Outdoors at The Gallery

July 9, 2014 at 12:30 PMCoombeMill

The Theme on the Gallery over at Sticky Fingers this week is The Outdoors.

How could I miss this? Every week I post about having fun outdoors with my Country Kids linky. The outdoors is a passion of mine, not only is it the essence of our farm lifestyle at Coombe Mill, but it is what we all enjoy as a family and what those who visit us come here for. Fresh air is good for the soul and makes me feel healthier and happier at any time of the year which in turn makes me a better parent. All the children will agree that I am a grumpy mummy if I have been in the office all day and equally a day of indoor play at school from wet weather leaves my children with far too much pent up energy such that they will come home and bounce on the trampoline in the pouring rain with my blessing. Thankfully we are having an amazing summer this year here in Cornwall with plenty of sunshine. Here are just a few of our everyday highlights of outdoor life taken largely on my phone this week on and around the farm.

 

Coombe Mill Animal Feed Run in July

Talking to the guests on our feed run each morning is a joy and watching the children interact with the animals. It is always interesting to see what appeals to them, the questions they ask and the imaginative things they find to do along the way.

 

 Bunny Grooming

 

I've been playing on my phone apps while I've been outside and found some fun effects. Farmer Nick is less certain of the merits of being captured in a giant bubble!

 

Bubble magic on Farmer Nick

 

 Our play areas and train rides are always a popular throughout the day or to return to after a day out exploring Cornwall.

 

 Playtime at Coombe Mill Farm Holidays

 

And for those who enjoy fishing or an evening walk the scenery around Coombe Mill is stunning. 

 

Carp Lake at Coombe Mill

 

This doesn't leave much time for getting out and about for us as a family but we always do something fun together on a Sunday, then every Tuesday after school Farmer Nick runs the train and I take the children to the beach for surf club. We all adore the beach and look forward to this time with fun in the waves for the kids while I either join them or jog the coast path as I did this week. It always takes me longer than it ought as I find the views spectacular and can't help myself from stopping to catch my breath and take photos. The coastline is so stunning that even a phone snap is beautiful.

 

 Along the coast path in North Cornwall

Picture post card perfect in fact!

 

From Polzeath around the coast path

 

I wouldn't swap my outdoor lifestyle for the world, just don't ask me to sleep outdoors at night, the thought of the biting insects and 4am light streaming through a tent puts me off, I do appreciate my super king size bed and a good night's sleep then I am ready to enjoy the outdoors again. Incidentally five of our properties now boast super king beds too so if a big bed and a good nights sleep help your outdoor fun too do please look us up.

Joining in with Point and Shoot

 

Outerwear for Adventurous Kids

January 14, 2014 at 6:44 AMCoombeMill

Freedom outdoors for kids

We all know that children love the freedom of the outdoors. All outdoor space including parks, beaches and woodland are full of hidden surprises in a child's mind. Allowing children to explore the wonderful world around them, to fuel their imagination and fill their senses is something we love to encourage and observe as a parent. However, let's be honest, who does this and also secretly thinks about the next wash load, what Grandma will say when she sees the state of their new outfit and other such parenting thoughts. My own children are forever coming home from the farm so filthy even the washing machine coughs at the mud during the winter months! 

 

Guy fresh from a bog at Coombe Mill Farm

 

Help is at hand

Rain-Shine is a super online company recently accredited with the same Small business Sunday award from Theo Paphitis as Coombe Mill. When I saw the obvious match in their clothing range and our farm holidays I was keen to partner up with them. Their range extends from beach protective wear to snow suits covering babies and growing kids; something for all weather and every form of outdoor play. There is even a small section for adults. Personally there are days on the farm I could do with their Regatta waterproof trousers!

Rain Shine Logo

Testing, Testing 1,2,3....

I was kindly sent the Togz all in one waterproofs age 3 to test out here on the farm. Over the New Year period I was fairly confident of having some little ones to stay who would fit the bill. On the First morning tractor ride I found my perfect three year old. Full of excitement for a tractor ride and animal feeding, but no water proofs and so her parents kindly agreed to give my sparkly new Togz a test run. They became the outfit that saved the washing during her stay. Every day her clothes were beautifully preserved while the fun and freedom of the farm enjoyed to its best despite the very mixed weather. From a dry bottom on the train to bouncing on the trampoline, the Togz waterproof really did do the job.

Rain Shine in Coombe Mill Play Areas

 

In the fields & on the Coombe Mill Railway

 

This Togz all in one retails on the rain-shine website for £30.99 including post and packaging in the UK. The recommended age guide is good and fitted our lovely holiday model perfectly with just enough growing room. It isn't the cheapest on the market but it is a cut above in quality. The handy gathering on the back makes it more fitted and comfortable while the Velcro tabs ensure the cuffs and feet fit snugly. The material is flexible yet thicker than many all in ones I have seen, suggesting it will last well; I do hope so as it is now hanging in my borrow room in the Coombe Mill reception shop ready for the next visitor to come and give it a go!

 

Togz in our borrow reception shop

 

Win your Togz all in one with Coombe Mill

These all in one overalls would make a great wardrobe addition for any fun loving child.  For a chance to give your kids that outdoor freedom with no clothes worries why not enter the prize draw below. Simply follow the instructions.

Good luck to all taking part. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

December 13, 2013 at 10:50 AMCoombeMill

Christmas Reindeer

Here at Coombe Mill we have a wonderful herd of fallow deer. They are on extra rations now just in case Santa needs them for Christmas.

 Coombe Mill Deer at eating breakfast

However everyone knows Santa's first choice is for Reindeer; not something we plan to move into on the farm but, thanks to a post I was copied in on via twitter from The Un Cheshire Wife, we have reindeer of sorts. Lolly, who writes the Un Cheshire Wife, collected some homemade reindeer from The Walton Lea Project, to sell on at a Charity Christmas fair and kindly thought what fun they would be for us. All it took was a quick look at the simple design and we were all off on a mission to make a Coombe Mill reindeer family for Christmas. 

Our first task was to find suitable bodies from the log pile.

 

Reindeer body hunting

 

Then we needed limbs and antlers from around the farm. This gave the boys a chance to try out Dad's saws under my watchful eye.

Sawing branches on the farm

 

I did try to take us on a short cut back to the shed past where the lake had been dredged in the autumn and came a cropper in the mud! At times like this having teenage boys to tug me out really does help, meanwhile Guy kindly took my camera to protect it from the bog and proceeded to take copies photos of my stuck position complete with my bum in the air as I tugged at my boots! When asked why he didn't take any from the front he wisely pointed out that would have involved him being stuck too!

 

Stuck in the mud

 

Safely back at the shed and Nick was busy drilling holes into bodies for the legs to be attached. It was really a very slick operation leaving the rest of us watching in awe. Felix was allowed a turn and said it was much harder than it looked!

 

 Making Reindeer at Coombe Mill

 

The triplets had a bit of fun with the antlers and making snow storms from the sawdust generated from Dad's work.

 

 Kids at play

 

 

Working as a team, with a little play in between, we managed 3 adult reindeer and a baby one which the children carefully clung onto for the bumpy journey from Dad's shed to the lawn where they finished up looking impressive over the lane for all to see.

 

 

 

Clio even experimented with blinging one of them up with Tinsel. 

 Coombe Mill Reindeer Family

 

Then inspiration struck. We had a set of solar lights which we carefully removed from their hedge location and wrapped them round the reindeer. There weren't quite enough to fully define the reindeer but it still made a fun Christmas decoration. 

 Christmas lighting Reindeer

 

I think these reindeer might become an annual craft for us; certainly cheaper than and just as effective as the expensive designer decorations sold in the shops!

Remembering Kerry aka Multiple Mummy

Kerry is a wonderful lady I never managed to meet, yet tweeted with often. She was at the heart of the Mummy blogging world just eighteen months ago before a terrible brain haemorrhage. Kerry lost her brave fight for life a year ago today leaving a wonderful husband and 3 tiny children. The blogging world thought it would be fitting to remember her today through her linky Family Frolics which was born at the same time as Country Kids; Kerry and I both laughed at how similar our ideas were. Country Kids is now in its 114th week and I know if Kerry were here we would still be linking up and supporting each other. My Christmas Reindeer family fun this week doubles up as a Family Frolics post as it would have in past times.  RIP Kerry x

 

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is simply about outdoor fun for kids. Please come and join in and share your adventures whether they be crafting, learning, playing or discovering the great outdoors. From an urban park to the quiet of the woods, make the most of your family time out then grab the badge and share your fun here. Remember to pop back and see what others have been doing too; my inspiration often comes from reading your posts.

A few of my favourites from last week were: 

Can I walk Mummy? Shares a wonderful family day out full of Christmas cheer

Maris World has totally inspired me with this Reindeer Trail, which I now want to create at Coombe Mill 

Right from the Start has some great ice play ideas for Christmas fun and makes it educational too

Just for this week, in remembrance of Kerry, any indoor or outdoor family fun posts carrying the Family Frolics logo are most welcome to join this Linky. There is also a Blog Hop for Family Frolics organised by The Boy and Me 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

November 22, 2013 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

We are preparing for Christmas

I love everything about Christmas, the build up, shopping for presents, wrapping presents, planning all the fun of the farm for our holiday guests and a little bit of crafting with the children. I stumbled over this idea while I was fiddling with an old newspaper recalling making seat cushions as a Girl Guide and waiting for a cake to come out of the oven. The most unlikely but true start to our advent calendars this year.  The rest evolved as ever with help from the children.

Homemade Advent Calendars

I showed them how to fold and weave the sheets of newspaper to make a grid of 25 squares and they all soon grasped the idea and joined in. The corners are then tucked in to make a neat square shape on both sides. It is important to have a good overhang of newspaper for the tucking in as this helps give the shape structure.

 

Weaving Newspaper for a Christmas calendar

We threaded a wooden BBQ skewer and string through the top section to hold the shape and provide a way to hang the calendar. 

Calendar Ready to Decorate for Christmas

Then for the fun part: The children each choose a colour and painted their square helped by Penguin our cat who was lucky not to end up with paint on her paws.

 

Christmas Calendar making

Next an excuse for some farm fun as we set off in search of some festive ivy to make our decorations.

 

 Hunting on the farm for Christmas Ivy

Guy and Jed stuck their ivy onto the wet paint along with some icing sugar for a Christmassy effect. Clio chose to use the ivy leaf as a print to paint onto her dried square later on. The children then wrote the numbers one to twenty five in random squares across the front face to give themselves a challenge each morning to find the number!

Decorating Christmas Calendars

Finally the part they were most excited about: threading candy sticks and chocolate pennies into the pockets. I deliberately chose this mix as some of the pockets have no bottom depending on the direction of the weave while others are secure but accessed at the side.

 Filling the Calendars with sweets

 

The result is three amazing home produced calendars for just £2 each, which was the price of the candy and chocolate pennies. They look wonderful on the back of their bedroom doors all ready for next weekend.

 Homemade Christmas Calendars for £2

After all that crafting there was just time for a quick kick about with the football since my Country Kids can never sit still for too long and the boys had a league match to practice for the following day.  Jed came home from the actual game with the 'Man of the Match' trophy and couldn't have been more proud.

 

 Garden Footie

Win Christmas with Us

Just in case you missed all my tweets this week, I have a competition up to win your family Christmas with us here at Coombe Mill. If your Christmas party has seven or less people and you fancy the idea of Christmas away why not hop on over and enter? I guarantee plenty of Country Kids moments for the winner.  

Joining In with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about enjoying outdoor activities with the kids. I know its winter, the days are short and it can be cold and wet, but still a little fresh air is good so wrap up warm, turn off the screens, leave the central heating and make time for some outdoor family fun. It can be a simple as as trip to the park, the beach or the woods, garden crafts, a family day trip, recent holiday highlights or anything else you do outdoors. If you can add the badge to your post that would be grand and please, please come back and visit a few others linked up. They may just inspire your next adventure. 

If you are short of ideas take a look at a few posts that stood out for me last week:

I love this woodland adventure brought home and used back indoors for an autumn sensory train track from Edspire

Similarly More than a Momma brings their fun at the woods home and creates a treasure tin to build up each time they visit

The Boy and Me and Shutterflies make me yearn for a beach trip with these lovely photos

Three Boys and a Cat reminds me that we need to crack on with some bird food making again this season

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Win a Toddler Rain Suit for Outdoor Fun

July 24, 2013 at 9:32 AMCoombeMill

Kids Love to be Outdoors

Here on the farm we encourage children to get into nature, to help us on the farm and I mean really help. I love to watch the little ones grow in confidence over the week, where once they were scared by the pushy goats or nervous of feeding the donkey, more often than not by the last day they are mucking in with everything. The only downside in all of this is the more involved and confident they become the grubbier they get. We never like to let a little muck get in the way of a good farm holiday and have an ample supply of overalls for borrow in our reception shop. This way, Mums and Dads can relax in the sure knowledge that washing isn't going to be the highlight of the holiday for them!

 

Farmer Nick's Little Helpers

 

Adventure Togs

When Adventure Togs contacted me to review a set of their overalls, I was delighted. Adventure Togs was started by Catherine almost ten years ago through the need to find quality outdoor clothing for her own children. The company now supplies to schools, nurseries and playgroups throughout the UK as well as through their online shop at www.adventuretogs.co.uk.

Adventure Togs Rain Suit

 

Testing on the Farm

Our overalls really do get some serious use and I was more than happy to put an Adventure Togs set through its paces on the farm.  I received the Navy and Royal all in one rain suit for age 3 and it barely found the peg in reception before it was selected for the morning feed run.  It fitted our tall nearly 3 year old little farm helper a treat. With Velcro tabs at the ankles and wrists and a pull in section at the waste you can afford to go a little large and really get your money's worth as I reckon it would cover two years of use this way. Being made of a quality waterproof fabric I'm sure your child will outgrow it before wearing it out, good news if there are siblings to hand it down to and perfect for us as it will see plenty of use here at Coombe Mill! These rain suits retail for £27.99 but if you enter the discount code SUMMER25 you will receive a 20% discount for orders over £25 on any orders on the websitebefore 31.8.13. I rather like the look of these lunchboxes for the new school term too. 

 

Adventure Togs Rain suit on the farm

 

No farm visit to Coombe Mill would be complete without a splash in a puddle and the ford. Handy when you can stay dry and clean too!

 

Puddle splashing at Coombe Mill in a rain suit

 

Win your Adventure Togs All in One Kids Rain Suit with Coombe Mill

If you would like to win a Kids rain suit from Adventure Togs please leave a comment below saying how it would be handy for you. Remember to leave a way for me to contact you.

To increase your chance of winning: 

Follow AdventureTogs and Coombemill on Twitter and leave ONE separate comment here to say you have done so with your twitter name.

For another entry like Coombemill and AdventureTogs on Facebook and leave ONE extra comment here with your Facebook name.

For one final entry, please tweet the following sentence and leave another comment to say you have done so

I've entered to WIN a quality kids @AdventureTogs all in one Rain Suit for outdoor fun with @coombemill http://bit.ly/16YItsr Why don't you? Pls RT:

 

The competition is open to UK residents and will close on Wednesday 7th August. The winner will be selected by RandomOrg.com and announced the following morning. Good luck to all taking part.

The Winner is  Elaine Livingstone @Pooohbear2811 Congratulations to Elaine and thank you to everyone who took part. 

 

Disclosure: I was given my Adventure Togs rain suit to review for this competition and keep for our holiday guests to use at Coombe Mill. The views and opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Please share our family farm holidays, I'd be so proud

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all. 


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