village centre was lovely, all around you could see evidence of the wild life and the birds would sing you on your way. We saw rabbits, pheasants a grouse and even a few red squirrels. Of a night time we became addicted to watching the badger cam provided on our tv to catch a badger or two.

The village center was like a tropical paradise with a stream flowing through, sometimes you forgot you were indoors. There were many places to eat to suit all tastes from burgers to Chinese, Italian to Indian and of course Cafe Rouge and a Starbucks. There was also a takeaway food place and Pancake House. The Parc Market was the well stocked supermarket. They were good value and had everything you would expect to see in a supermarket. We did notice that the more pricier items where nearer the entrance. They also made fresh sandwiches and pastries.
There was also the usual gift shops, toy shop, sweet shop and clothing shops. Something for everyone for all tastes.

The lake was beautiful, we spent a lot of time sitting around watching the ducks and the fish. The boardwalk was the perfect place for this with tables and chairs under cover and coffee and food shops nearby.

The subtropical pool was a welcoming place with something suitable for all ages. There were baby pools, toddler pools, sharing pool, jacuzzi’s, rapids, waves, slides and an outdoor pool. It was lovely and warm in the pool areas which was nice. The changing rooms were a little like a maze but I didn’t get lost so they couldn’t have been that bad. There are also hairdryers and swimsuit dryers for your use. You can hire towels if you don’t want to take your own.

The Aqua Sana Spa was a wonderful experience. I was really worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it having never been in a sauna before, and being a little self concious about my body. However, once inside I felt myself relax and enjoy many of the different sensations offered. Each sauna has a notice telling you exactly what to expect, so if you don’t like it too hot, or too humid then you know which one to avoid. After your time in the sauna you are refreshed with a shower and then encouraged to drink water or fruit juice and relax on one of the many chairs or beds for twenty minutes before trying the next one.

I was also treated to a facial which involved so much more. I was also given a back and shoulder massage and a scalp massage. The actual facial contained many elements and I have to admit sometimes it was like being at the dentist, not knowing what was going on and feeling a little uncomfortable, but then being treated to something nice afterwards. I did feel really good by the time she had finished and my eyes in particular benefited greatly from the experience.

There are many activities available at the parcs and it’s a good idea to plan before you go. We played mini golf and went ten pin bowling. The children enjoyed a few hours at the play scheme. The girls went to fairy school and the Little Man went to the créche. It is hard to fit everything in if you like to relax a little on holiday, that’s why it’s a good idea to plan. We had also booked a session of pottery painting, but just before our time we walked past the place while the smoke alarm was going off and everyone was being evacuated. It wasn’t anything too serious, but it put Star off going, she couldn’t face going in. That was a shame as I’ve tried the pottery painting before and I’m sure the girls would have loved it.

We all had a wonderful time at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest and I wouldn’t hesitate in going back there again sometime.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Having just come home from our Center Parcs holiday (blog posts being written) I didn’t think I’d have time to organise this months challenge.

Then I find the Little Man had built himself a little den all by himself!

What a clever fella, don’t you think.

This reminds me of myself when I was little. My mum would let me use the furniture and some sheets to make my own little indoor den. My dad would take me to the bluebell woods and we would build a den from branches wedged between trees. I liked hiding away.

The challenge arrives from the fantastic Treehouse accommodation that can be found at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest and Longleat Forest. You can read all about the challenge and what you need to do on the Tots100 site If you are lucky you could win a break at a Center Parcs village of your choice.

I became a Center Parcs Family Blogger last year and have just been to Whinfell Forest in Cumbria. It was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had and I’ll soon be telling you all about it.

‘We’re All Going On a Summer Holiday’ Well, actually we’ve just come back off one but maybe some of you will remember the Cliff Richard song (please say you do) It was a big favourite of my family when we were going on holiday when little, we would all sing along in the car. I loved the film too, how I wished we could go on holiday on a bus!

When Eldest Daughter was ten we went to a Haven holiday park and came home with a cassette of Haven songs which we had to play over and over all the way home. Classics like ‘CocoAvoMango’ now you’ve all heard that one, yes? (maybe not)  Here is an extract:

CocoAvoMango was the drink that we made, for the king of the jungle and his tiger parade, drink it fast, drink it slow, drink it anyway you can, CocoAvoMango kiwi pear banana yam yam.

Yes, it was over twelve years ago, and yes I do still remember it *sigh*

Nowadays the girls are very into the current groups like One Direction and the Wanted or artists like Olly Murs, I guess they are more bearable that kiddy songs. Although the Little Man will sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘Old Macdonald’ all day if we let him.

Music is a necessity when driving, especially long distances and holiday music is what you need to get you in the holiday mood. What songs get you in the holiday mood? Do you stick to popular music of the time or do you have a playlist of favourites from across the years? Do the kids get control? Not a bad idea, especially if they end up falling asleep.

When I asked my other half about summer holiday songs he picked, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by the Beatles and ‘Staying Out for The Summer’ by Dodgy. Oh yes, definitely in the mood for a holiday now.

Cumbrian-Cottages.co.uk have put together this great playlist ahead of the summer holidays, I can see my favourites on there, are yours?

of course they had to include The Wheels On The Bus, just for my Little Man.

Produced in asscociation with Cumbrian Cottages