Santa Claus is coming to town … at The National Forest Adventure farm

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Are you still looking for the perfect Father Christmas experience to keep the magic of Christmas alive ?? Well look no further … I think I found it right here in the Midlands ! I make no secret of the fact that we all love it at the national Forest Adventure Farm in Burton on Trent but we had never experienced Christmas there … having only discovered it earlier this year !!

We certainly weren’t disappointed !!! Entrance is £6.75 per child with one adult going FREE with each paying child …. this entrance entitles you to use all the facilities … the indoor play area , the giant Christmas Pudding bouncy castle , the outside play area , the barrel stampede ride , the barn …. everything ! And for Christmas there is also Elf School and Elf Sing a Long’s … so much fun ! The farm is fully decorated indoor and out and looks fantastic … the plethora of Elves wandering around and being jolly pleasant to everyone just adds to the atmosphere … The indoor Winter Wonderland with father Christmas’ cabin in the middle is just magical !! For an extra £5  your little ones  can go and spend time with Santa … each child is allocated a time slot so you are not rushed in and out … Your child gets to have a proper chat with father Christmas so he knows exactly what is on their list ! You are then shown into the Elves workshop where your child can choose whichever toy they like from the admirable display … My two chose Teddy Bears !!

Elf School

Elf School

Santa's Sleigh

Santa’s Sleigh

Elf & Safety

Elf & Safetynf4

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We again managed to spend the whole day down on the farm with the boys having an amazing day … Seeing santa was quite literally the icing on the cake !! So if you are looking for an enchanting experience for your children this Christmas … you really ought to get down to the National Forest Adventure farm this weekend …

Family Fun on the Farm

Family Fun on the Farm

Christmas Fireside Stories

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Have you ever just wanted to curl up in a ball in front of the fire and while away a few hours in another world ?? Well this book is the perfect accompaniment to that fireside dream …. A book jam packed with short stories set in Christmases of yesteryear ….. extracts of the authors new books , Christmas memories of the authors own childhood Christmases and   ending on a fine quarry of favourite Christmas recipes ….

I have never been a fan of short stories and I’m a bit greedy and always want more , always want the story to last but in all honesty these stories were perfect ! They were long enough to be meaningful but short enough that I didn’t forget to make breakfast, dinner and tea ….

Here the authors tell you what their story is about in their own words …

Can you tell us a little bit about the short story in Christmas Fireside Stories?

Rita Bradshaw

The heroine, Kate, is one of the brave and gutsy characters I mentioned earlier and she is fighting to keep herself and her two children out of the workhouse after her husband died.

Annie Murray

I decided that I’d like to write something set in the Victorian era, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s a time which our Christmases still seem to look back to, in terms of the traditional style of it. After all, Prince Albert is credited with introducing the Christmas tree from Germany. Also, I love trains and railways and the idea of steam engines and a group of people on a little branch line caught in the snow seemed very promising. Dear old Thomas the dutiful station master who finds women scary seemed to start talking to me in a clear voice right from the beginning…

Mary Wood

Here, I have to admit that short stories weren’t my forte. I am the girl that used to get into trouble at school for writing a novel when just a composition was called for. I cannot stop writing when I start. So, this was a new discipline for me. I was greatly helped by my lovely editor, Louise Buckley. She suggested that I based my story on the characters of my latest book, Proud of You. And so, I tackled it as if I was writing a new chapter of the book. The three friends, Alice, the posh and very rich girl, Lil, the northern lass, who is a nurse, and Gillian, the East-Ender, who is a Land Girl, come together at Christmas. Alice, who was once a patient in the Military Hospital where Lil works, visits and is inspired to try to give the wounded officers a great Boxing day. There are emotion-clouding moments, and relationships coming to new Plato’s, heart-warming moments and heart-rending ones, as together, they try to mend ‘A Wounded Christmas’.

Diane Allen

My story Christmas at Briar Farm is based loosely on my childhood growing up on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Dales. I wrote it through the little girls (Carol’s ) eyes as I think Christmas is all about children. It tells the story of a Yorkshire Farm at Christmas and the celebrations that involve all the family.

Pam Weaver

It must have been terrible to get one of those telegrams during the war, but it must have been doubly difficult if you were the bearer of that bad news. John is only seventeen and not only suffering the pangs of unrequited love, but he has to deliver a telegram to the girl of his dreams. What else would be in a telegram but bad news…

Margaret Dickinson

Several of my books have WW1 as the background and it seemed appropriate this year especially to write about the Christmas Truce of 1914.

A perfect stocking filler for the discerning reader ….

The Nativity !!! The results are in ….

Well it’s all go in this house right now … the nativity parts have been allocated !!! I have one choir member and a King Herod … !! Not just a King Herod … a King Herod with A LINE !!! One whole line …!!! I’m not sure if Teddy could actually be any more excited !!! Frank is totally nonplussed by it all and is spending his time practising the songs and thinking about how to accessorize his dressing gown and tea towel ensemble !!!

They have taken to googling and you tubing other primary schools renditions of the songs they are learning … It’s so funny to watch ! So Funny but so amazing …. these two fantastic little boys so immersed in the Christmas Story ! Sometimes I think my heart might burst !!!

Don’t worry I’ve not forgotten Billy – he’s still 14 and still PS4 obsessed !! I can’t wait to drag him to Carols by Candlelight …. ** evil laugh**

So I’ll keep you posted … King Herod and a singer in the choir … this Nativity is going to ROCK !!

You tubing the nativity !!

You tubing the nativity !!

Spudtastic Times at The national Forest Adventure Farm

boysand forks

The boys and I have found a new favourite place … and it’s literally on our doorstep !! We were invited during the summer to try out the National Forest Adventure Farm  in Burton on Trent  … so off we went totally unsure of what to expect !! It was brilliant … the boys adored the indoor play area with its abundance of slides  and ball pit and nets and …and … well lets just say we could easily have lost them in there for hours and they wouldn’t have blinked an eye !!

We then went outside   and played on tractors , petted the baby animals … ooohed and aaaahed at the calves and the piglets …. milked the cow … raced  the go karts … played on the assault course … looked longingly at the super soakers ….. !!! So much to do  …

We moved on and discovered the scarecrows … !! We MADE a scarecrow or two .. joining in with the world record breaking attempt for the most scarecrows !!! We are now world record holders … amazing !!!

frankscrowtedcrow

scarecrows

We then went on to the Maize Maze where we promptly got lost for an age … finally reaching the exit after an hour in the sunshine !! At times I thought we’d be lost for ever !!!  Such alot of fun !!

maiizemaze

We packed so much into one day we couldn’t wait to go back …. and so we did .. last month when we were invited to go potato picking !!! By now the Maize maze had shut for the winter months ready for replanting for next summer but that didn’t hold us back … after playing on everything again , seeing all the animals again , watching the pig racing ( yes really ) …

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playing Frisbee Golf ( Yes … really !)  and going on the barrel stampede we headed  over to the potato field where we had loads of fun harvesting our own spuds !! The boys got all farmerific on me and wielded their pitchforks with aplomb … I was a very proud Mum that day !!

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With bags of spuds in hands and sweat on our brows … we headed back to the go karts and played a little more !!!!

We have had two fantastic days out courtesy of the National Forest Adventure Farm  … and I know you and yours will too if you give it a try !!! We love it so much we are going back again  in a few weeks for the Pumpkin harvest and the Hallowe’en Half Term Spooktacular …. and I simply can’t wait for the Special Christmas Events in the pipeline !!!

We have landed on our feet finding this gem on our doorstep … Go try it out !!  We’ll probably be there ….

Where did I go ?

I must apologise for being MIA these past few weeks/months … The boys and I have had a whirlwind of a summer and to make the most of it I decided to take a little summer blogging break too !! We had a mad time these school holidays with lots of day trips , park visits and journeys here there and everywhere ! I’ll tell you more about them later …. But now my boys are all back at school and I am patiently waiting to start a new job !! Yes I’ve only gone and got me a new job … !! Hurrah ! 

So for now I must sign off and go sort my house out after it’s 6 weeks of abuse …

I’ll be back very soon to tell you lots of tales about Mummy’s Blue Eyed Boys xx  Stick with me folks ….

Pentax Digital Camera

Our fantastical Summer Fete

I spend alot of my waking hours thinking about what I can do to help others … I don’t know why .. I just do ! So when the idea of a Community Summer fete to raise money for two very deserving charities popped into my head a few months ago I decided to go for it !

After months of planning , heartache , headaches , excitement and downright good fun our Summer fete became a reality on Saturday and boy was it “fun” !!  We were raising money for a charity called DBA UK … DBA ( Diamond Blackfan Anaemia) is a very rare blood disorder where patients fail to reproduce red blood cells . My friend Laura and her little 2 year old daughter both suffer from this condition . Laura is sympton free however little Isabelle has to have monthly blood transfusions along with lots of other treatment to enable her to live a happy healthy life . I chose Isabelle as my inspiration … to go through so much and still smile strongly , live wildly and be happy every day … amazing little thing ! I am also running the Great North Run for Isabelle and all the other DBA patients out there !!

DBA 5

This is Laura , Isabelle & Meghan

 The other project we were raising money for is The Boulton Lane Community Garden project  … I live in one of the more deprived areas in Derby city  and what we are aiming to do is creat a Community garden for use by all . This project requires a large amount of funding  and the summer fete was my way of giving a helping hand to something that so many will benefit from. Something that will open the doors and get the community working together , resting together and building hope ! I can’t wait for it to begin … My family will alongside so many others reap so much from what we sow !

Saturday morning .. I overslept !! Great start to the day … I then had to get Billy over the other side of Derby for his Archery lesson , pick up one of the stall holders from another part of Derby and get back to be there to help all my volunteers set up and get sorted !!! It was manic !!! I don’t think I stopped moving all day – great for the waistline as I also forgot to eat !!! Not even a sausage from Mike’s BBQ !!!

I am pleased to say the fete was a resounding success …. busy busy busy … It was never quiet , there was never a lull , the tombola sold out in an hour , the raffle just kept getting better , the name of the cow was guessed , the number of lollies in a jar after much deliberation was won … the cake was weighed and is probably now demolished ! The strawberries and cream flew out the door , the BBQ ran out of food , the tea ladies just kept on pouring .. and still the people came !!!! I cannot put into words how proud I felt … watching members of our community stream through the doors of our little church hall and spill out into the garden … laughter rang through the air and voices were merrily chatting away !!

DBA

That’s me .. manning the raffle !!!

Frankie & Chris selling Betty's Eggs !

Frankie & Chris selling Betty’s Eggs !

Jumping Clay & Loom band workshop

Jumping Clay & Loom band workshop

In the garden

In the garden

Inside the hall

Inside the hall

I’m actually crying as I tell you all about this ! It was  amazing ! We raised over £800 meaning the charity and the garden project get just over £400 each ! I am truly blessed to be part of this community … and I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people around me ! Without them none of this could have happened !! Thank you thank you thank you !!!!

Right …. Onto the Christmas Fair … here we go again …..

 

http://www.justgiving.com/jujurunsagain  (If you wanted to donate ….:) !!! )

 

Run or Dye (trying) !!

 

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Well you guys all know I’m one of life’s triers … I love to put myself out there and prove people wrong about their perceptions of me !! I also like to do stuff that makes other people go “Wow ! Maybe I can do that too …”  so without a second thought to it I have signed up to run in the Nottingham Run or Dye event … ! I did a colour run a few months ago and absolutely blummin’ loved it .. so this was an opportunity I was not going to miss !!

For those of you not in the know  Run or Dye is a 5k run, walk , dance , crawl ( I will possibly be part of the latter) where you get showered with a rainbow of colour as you pass each kilometre  .. turning you into your own walking , talking , laughing technicolour canvas !! Literally becoming the rainbow … Run or Dye is the UK’s most colourful run … with no less than 5 colour stations en route  plus the mad , wild colour release at the finish line !!!

run or dye throw

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait !!! I have already booked my place alongside my friend Nikki – a complete running novice and recovering from major surgery !!! See it really is for EVERYONE .. and family friendly too … Children Under 6 run FREE !!

If you’d like to book a place .. go to Run or Dye and get filling in the form …. as a little incentive why not use the code BLUEEYEDBOYS to get yourself a little discount !!! I’m so good to you guys :) !!

See you at the start line … let me know if you’re coming ! It’s going to be a BLAST !!!!

run or dye header