Saturday, 23 August 2014

Penrhyn Castle

When we were on our camping holiday in Wales, we took the opportunity to visit Penrhyn Castle.
It wasn't the best day to visit, as it was pouring down with rain, but it didn't stop us getting out and about. The castle was very grand, and the walk up, got the girlies excited.
 
It was like a fairy tale castle, all in tact.
The girlies are used to seeing castle ruins, and think this is the first intact castle they have been too.
 

 
Inside the palace, was like a stately home. The girlies enjoyed the entrance and main hall, as they could explore freely, and sat on the chairs that were once sat on by the original owners. But as we got further in, the red ropes appeared, and they didn't like not being able to explore and touch. Our girlies are little explorers. We did the activity that gets the kids to spot things around the house, as in the eyes of the resident dog. And they even saw a bed that was made for Queen Victoria.

 
Once we left the insides of the castle, the rain had disappeared, so the girlies got a chance to go to the park, and run around the grounds...
 

 
 Then it was the run back down the hill to the car.... on slippery gravel...
 
 Which resulted in grazed knees and mummy cuddles...
 
 It was a lovely day out as a family whilst on holiday, and a new experience for the girlies, seeing such a grand castle/house.


 
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 22 August 2014

Making "Ice" hard candy Frozen style

Today is J's party, it's not actually her birthday until early October, but due to daddy M's working pattern he doesn't actually have any weekends off in October, and with her starting school, thought September, she will still be making new friends, and adapting to her new 'school life'. So today is her PARTY!!! yeay!
 
We asked her what theme she wanted, and of course, she wanted a Frozen theme. So I got to work on Google and Pinterest for ideas. Most of the ideas needed homemade ice, aka candy. And most recipes I found online were American, which meant bad news for us Brits, as corn syrup is hard to find. But I did find one that's tasty, and it worked.
 
Here is what we did to make sheet candy:
 
1 cups of water
2 cup of sugar
 
We tried 2 batches, both tasty, but completely different results.
 
The first one I popped the sugar in first then the water. Stirred it whilst heating, and did the cold water test as didn't have a thermometer, which you can see here. Then added flavouring and colouring when it was ready. (We chose peppermint) And then poured it onto a baking sheet for it to cool.
 
 
As you can see, it wasn't the smooth candy we were hoping for, but was still used.
But me being me, I wasn't happy with this FAIL.... so asked my mother-in-law if I could borrow her jam making thermometer to make sure it got to the correct temperature...
 
This is the correct way:
 
1 cup of water
2 cups of sugar
 
Stir until dissolved, and then heat. Add the thermometer at this stage. We also added the food colouring before heating as we didn't want as much. Then we stirred it occasionally until it reached 270-290'F for soft crack consistency, then poured it quickly on to the baking sheet.
 
We could tell almost instantly that this batch was much more better, and it even had a glittery appearance which was perfect.
 
 
It certainly passed the taste test from S.... her new tantrums are because she wants this candy!
 
Due to the temperatures, the girlies didn't help. but J did dissolve the sugar before we added it to the heat.
 
 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Potty training success.....

Now I really don't want to jinx it, but I think little S has cracked it....  yesterday she only had 1 accident, the ENTIRE day!!! Yesterday I updated about the slow progress and the up and downs of one day having one success the next 4.... but WOW... over 10 successful potties yesterday.
 
Bribery certainly worked to get it going, but as the day progressed, habit was kicking in, and she wasn't bothered in retrieving a sticker that would earn her, her big all singing all dancing dinosaur.
 
Yesterday, she was so confident with it, she even went to empty a potty down the real toilet, without telling mummy.... result it all over the toilet, but its proving she knows exactly what to do... yeay!!
 
Another positive, is she is not holding it in, (a sign of kidney reflux) yesterday she was going little and often.
 
Today.... she will be wearing clothes on the bottom half... we shall see how that goes, but yeay... proves that when they are ready, they still need a little bit of practice before they smash it!
 
 
Ethans Escapades

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Potty training update....

Last week I posted about the lead up at the very start of potty training here. We are just starting day 7 here, and I still cant say we have cracked it....

We have had all sorts of potty incidents over the last few days... here is a brief summary of the ups and downs... and not just the jumping off the potty!


Day 2: Great start in the morning, having 3 successful potty's. Afternoon, she got LAZY and didn't even try, having a few accidents, and just before bed, a huge accident on our fabric settee, not moving so didn't realise until it had soaked all the way through, and into the base..... not a happy mummy.....

Day 3: This was my most OMG.... day of potty training.... whilst I was having a shower, S decided she needed a #2 it was half on the potty, half on the floor, and smeared all over the back of the seat... she also decided to get some wooden musical clappers (like clam shells) and attempted to pick it up with them getting it stuck all inside, and then using that to draw over the walls.....  This did not get a sticker, even though she tried, due to the behaviour after, so only 2 successful attempts on this day.

S's artwork without pens....
Day 4: She didn't even try, we had a houseful of other children, and family friends, playing outside, we didn't find accidents inside but only had to empty one potty all day.... hmm..... think she may have been watering the garden??

Day 5: This day we had a party at a play area, and decided she was not competent, or even slightly potty trained to attempt it nappy less, so we stuck a nappy on with tights so she couldn't remove it easy enough. But she had 1 success again. She was extremely tired and irritable on this day, so don't think this helped.

Day 6: WOW... something must have suddenly clicked or she didn't like the nappy last night, as she had 4 successful potty's without any reminders...  she's happy to flush the toilet now too, and we only have 1 sticker left on the 1st pack of stickers, so half way through to her getting her bribery toy.... only 3 small accidents...

She seems to have mastered the #2 on the potty as haven't had to pick any up, or found any stuffed anywhere, apart from day 3 shenanigans... so its just the #1's we need to sort, but not sure if her kidney reflux is playing a part or not?? As she will happily sit on the potty for 10 minutes at a time and think she has done something and not???

Sunday, 17 August 2014

My Sunday Photo

A few weeks ago, the girlies and myself drove down to do a surprise visit to my parents for my mums birthday, they loved seeing us, and the girlies enjoyed some extra family time with their grandparents, cousins and auntie and uncle. This snap was taken whilst we were down there...
 
They live a 510 mile trip away, so we don't often see them, so treasure these special photos...
think this is the first one where both girlies are smiling and looking at the camera with Nana and Grandad !!
 
 




OneDad3Girls

Thursday, 14 August 2014

How to make a Frozen inspired tutu...

Today with us being stuck in the house due to potty training, and the rain pouring, I decided to get stuck in trying to make J's dress for her birthday party next week. She wants it Frozen themed, and her Elsa costume from ASDA doesn't really scream party to me, so........ I attempted to make her a tutu inspired dress.... this didn't work out as I didn't have enough material...D'Oh... so instead I turned it into a tutu, which makes it perfect for all the bouncing and dancing she will be doing....
 
here is how I did it....
 
First I measured a piece of elastic around her chest (was going to do a dress originally, if its a skirt, measure around the waist). Then cut 1-2cm off to allow for it to fit snug and not fall down... then sewn it together.... (please don't laugh at my sewing skills... it works.. doesn't it... lol!)

 
I then found a piece of tulle I liked, pale blue with glitter... perfect for Elsa... and cut it to the required length... (double the length you actually need). And about 4 inches wide approximate.
Then I made a slip knot (think that's what its called) around the elastic, by folding fabric in half, to create a little link (in pic 1) then pulling the ends through, making it wrap around the elastic, (pic 2) and pulling it through (pic 3) Pic 4 and 5 show what it looks like both sides..
That's how simple it is.... then repeat as in pic 6....
 
 
As Js party will have a bouncy castle, I made sure she could jump in it without it falling down...
 
 
The skirt on its own doesn't look very Elsa like, so we have teamed it up with a matching T shirt, and sewn some more material onto the back for her cloak, and made it extra long, as the birthday girl has requested... not sure how that will work with the bouncy castle though.....
 
 
My opinion is, it still doesn't scream party at me.... so we have blinged it up... J's design and mummy's help... 
 
 
 Daddy and Mummys wedding theme was winter wonderland so we still had some snowflakes left over from our name cards, which came in handy... however they don't stick to tulle like we were hoping.... 
 
....as I write this we are still waiting for all the glitter and glue to dry... and hoping it will be party enough for her party day next week....
 
 
The tutu idea is so easy, we even made an Anna from Frozen dress too for little S a few weeks back which also fits J...
 
 
this used the same technique but instead of around elastic it was done through a crochet lined band. which meant no sewing... the front is done with pipe cleaners, but think it needs more tweaking...
 
 
ET Speaks From Home

Potty training - DAY 1

If you follow me on Instagram and twitter you will know we have been attempting to potty train S on/off for several months. This week, we WILL be successful.....

Over the past few months we have given her nappy time off, and she's had the occasional few success's but soon demanded nappies after an hour, and made herself really upset and stressed...
 
....this we know is bad for potty training, so gave in and put nappies back on....
 
She is very picky and chooses when she wants her nappy off, or on, even if that means in the middle of Superdrug loosing your nappy in front of the eyebrow threading lady.... yes that did actually happen!!!!
 
However, after a little chat with S asking what one toy she really, really, really, really wants.... we have come to the conclusions that she wants a VERY BIG Dinosaur....
 
....so.... we are trying bribery.... it went like this...
Mummy: "Tomorrow is your last day in nappies, if you become a big girl and go wee-wee in potty and say bye bye to nappies, we will get you your big dinosaur!"
S: "Ok, mummy"
 
3 minutes later
J: "mummy, S has been for wee-wee in the other room"
*runs in panicked
S: "look mummy, look mummy" pointing to potty!
(nappy thrown on floor)
 
YEAY!!! she is able to do it, and just needed a little helping hand to give her a reason why.
 
So the very next day we went to Toys R Us and let S pick her own reward toy...
 
 
And it seems to be working....
 
The toy is out of reach, but still in plain site, I have made her very own reward chart, for every successful potty trip (where she has made an effort to get to it) she gets a sticker. When they have all gone she gets the toy.
 
 
 
 
Yesterday, was day 1... she was in high spirits.... and got 3 stickers out of the possible 6 oppourtunities.
 
We found the morning was better than the afternoon.
 
 
 
 
 
We are not really trying anything in particular, as she knows what to do, but we are just reminding her, and hoping for the best, with towels, detol, and wipes at the ready, and plenty of encouragement.... BUT this way means that unfortunately it includes coming across some not nice presents on the carpet.
 
So DAY 1 : 3/6..... yeay... not bad..... Well done S!!! My little baby is becoming a big girl!
 
 
AND... J is being fully supportive!! :-) and wants to see inside every successful potty... disgusting child!
Ethans Escapades


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Lets get kids cooking.....

Before the schools and nursery's kicked out for the summer holidays, TESCO started advertising their Farm to Fork cookery classes for school children. They were only available in certain stores, and were a 3 day free course. I tried my luck and booked J on, knowing she was almost 5, but not quite... naughty I know, but J sure does love her baking... and we struck gold... she wasn't asked her age... as we decided to not to get to lie if she was asked. (she was only 2 months off, and is mature for her age!)  They do different times depending on the age category right up to 13 years.
 
The day arrived, and off we went... the cooking class was up in the café, and the class size was small, it was meant to be 6 children, but 2 never turned up on any of the days, which was a real shame, as they could have gone to someone else. And the children were paired up to cook together with parents supervising, and the teachers explaining and demonstrating.
 
First up was to get them ready for cooking. They all had their own aprons, which they also took home after the 3rd day... and a new chefs hat each day too... even the mummies had matching aprons.
 

And then the washing of hands before any food came out....


The children then watched the demonstrations, which also included how to cut an onion, using the arc/claw hand position, which all the children enjoyed demonstrating....


The teachers had all the children's attention for the full 2 hours, and they were engrossed... trying different herbs and smelling the fresh onions and garlics to help all their senses get into cooking.


It was then time to get the children developing the skills they just spoke about, and cooking their own lunch. Each day was something different, with the day photographed being the first....  they learnt how to grate without getting fingers caught, and peeling and crushing garlic, stirring, and onion cutting...
 
All the skills needed to make their very own tomato and basil pasta and sauce....
 
 
J wasn't a big fan of this, unfortunately, but she loved cooking it. We also made fruit parcels to take home and cook in the oven, the following day was pancakes, which was delicious, with homemade bread to take home and bake, which was another firm favourite.... Daddy M then took her on day 3, and came home with more food to sample... TESCO gets a huge thumbs up from us, it wasn't our local, with it being a 40 minute drive, but it was worth it. If your child ever gets the opportunity, grab it with both hands...... Great start to the summer holidays!
 
 
 
This is not a sponsored post, we just had such a great time, we wanted to share our experience!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

My Sunday Photo

This week Daddy M and myself were treated to a night away, girly free.. in the Lake District. The scenery was just stunning... so I'm sorry there is not just one photo this week.... But out the hundreds... just a few... Hope you enjoy the peacefulness as much as we did....








OneDad3Girls

Friday, 8 August 2014

Beach at Dusk

While we were camping in North Wales, we wanted to tire the girls out before bed, so this meant only one thing... visiting the nearby beach at dusk.

It was beautiful, the tide was out, and the sun rays were peaking out from behind the clouds...


Mummy remembered the bucket and spade, but this time the sand didn't seem like building sand, so we stayed along the promenade for the girls to explore...


...and hide....

  and see what they could see... the wrong way...
 
...and collect stones....

 
And we managed to get another family photo...
 
 
Before heading to the park... There is something truly amazing about playing in the park a dusk...next to the beach... and past usual bedtime....
 


 
A great first night of our holidays... :-)
 
 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall