A trip to the farm

IMG_8663IMG_8648  A couple of months back we noticed a sign appear at the side of the main road in to our town for a kids mini farm. We often said we should stop and have a look but either the weather was bad, we were rushing somewhere or other or our baby was asleep. Today the weather was glorious, mild and sunny, so we decided to make a trip out to the farm. IMG_8655IMG_8678IMG_8682 Right off the main road, with easy parking, is this small farm. There were lots of chickens, a few goats, a donkey (set back from the viewing area though so we couldn’t get close) and some sheep. Although it was very small, it was perfect for our 11 month old to spend a bit of time looking at the animals.IMG_8649IMG_8666She smiled and flapped her arms and legs in excitement when the sheep and goats came up to her (at the other side of a fence of course) and often tried to reach out to them. She also happily watched the chickens moving around in there enclosure. We were really lucky to time our visit to see a two day old lamb. You can find a photo of the lamb with my baby here as my living arrows photo for the week. IMG_8651IMG_8634This little farm was just the perfect size for the short attention span of an 11 month old. What’s more it is free and right on our main route in and out of town. I am sure we will be stopping many more times this spring/summer to watch our daughters interest in the farm animals develop as she grows. Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Oh dear! – what we’re reading

IMG_8588We love Rod Campbell’s Dear zoo, so when I spotted oh dear! in the sale in our local book shop, I quickly snapped up a copy.

IMG_8591Oh dear! is another fun, lift the flap book. It is similar to dear zoo in many ways but this time the animals are farm animals. As with dear zoo there is lots of repetition and the story is simple.

IMG_8595Buster is staying on his grandma’s farm, when one morning she sends him to collect the eggs for breakfast. The only problem is Buster seems to have forgotten which animal lays eggs. So he visits various farm animals until he remembers that he will find eggs in the hen house.

IMG_8598There are lots of opportunities to learn about farm animals, such as what noises they make and where they live on a farm (hen house, sty, barn etc). We love this book already and just like dear zoo, I can see us reading it for many years to come.

IMG_8601This week I am linking up with Carie at Space for the butterflies and Damson lane. Please do pop other to their blogs by clicking on the buttons below to link up what you’ve been reading with your children or to get some ideas.

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading
Damson Lane
300 picture book challenge
Since I was ill last week, this is an update of the books we have read this past 2 weeks. Poppet has been ill for most of the past two weeks and as such, has not been on the move quiet as much. We’ve had a few days where she has been happy to sit and read books for more than 30 seconds so I have made the most of it! As always you can find the full list of what we have read so far (and a brief review of each) on my pinterest board.
Untitled-1Number of new books this fortnight – 8

Total number of books read this year – 95/300

Living arrows 12/52

IMG_8509It’s been another week of illness in our house. When I blogged my living arrows post last week I was ill and Poppet was on the mend. By Wednesday I was feeling a lot better but Poppet seemed to be getting worse again. Thankfully she has been improving all weekend and today we started a new week and returned to some of our normal activities. We visited our friends this morning and had some water play this afternoon. She loved playing with the water in this box along with her new bath toy. So much so that she climbed in fully dressed! I think at almost 11 months, the difference between water play and bath time are very blurred!

IMG_8555living arrows

Living arrows 11/52

SavedPicture-2014318144150.jpgAlthough Poppet was a lot better after Monday, she still wasn’t her usual happy self until she started sleeping properly again on Thursday night. Then Saturday I started feeling full of cold which unfortunately got worse. So not only I did I take very few photos last week but I am very late blogging and linking up with living arrows this week. Here is a phone photo taken on our trip to the duck pond on Thursday morning. Hopefully normal blog service will resume soon!

living arrows

In my kitchen – Cake angels review

Cake angels very kindly sent me a selection of their edible cake decorations so that I could get some cake decorating practice in before my baby’s first birthday (where has the last year gone?).

IMG_8325 I decided to make fairy cakes (or cupcakes if you prefer) and used their recipe for vanilla cupcakes (see below). There are lots more delicious sounding recipes on their website and lots of inspiration for decorating cakes so it is well worth a visit.

IMG_8315The recipe worked well for me and the cakes were moist and delicious. I will certainly be using the recipe again.

IMG_8331Now you will have to excuse the poorly decorated cupcakes. Although I cook and bake a lot, cake decorating is not something I do very much of. I also had limited time (nap time) to decorate them and although I think I do have a piping bag some where, I had to make do with spreading the icing with a knife. The great thing about cake angels decorations is that they are so easy to use and even with limited time and skills you can make your cakes look great.

IMG_8345I don’t think I will be getting a new career in cake decoration any time soon! The most important thing though is that they tasted great. For the biggest impact I would usually decorate all my fairy cakes in a similar style but I decorated them all differently here to show off the possibilities with the range of decorations I was sent.

I love that you can pick up edible cake decorations so easily and affordably. They make your cakes look beautiful, with very little effort. I will be buying more cake angel decorations in the near future without a doubt.

IMG_8353I’ve never bought ready made icing before but it was so quick and easy to use and tasted delicious (my husband later confessed to eating some of the left overs with a spoon, straight from the tub!). If time is not on your side then I can recommend cake angels vanlla icing tubs. I’ve heard there is a chocolate fudge icing tub which sounds yummy! IMG_8352Vanilla cupcakes (makes 12)

  • 125g Self-raising flour
  • 125g Soft unsalted butter
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with 12 cake cases.
  2. Using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
  3. Spoon into the cases equally. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top, check to see if the cupcakes are ready by inserting a cocktail stick into one of the cupcakes. If it comes out dry then the cupcakes are done. As soon as possible, take the cupcakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, on a wire rack.

Disclosure – I was sent this selection of edible cake decorations, free of charge, in exchange for this review. The recipe is kindly reproduced with permission of cake angels. All thoughts and opinions are my own as are the photographs.

Peep inside animal homes – what we’re reading

IMG_8424I spotted this book in the library and although Poppet, at 10 months, is too young to really appreciate this book, it found its way home with us anyway.

IMG_8441I fell in love with the beautiful illustrations and I’m a sucker for lift the flap books (well any clever, interactive children’s books really). The illustrations are so detailed and I love all the cut out bits that use something on the next page as part of the illustration on the current page. Every time I pick it up I notice something new.

IMG_8452The book teaches children about animal habitats; from farms to woodlands and deserts to snow. Without even realising, young readers will learn about where animals live and other details such as tadpoles grow in to frogs and bees live in hives and make honey.

animal houses

Click on the image to enlarge and really appreciate the detail

For the moment, I am reading it to Poppet and pointing things out in the pictures. She is enjoying lifting the flaps and turning the chunky pages. I will be buying a copy for my daughter when she is a bit older and I look forward to helping her learn about animals through this book.

I am linking up this week with Carie at Space for the butterflies and Damson lane. Please do pop other to their blogs by clicking on the buttons below to link up what you’ve been reading with your children or to get some ideas.

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading
Damson Lane
300 picture book challenge
Another slow week this week for reading new books but Poppet was sick from Friday afternoon onwards. As always you can find the full list of what we have read so far (and a brief review of each) on my pinterest board.
Untitled-2Number of new books this week – 3
Total number of books read this year – 87/300