Month: April 2016

Whitehouse Farm Centre

Bank holiday weekend! I love a long weekend together as a family but with me having our second baby only 10 weeks ago, we haven’t managed to have many family days out recently. So we decided that we wanted to go somewhere at least one of the days we have off together this weekend. When I was scrolling through Facebook last week I noticed an event pop up- one of those suggestion types- I noticed the date of the event was 30th April so I had a look. The event was for Whitehouse Farm Centre in Morpeth, Northumberland. This is somewhere we have always wanted to take V but just never seemed to get round to it, so when I looked further into the event information I got a little bit excited! The event was advertising a ‘Teddy Bear’s picnic’ where half price entry was granted for every child with a teddy and a full itinerary was detailed with anything from bottle feeding Lambs to grooming a Goat- I was sold! First thing we did this morning was pack V’s teddy bear Keegan and we were off!

And were off!

It took us around 40 minutes to get to the farm centre but it was so easy to find from where we live- and the two kiddies were an absolute dream for the journey which made it even better. Once we arrived we were met in the car park by a young man who directed us as to where we should park. Nice touch I thought, since it was our first time visiting and we were pretty clueless about where we were going! We changed into our wellies and headed straight for the entrance. V was quick to show the lady on the desk her teddy and after her discount we paid just under £25 to enter, including a bag of animal feed. G thought this was a bit steep (he moans a lot!)- until we walked inside that is!

V with her teddy Keegan

You first enter the centre by walking through the gift shop and events barn. There was a magic show taking place in the events barn and we could hear lots of laughter, but V was far too excited to see the animals so we didn’t stay to see any of it. We had been given a map including details of the day’s events and times and decided we’d head straight over to see the owls as a ‘meet the owls’ session was just about to begin. On our way there V was distracted by the giant Tortoise’s which she thought were amazing!

Daughter and Daddy going to have a look at the Tortoise’s

I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated how beautiful Owl’s are! I was really taken with the Grey Owl- Smokie I think it’s name was- absolutely beautiful bird. V was a little scared of them because of the loud screeching noises they make so we didn’t stay long but could see people stroking them during the talk. V was more taken with the Willow Maze we had just walked past so off she went for a run around with her Daddy.

Smokie the Grey Owl

It started drizzling with rain during the run around and because we had B in the pushchair we decided to head into the petting barn which is indoors. We walked in to see lots of Goats, pretty lively ones too! V thought they were very funny jumping up to get their food and she wanted to have a try at feeding them. There are hand washing facilities placed all over the farm which is ideal because the last thing you want to be doing is trailing to the toilets and back every time you feed an animal!

Feeding the Goat’s

Next were the Rabbits, Rats, a Chinchilla, Skinny Pigs, various Reptiles, Meerkats, Monkeys, Hens and Parrots. V was pretty taken with the rabbits, I think it could be her next choice of pet. She loved being able to see right into each pen to see the animals and enjoyed being able to run around and explore on her own. We were even shocked to hear a squeal of delight when she spotted a snake!

The ‘aww so cute’ Rabbit
Skinny Pigs!

The rain had stopped by the time we had finished in the petting barn, lucky for us because V caught her eye on the huge adventure play area. Off she went to play on the slides whilst I sat on one of the seats inside the play area with her baby brother. Just as I sat down the sun came out!

Loving the slides
Out came the sun!

Once V had had a good play on the slides and tired herself out a bit we realised it was coming up to 12pm which meant lamb feeding time so we made our way up to the feeding area. The queue was huge to have a go at feeding the lambs so we decided not to bother, there’s no way V would have waited, but we did see other’s bottle feeding them and we got to see some gorgeous little Lamb’s in the barn. I could have took one home as a pet they are so adorable! But I enjoy a roast lamb dinner too much- sorry guys!

Feeding the Lambs

Next we went straight across into the Pig barn where V jumped straight into her Daddy’s arms! I think she was a bit shocked at the size of them- they were absolutely huge!- and confused at the fact that they look NOTHING like Peppa Pig! Oh and you might want to hold your nose when you go in that part! Once we came out of the Pig barn V seemed to be getting a bit tired so we headed for the Cafe to refuel.

Feeding Time- Kids Meal
Feeding Time- Mammy & Daddy’s Lunch

The food was gorgeous. V had a kids meal of Chicken Nuggets (Homemade), chips and cucumber and a Fruit Shoot which she put a good dent in after working up a serious appetite. G opted for a Honey Chilli Chicken sandwich and I had a Cheese Savoury. The coleslaw and sandwich fillings were clearly homemade and I think the bread rolls may have been too, they were very fresh and soft. All together, including G’s chips and two bottles of coke, it came to just under £15. I was really surprised with this because I was expecting to pay a lot more for what we had. You usually expect to have your eyeballs ripped out when eating on site at attractions but not today and it was worth every penny. Everything was delicious and we definitely weren’t left feeling hungry. The cafe barn itself was very clean and the staff were really friendly. As soon as a table was vacated a member of staff was straight there to clean and tidy it ready for the next person. There were also lots of highchairs, a microwave and a bottle warmer for those with babies. We used the toilets before we left to explore some more. They were surprisingly clean since we were on a farm which suggests to me that they’re cleaned at regular intervals. And off we went again for a quick play on the toy tractors just outside of the Cafe barn then back into the petting barn.

The Meerkats having their lunch
Meerkat Babies!
Monkey!
Feeding the Goats the last of the feed

Next we headed back to the adventure playground until V spotted the bouncy castles. She managed to get ten minutes before we noticed a sign for a sandpit, which she has a massive thing for, so we headed straight for it. Once she had a good play in the sand we headed back outside to find that the heavens had opened again, but this time we were getting soaked so we ran for the cover of the gift shop as the kids were both getting tired. V picked herself a windmill, a new drinking bottle and a colouring book- I don’t think this even came to £3! G sneakily bought me a present which was a fridge magnet with the best saying ever!

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Playing in the sandpit
Magnet
The magnet G bought me!

We spent 3 hours at Whitehouse Farm centre but with the amount of things there are to do, we could have easily spent the whole day if the weather was a bit better and the kids weren’t so tired. We didn’t get to the soft play, go-karts or have a tractor ride so they’re top of our list for next time. We didn’t really see any of the events with V being 2, she just wanted to run around and explore but as they get a bit older I can definitely imagine it being one of their favourite places! We enjoyed every second of our time and cannot wait to go back! If you’re local or even visiting nearby I definitely recommend you visit. It really is a fantastic day out and worth every penny!

Thanks for having us!

 

Mother Hermit xx

Afternoon Twist

No I don’t mean twist as in the form of dance. I mean twist in the almighty annoying variety of toddler form. I’m not sure how I’ve survived this afternoon. Since V opened her eyes from her nap it’s been nothing but brutal destruction and screeching. You know those ones that just keep going and going and going and by the end of it you can’t stand to hear it anymore?! Like you actually despise your own childs voice? The slightest whimper makes you cringe? Yeah. That’s been my afternoon. “Maaaaaaaaaaaammy! I want dis! Dop doing dat!!!! I want a doddddyyyyyy! Mammmmm! Sdop ittttt!” Like how do they honestly come up with half of the tantrums they have? She told me off this afternoon for not making a sand castle properly out of lego- are there parents who can actually do that?! Magicians perhaps? Am I missing something?? 

Parenting. Best job in the world eh?! ❤️ 😂 


Mother Hermit xx

Life with Baby Kicks

Mission Potty Training- Complete!

A few weeks ago I wrote the post All aboard the Potty Train!, all about the beginning of the potty training journey with my toddler daughter V. A few days after I wrote that post my in-laws came to stay with us for a week- I saw this as the perfect opportunity to give the potty training an almighty push. She absolutely adores her Grandparents and with her Daddy taking a few days off work to spend with everyone as a family, I knew it would help her progress with it.

For the first few days we continued with the nappy off- naked from the waist down- approach whilst we were at home and this worked a treat, with only a few accidents (on my brand new sofa’s might I add!). Lot’s of Fairy Liquid and Febreze used during those little episodes. She mostly used the potty because I really didn’t want to push the toilet and confuse her, but she did follow her Nanny a few times to show her what a big girl she was for having her wee’s on the toilet. I carried on ‘throwing’ her on the toilet for her poop’s when I caught her slipping into that favourite hiding spot, which she didn’t like at all, but I managed to persuade her by giving her one of her favourite books to read and standing outside the bathroom door. She did it one day and we praised her massively but she still didn’t like it and for the next couple of days she held it in and just refused to poop! What a madam! So I decided to be a madam too, even though it made me feel like a pretty sh1tty Mammy, I joined in the refusals by not letting her wear a nappy just to do her business. I really didn’t want to confuse her even more, letting her think she had to wee on the potty but poop in a nappy. I drank A LOT of wine those couple of nights!

It worked though! Sure enough after those couple of days holding everything in, V had to give in and go on the toilet. Fair play to her Daddy- it was when they were swimming and he had to run out of the pool and quickly ‘throw’ (we’re good parents, honest!) her on the toilet in the changing rooms. I’ll always remember the look on her face when she got home and burst through the door after swimming and announced to me that she’d had a ‘massive poo on the toilet’. Such a proud Mammy-moment to see how proud of herself she was. Everyday after that she asked to use her potty to do the deed but she’d ask you to hide it in another room and no one could enter until she had announced she’d finished! Honest, total madam. Obviously we followed her rules.

The in-laws left us to fly back home to South Wales on the Thursday (gutted!). On Friday V went to nursery with her nappy on but I spoke to the girls and explained how the potty training was coming along and they were totally lovely about it, really supportive and told me that they’d keep asking V if she needed the toilet. For the first few days she followed the girls to the toilet but had refused to sit on it- I put this down to the fact that she didn’t know these people, she’d only just started attending, so we let her continue wearing her nappies when she was out of the house. Now I’d been a bit naughty and had told V that she wasn’t allowed to wee in her nappy at nursery and she needed to tell someone when she needed the toilet but this seemed to work! After a few sessions she started telling the girls when she needed a wee and pretty soon it got to the point where she was using the potty and coming home in a dry nappy. How did that happen?!


So last week I just went for it. I bought her a pack of colourful knickers, let her pick a pair and took her into nursery with lots of spare leggings and underwear. Three hours later I went to pick her up to find that she’d used the toilet for the full session and her knickers were bone dry- no accidents! Woohoo! I was absolutely over the moon and our V was so proud of herself!


V now only wears nappy’s for her naptime and bedtime and the private poops are no more! She now happily announces to everyone around that she’s going to have a poop and sits on the potty whereve it is. My Dad’s face was a picture when she paused their game of coin counting on Sunday and announced that she was going to have a poop! 😂 We’ve been to playgroups, shopping trips and done family visits and not had one accident. Obviously I’m still carrying lots of spare underwear and leggings with me everywhere I go, she’s still a toddler and accidents are going to happen- but I’m so pleased to say that V is officially potty trained and I couldn’t be prouder right now!


Mother Hermit xx

Cuddle Fairy

 

The Liebster Award

 

Eeeeeek! I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Award by the lovely https://turningupindevon.wordpress.com/ (Massive thank you!), how cool is that?! Apparently it’s pretty cool, although I had no idea what on earth this was until I found I’d been nominated so please forgive me, but I’ve pinched the following information & rules from Hillie’s blog!

The Liebster Award is intended to welcome and promote great new blogs to the happy blogging community. It’s a classic Q&A, you answer your nominator’s questions, then you pose your own to the other newbies you nominate.

So, here’s the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to his/her blog.
  • Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge to your post.
  • Answer the ten questions you’ve been asked.
  • Nominate 5 new bloggers that you want to share with the world.
  • Then create ten new questions for the bloggers you are nominating.
  • Notify the bloggers that you have nominated.

Here’s my nominations for the five blogs I’d like to share;

  • https://mummyblueblog.wordpress.com/
  • https://mumonthenetheredge.wordpress.com/
  • http://www.onebloomingme.com/
  • https://crazylifecrazierwife.wordpress.com/
  • https://anordinarymummy.wordpress.com/

My questions to you are;

  1. What’s your perfect 3-course meal?
  2. What’s your dream holiday destination?
  3. What is your happiest memory?
  4. What are you afraid of?
  5. Who is your celebrity crush?
  6. Who do you look up to?
  7. What would your perfect day be?
  8. What inspired you to start blogging?
  9. Chocolate or crisps?
  10. Twitter or Facebook?

And here’s my answer’s to Hillie’s questions;

1, What’s your favourite weirdest sandwich filling?

Beetroot- has to be loads of butter on the bread too!

2, Which celeb would you have around for dinner?

Rhod Gilbert- I know he’d make me wee my pants laughing! (Not hard after 2 kids though, let’s be honest!)

3, Your worst holiday destination (like ever).

Oooo never had a bad holiday yet… *touch wood*

4, TV, Computer or Book?

Book any day!

5, What is your favourite Kid’s film?

I used to love watching Tom Hanks in BIG when I was little, at the minute I love watching Hotel Transylvania with my toddler.

6, Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller for a date?

Adam Sandler

7, What’s your secret favourite (not really allowed) Pop song!

Anything by Justin Bieber- made it perfectly clear that I hated him with a passion when he first came on the scene- now I love all of his music!

8, If you could fly in the sky or swim under the sea, which would you do and why?

Fly- I’m claustrophobic and the idea of being deep underwater sacres to poop out of me!

9, Victoria Sponge or Carrot Cake and why?

Victoria sponge- I still haven’t got my head around this whole ‘carrot in a dessert’ thing!

10, What makes you you in 5 words (soz a bit homeworky)?

Stupid laugh and greying hair?! 🙂

 

Mother Hermit xx

Easy Gherkin Relish

Monday. Eurgh. One of those days where I couldn’t find any energy or ‘oomph’ to do anything- so I decided on something simple for tea. Opened the freezer to see a pack of hotdogs and a pack of bread buns we only went and picked up at Ikea last week! I was saved! However, the creative cooking goddess in me was crying out for something to do- cue the gherkin relish accompaniment!

Ingredients;

3 large pickled gherkins (chopped however you like)

4 tablespoons of the pickle juice from the jar of gherkins

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of Ikea’s crispy fried onions

Okay, so the sugar you can just use whichever you have lying around- I used granulated because that’s what was in the tin next to the tea and coffee. The crispy fried onions you can use any onion really, I just shoved them in because we picked those up on our trip to Ikea. (No furniture picked up on this Ikea trip as you can probably tell!) And for the gherkins, I used a pickled jar from a supermarket which also had mustard seeds swimming within the pickle juice- tastes even better with some of these in the relish!

The method. Simply shove everything into a pan and bring to the boil (mind your eyes- the pickle can be quite strong and make them water a bit), then let it simmer gently while the relish thickens. Make sure you’re constantly stirring it or there’ll be some caramel explosion because of the sugar- and you’ll need a new pan! (Another trip to Ikea?!)

Basically, that’s it! I just added a few pinches of salt to take the edge off the sweet and sour of the sugar and pickle and voila- you have relish!


By the way, I totally recommend the Ikea hot dogs and hot dog buns, especially smothered in the relish- totally yummy! This is going to be perfect for those BBQ’s this summer.

Give it a go and let me know what you think- Enjoy!

 

Mother Hermit xx

 

Cuddle Fairy

Club Hub UK


A few days ago I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, looking through those suggestions they give you on who to follow and up pops Club Hub UK, so I thought I’d take a look- I couldn’t resist that cute little profile pic! It turns out that this little beauty is going to be a must have for parents with kids!

Club Hub UK is a FREE app in production which will enable us parents to locate children’s clubs and activities all around the UK. The idea for Club Hub UK came from the lovely Tessa Robinson who found it difficult to advertise her musical theatre children’s club ‘Tessa’s Jazz Hands’. You will be able to search using a postcode, the childs age and interest and this will generate relevant results. I honestly think this is a fantasic idea! It was only a few months ago I took to search engines to try and find some local dance classes to take my daughter to and what a horrible experience that turned out to be! I ended up having to click through endless links and websites, only to find out that the information I finally found which was suitable, was out of date!!

So if you’re like me and you want this process to be a bit easier when searching for clubs to keep the kids entertained- make sure you check out Club Hub UK on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their website (details below) for more updates on when the app will be released!

E-mail: tessarobinson@club-hub-app.co.uk

Twitter: twitter.com/clubhubuk

Facebook: facebook.com/clubhubapp/

Instagram: instagram.com/clubhubuk

Websitehttp://clubhubuk.co.uk/

Mother Hermit xx

Beach Trip

A couple of weeks ago I had a Sunday off from cooking a family Sunday dinner- totally unheard of for me. My sister text to say she was off work so she’d be having our Dad over for his dinner. At first I thought I’d still do a roast dinner for us, but after checking the weather forecast I thought it might be nice to head out for the day and we pretty quickly decided on the beach. We have loads of them not far from where we live but decided on South Shields, so off we went.


South Shields is an amazing place to visit- with or without children- and attracts loads of tourists during the year. In the Summertime (what we have of it) they have free festivals with live music and there are loads of shops and restaurants, a huge park, a funfair, crazy golf, a skate park and ofcourse a huge stretch of a beautiful sandy beach- all within decent walking distance of each other.

After parking up we decided to head straight for the beach. V was crazy excited because she has a massive thing for playing in sand!

It was pretty chilly and windy on the beach, even though the sun was shining, but that didn’t stop V. Kids have no fear at all- like she was bothered by a bit wind! She was off, having a good run allover the beach with her Daddy chasing behind 😂 I got to have a slow walk along as I was carrying baby B. After we’d had a good half hour along the beach I started losing the feeling in my hands- typical North East weather for you- so we decided to head to the fairground.

V has never had candyfloss before and that’s always the first thing I picture when I think of fairgrounds so I had to grab her a bag! The look of utter confusion on her face when I handed her a bit was hilarious, but once she saw Mammy and Daddy eating some it didn’t last much longer. Once the sugar rush hit she decided that she wanted to go on the huge inflatable slide. I still think of V as my little baby so the thought of her going on it alone terrified me. I tried to talk her out of it and persuade her to go on something else, like a trampoline, but that resulted in a massive temper tantrum! One of those tantrums where she looked like she was about to throw herself on the floor- so we gave in and let her go on the slide. Weirdly I’m totally thankful for that tantrum because watching her climb up the huge slide and the look of absolute delight on her face as she slid down, made me have a massive proud Mammy moment! She looked so teeny but was so brave!

After the slide the bravery continued, probably an adrenaline rush, as V decided she wanted to go on another ride and as soon as she spotted the Frozen car she wanted on. Yet again I was bloody petrified because she’d never been on anything like that but to save the temper tantrum I let her get on with it. As you can probably see by the first photo as soon as the ride started my poor girl panicked, we could see the unsure look on her face and she started whispering ‘Mammy?’- I was honestly nearly in tears! But after a bit of calling her name from Mammy and Daddy, she soon realised that we were still there and she was only going round and round- that’s when the huge smile hit her face. She was shouting ‘woohooo’ at the top of her voice and pretending to drive the car. Another proud moment for the parents there.

After the ride we had a look in the amusements and let her loose on the 2p machines. Her little face when more 2p’s came out, she was so happy! Then we headed to the hook a duck. The lady running this was lovely and let us take our time on it so V could have a bit play- cue more squeals of delight when she managed to hook a duck and pick her prize of an inflatable duck thingy! Yep. It can only be described as a ‘thingy’ but hey she loved it!

After  all the excitement and once the sugar-rush had started to wear off the tiredness started to hit so we decided to head back to the car and find somewhere to have dinner on the drive home. As soon as we started to dive though we noticed that V was struggling to keep her eyes open so we decided on grabbing a drive-through dinner from KFC and take it home to eat together. Safe to say that once our huge KFC dinner was demolished we all settled down for a nap.


Got to love family days out!

Mother Hermit xx

Very proud to link up with Country Kids from Coombe Mill and…

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

My Captured Moment

Here’s my captured moment this week. When both kids burst into tears at exactly the same time and you have to be a multi-tasking Mammy and give them big cuddles at the same time! (and Gethyn the Dragon!) Although little man clearly didn’t want his photo taken 😂

 

Running in Lavender

Wicked Wednesdays!

Here’s my first link up with #wickedwednesdays
There’s not really any need to add anything because I have absolutely no idea what this tantrum was about- I rarely do to be honest! 😂
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brummymummyof2

Planning my Dad’s funeral… with a cauliflower?!

 Waaaait! Put the tissues away! My Dad is NOT dead! However, when he came for his Sunday roast yesterday, one of the first things he said to me was “I’m going to arrange and pay for my funeral this month”. Well, I absolutely bloody shit myself! Excuse the language but come on! What else would you do?! I think my face said it all, stood there with a rather blank expression, probably a lot paler than usual all I could say was “Why?! What’s wrong with you?!”- I was honestly about to crumple to the floor in agony. 

My Dad is my absolute hero and I worship the ground he walks on. I would do absolutely anything for him and plan on being by his side everyday and be his carer full time when/if it ever comes to that. I do as much as he allows me too at the minute but he’s a rather healthy 65 year old man and a very proud one at that, so he tends to try and do everything on his own. Oh anyway, there’s nothing wrong with him- sorry to keep you in suspense there! 🙈 He’s fought cancer in the past, and kicked it’s arse might I add, so for a split second I really thought he was going to say it had come back- thank the daffodils that’s not what he said!

It turns out he went out for his usual weekly drinks at the local club with the usual bunch and the topic had turned to funeral costs (miserable bunch eh?). Now my Dad isn’t tight with his money, but he doesn’t like to waste money if he doesn’t need to either. So when he heard that the cost of a standard funeral is increasing all of the time he asked them a bit more about it. It turns out quite a few of his friends have already planned and paid for their own funerals through Age UK. 😳 Is it just me that thinks that’s a bit weird?! It did make a bit more sense when he explained about the rising funeral costs and not wanting me to be lumbered with the costs when I have young children and a mortgage. 

It wasn’t really something i’d ever imagined discussing with my Dad, at least not yet anyway! We’ve ordered the information pack from Age UK so we can start looking into the options he has. We did try and discuss it on Sunday but it turns out he wants to be put in a cardboard box with ‘This Way Up’ written on the side! And at the very mention of flowers all I got was, (Imagine it in a very broad Geordie accent!) “Aal I want on top of me cardboard box is a f**king cauliflower!” 😂

That’s my Dad for you! 🙈

Cuddle Fairy