Returning to a heat wave in Cornwall

Posted on July 23rd, 2016 -

Away in Greece

We have been away in Greece for the past week with our older two boys. It is years since we have flown abroad and a trip we all enjoyed. I took my last dip in the sea the morning we left and dug my only cardigan and jacket out of my case ready for England.

 

Early morning sunlight over the sea and sail boat at Kantia Greece

Heat wave to greet us back home 

Touching down at Heathrow I was convinced I’d gone full circle back to Greece. I swear the temperature was the same and our broken air conditioning in the car made for a sweaty car journey back to Cornwall. Even the evening temperature held up and as I stretched my legs with an evening walk catching up with Theo, who was deep in tales of the new Pokémon Go on his mobile. I was struck anew by the beauty of home, green of the landscape and richness of our sunset.

 

sunset in july heatwave in cornwall

 

Out on the feed run the following morning I had a chance to catch up with our new guests and hear of the marvellous heat wave they had been enjoying.

Checking the wings of chickens for flight on the farm in the Cornish  July heat wave

 

The whole farm was looking its very best in the summer heat wave and my huge thanks go to Farmer Amber and our local friends for caretaking the farm in our absence and looking after the younger children. The break in Greece had done us the world of good and the younger kids sound as though they had been spoilt rotten and not missed us for a minute. Though Clio was keen to show me her latest gymnastics achievement.

My clever girl mastering her gymnastics @hey_its_clio on the Coombemill train garden

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Benefits of a holiday 

Both Nick and I are refreshed and more than ready to take the reins again for the summer season ahead.  They boys have had a cultural fill to last a lifetime and established some memorable family links in Greece. When guests come to us and say how they completely switch off and feel refreshed from the holiday I now understand just what they mean. There is nothing quite like a good holiday for making the most of time together and time to rejuvenate body and soul for the year ahead with or without a heat wave.

Speaking of holidays don’t forget there’s still time to enter to win a family Christmas holiday at Coombe Mill, just click on the badge below for details.

 

Win Christmas at Coombe Mill   Photalife


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 -

Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky with a simple objective for healthy kids of mind and body:

“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”

Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside. 

Coombe Mill holiday guest feeding Queenie the goat her bottle of milk

It really is time for Queenie to come off the bottle but feeding her is so much fun for our visitors.

Guidelines for Joining in: 

  • Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
    • Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
    • Large unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
  •  Comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
    • If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
  • Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
  • Link posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
    • I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
  • By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
  • There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.

Thank you to my top 3 commenters from last week:

1st Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 25 posts this week

2nd Sarah from Boo, Roo and Tigger Too commented on 19 posts this week

3rd Melody from Domesstique and commented on 18 posts this week

Do check out their posts too. 

My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.

Happy to see that the, ‘link dump and run’ culprits went back down to only 3 people so thank you all for putting in the effort this week!

Special thanks this week goes to Karen from Stopping at Two who popped by to share the blog love on several Country Kids posts without even linking a post herself. 

Introducing Rockfish, the Country Kids Sponsor

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

Your Chance To Win with Rockfish Wellies from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK. 

I am delighted to announce that Rockfish have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish Wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.

Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here,  will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. 

For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.  

Posts from last week in with a chance of the July Rockfish Wellies:

My most commented post again from from Glimmer of Hope who saw the school run from her sons perspective.

How could I not love this lovely write up fromMummy Melton on her family holiday here at Coombe Mill. 

Squidge and Boo made a great garden water drop to keep the kids entertained with learning benefits too 

Country Kids Communities

I’d love you to join me: 

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.

Join the Google Plus community page for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Creating Knights and Dragons Themed Play

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 -

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

From old socks to playing knights and dragons.

Farmer Nick was turning out his old socks. The washing machine in our house eats socks, or it could be that our growing teen boys pinch them! Either way he had a stack of odds heading for the bin. I was sure I could put them to good use. Playing around with a sock, a stick and some wool I soon had a hobby horse. It was a short jump from there to a whole activity hour theme on knights and dragons.   

Kights play fighting in DIY famcy dress at coombe Mill Holidays

Our knights began by choosing themselves a cape out of the dressing up box before turning their hand to making their horse. We wrapped wool round the stuffed sock to create the facial features and reigns, finishing off with some googly eyes.

Making Hobby Hourses at Coombe Mill Holidays to play Knights and Dragons

With horses complete our knights went off on a nature hunt to find jewels for the perfect crown or helmet.

A nature hunt to make knights crowns or helmets on the farm

Next up we turned cereal boxes into Knights shields with floristry ribbon crosses on the front.

Making shields for a knights and dragons activirty hour on the farm

We still had swords to make but my little warriors were flagging and keen to start the knights and dragons hunt I’d promised. We handed out colouring sheets containing the dragons we were off to find on our mission to pull the famous King Arthur Sword from the stone in Jurassic Park. There was just time to fuel up on chocolate dragon eggs before we set off. 

This was the part that really excited the children. In full fancy dress they had their eyes wide open looking all around for the dragons. They were triumphant each time one was spotted and before we knew it the trail had led us to the gates of Jurassic Park.

Hunting for dragons on the farm

 Once inside the children were convinced that with their new magic powers from their outfits they would be able to pull the illusive sword from the stone. To their disappointment Farmer Nick’s cement won and they reluctantly admitted defeat.

Pulling the sword from the stone on the farm at Coombe Mill Holidays

They soon bounced back at the idea of returning to the craft table to make their swords and enjoy another dragon egg.

We swapped dressing up capes for white knight bag capes so that the children could take their whole outfit home with them. The knights and dragons theme had really inspired them and as we left we saw them play fighting with their new swords and setting off to show family members, who had missed the fun, where the dragons hid.

Kights play fighting in DIY famcy dress at coombe Mill Holidays

 It’s amazing how much creative fun came out of Farmer Nick’s odd sock collection!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Journey to the Beginning of the World.

Posted on July 18th, 2016 -

Do you have a child that is full of questions? One who questions how and why to everyday commands or new things they discover in everyday life? Sometimes these questions are easy to answer, like “Why can’t I climb up that rock face” or “why do I have to eat my peas” however sometimes they can get a little more tricky and leave us as parents searching for the right answer.  

Sophie the Girl full of Questions.

Journey to the Beginning of the World – The Bigger Picture

If you have a child of school age who is full of questions about life, the universe and how we fit in, Journey to the Beginning of the World could be a great book to read. I would say the content is around age 7 to 11, just the age where an appreciation of the world around us begins to form. The book takes on some really meaty subjects in a fun fantasy adventure. It carefully delves into the realms of philosophy, religion and science tackling different perspectives and ideas and ultimately leaves the reader feeling there is more than one explanation to the big unanswerable questions that can sit comfortably side by side.

Journey to the Beginning of the World

Journey to the Beginning of the World – The Story

Join Sophie and her little brother kit as they undertake their great adventure to discover the answer to Sophie’s burning Question:

“How was the world made?”

Join them on their adventures through the magic section of a bookshop as they are whisked away to meet a panda, an elephant, a donkey and finally a scientist in a space station. Each has a fascinating explanation for Sophie and Kit and Sophie is left to bring all the ideas together in a very special dream.  

Journey to the end of the world book. Going on an Adventure.

Need to Know Book Details

The book is sold via Rapscallion Press, cleverly written by Virginia McLean and beautifully illustrated by Irvin Chu.  At larger than A4 in size it is a great size for group reading too.  It comes in paperback at £7.99 and hardback at £12.99

Reading Journey to the Centre of the World

Win your copy of Journey to the end of the world

For a chance to win this lovely book in hardback just follow the instructions below.

Journey to the Beginning of the World

Disclosure:

I was sent my copy of the Journey to the end of the World for the purpose of this review however all thoughts are my own. Our Coombe Mill copy is available to borrow from the games room here on holiday.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky  Family Fever


Beaches Near and Far

Posted on July 16th, 2016 -

This has been a week of two halves for me as Farmer Nick and I are currently spending a few days away seeing family in Athens and checking out the beaches down in the Peloponnese region.  We have our two eldest sons with us. The trip was arranged as a post GCSE and A level treat ahead of the results for the work they put in to their studies this year.

I have been so excited for this trip. It is a real chance for me to leave the business in the capable hands of Farmer Amber and enjoy some quality time with Nick and the boys, soaking up the Greek culture, good weather and making the most of time before Alistair goes to university (hopefully) in the autumn.  

Beaches Near and Far Taket he Beach Challenge Cornwall to Greece

Beaches from Cornwall to Greece

What really struck me after some beautiful beach days at home last week is just how similar a beach landscape can look on a sunny day. Granted they are less frequent in Cornwall, but when they come our coastline is stunning and the beaches some of the best around.  

Take the Beach Challenge

Can you tell which photos are taken in Cornwall and which in Greece?

Photo 1 

Beech challenge Cornwall or Greece

Photo 2 

Boats on the Beach

Photo 3 
Surfing at the beach for the Beaches challenge Cornwall and Greece

Photo 4 

Ally in the breakers

Photo With just sand and sea it is so hard to tell, yet as soon as a little landscape or people come into view the clues are there.

The first photo is Cornwall just before we left. The waves are actually around 4 foot here but it is hard to see from the photo taken up the beach.

The second is Greece. By excluding the surrounding landscape it is only the stony blackened sand and lack of wet suit that gives the location away.

The third photo is back in Cornwall. Guy carrying his surf board and wearing a wet suit should have been a good giveaway.

The last photo is from Greece. The little fishing boats are a typical sight along the beaches. The one we visited only had locals so there were no commercial water sports or lifeguards present. The waves gathered in the afternoon at the shelving water’s edge to make it look a little like Cornwall, but died back to completely flat each night.  

I will miss the lovely warm waters of the Mediterranean next week, but I still love the Cornish beaches and the fun of surfing the Atlantic waves.

How did you do in my beach challenge? Do you have a favourite beach?


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on July 15th, 2016 -

 

Country Kids with a Coombe Mill Duckling

I love to see the delight on faces of kids holding our ducklings.

Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky with a simple objective for healthy kids of mind and body:

“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”

Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the #30DaysWild challenge and National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside. 

Guidelines for Joining in: 

  • Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
    • Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
    • Large unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
  •  Comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
    • If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
  • Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
  • Link posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
    • I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
  • By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
  • There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.

Thank you to my top 3 commenters from last week:

1st Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 30 posts this week

2nd Cheryl from Time to Craftcommented on 22 posts this week

Joint 3rd Melody from Domesstique and Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too commented on 20 posts this week

Do check out their posts too. 

My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.

Disappointed to see that the, ‘link dump and run’ culprits went up this week from 3 to 4 with plenty more not following the few rules above. Please pop back here to rectify if this was you last week.

Welcome to our new  members joining Country Kids  for the first time last week, lovely to see you here and please join in again. 

Welcome to War anad Peas for joining in for the first time this week with two fab posts, creating their own small world dino-land and spending an afternoon at the beach.

Introducing Rockfish, the Country Kids Sponsor

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

A Chance To Win with Rockfish Wellies from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK. 

I am delighted to announce that Rockfish have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish Wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.

Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here,  will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. 

For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.  

Posts from last week in with a chance of the July Rockfish Wellies:

My most commented post again from from Glimmer of Hope who spent the week playing i-spy on the way to school.

Dear Mummy blog shared their experiences at Blissfields 2016. 

Mommy’s Little Princesses were hunting for deer and climbing rocks in Bradgate Park. 

Country Kids Communities

I’d love you to join me: 

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.

Join the Google Plus community page for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Learning about Farm Animals

Posted on July 15th, 2016 -

Learning about Farm animals is something the children do each day here at Coombe Mill. Without even knowing, kids are discovering new things right from the tractor feed run on the very first morning. Not only is this a social event and a chance to make friends, but the endless questions to Farmer Nick confirm that the children are naturally interested and curious about the animals they are helping to feed and care for. This week I decided to cement some of the learning with a few fun tasks at our Friday activity session.

Learning about Farm Animals on Holiday.

Activity Hour learning about Farm Animals

 We began with a cute little story about a baby deer and her Mummy who embarked on an adventure across a stream and up a hill. It could so easily have been at Coombe Mill and the children were soon enthralled after meeting our baby deer in the mornings.   

The Farm Animal Story

After the story I snuck in a little twinkle worksheet from our education pages learning about farm animals by matching the food to the animal.   

Filling in the work sheets

That was enough sitting time for my little tots so we headed out on a scavenger hunt. Each child was tasked with finding 4 twigs and the most interesting flowers and leaves they could find ready for our animal themed crafts.

Collecting flowers around the farm

Relocating to the outside craft tables we spread PVA glue on our bunny and chicken shapes and stuck on the collecting nature treasures.

Making nature rabbits and chickens in activity hour this afternoon #craft #kids #nature #chicken #rabbit #education #forestschool #coombemill #countrykids

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Next we used the sticks we had found together with toilet rolls, tissue paper and duck tape to make sheep.

Bah bah rainbow sheep have you any wool? Crafting on the farm today. #sheep #craft #kids #kidscraft #ducktape #toiletrollcraft #countrykids #animalcraft #farm #farmcraft

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

The black and white ones were just like our Jacobs sheep here on the farm while several children chose to make some’ Bah Bah Rainbow Sheep’ using some of the fun duck tape colours.

Making the toilet roll sheep

We finished up walking over to the rabbits, each child carrying a carrot for them to eat. The rabbits duly obliged and came over to the children to nibble on their offering and allowing them a final cuddle of the day.  The children had a wonderful time whilst recapping learning about farm animals from the week.

Visiting the bunnies

Learning about Farm Animals at Coombe Mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Num Noms Go-Go Cafe Playset

Posted on July 11th, 2016 -

Here on the farm we have had great fun with Num Noms. Little girls are drawn to them and whenever I bring them out curiosity, imagination and play develop as friendships form.  I knew that the new Num Noms Go-Go Cafe would have the same reaction as the starter set and I wasn’t disappointed.

Win a Num Noms Go Go café

Developing Friendship and Play

I casually set up a blanket on the lawn with the Go-Go Cafe, 2 mystery pots and our pre exciting Num Noms collection and within minutes I had a crowd of curious girls and boys attracted by the colourful looking cafe. I invited the children to come and try it out and more or less left them to it.

Playing with the Num Noms Café

Children came and went, Guy ran the Coombe Mill train but always a crowd remained captivated in Num Nom play. They soon worked out that some had lip gloss, and some smelt sweet and delicious and that the motorised base could move.

Exploring the sensory fun of all the Toys.

Games began to develop as the Num Noms took a shower, whizzed in the doughnut maker and fell into the bucket.

Toys in the different part of the Playset

This little gif really captures the way they all played together sharing Num Noms and the Go-Go Cafe beautifully between themselves.

Playing with the Num Noms Café

Num Noms Go-Go Cafe Need to Know Facts

 

  1. Retail Price £24.99 via Amazon, Smyths and Toys R Us

  2. Features:
    1. Tea pot shower
    2. Swing doors
    3. Slide
    4. Spinning Donut Wheel
    5. Peek-a-boo Teacup
    6. Teeter-totter Saucer
    7. Special Edition Num Nom

  3. Age 3+

 

The Num Noms Go-Go Cafe is just part of the ever growing Num Noms range. You can mix and match with 1000 different combinations of Num Noms. Kick start your collection with a starter pack from £8.99 or even a little mystery Num Nom pot at just £2.99; a perfect pocket money purchase.   

Win your Num Nom Go-Go Cafe with Coombe Mill 

The lovely folk at Num Noms are offering Coombe Mill blog readers a chance to WIN a Num Noms Go-Go Cafe for hours of recipe making mischief. To be in with a chance, just follow the instructions below. 

Good luck to all taking part.

Num Noms Go-Go Café playset

 Disclosure

We were sent our Num Noms Go-Go Cafe for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Our Num Nom collection can be found in Tree Tops Play room for the enjoyment of guests staying in this family holiday cottage. 


Brit Mums Live 2016 The Verdict

Posted on July 10th, 2016 -

The One I nearly didn’t Attend.

This was my 4th Brit Mums Live and the one I almost didn’t attend. Why? I was feeling a bit of an old blogger in every sense of the word. After 5 years of blogging and 3 great Brit Mums Events, I felt my blog was perhaps a little ‘old hat’ and that actually so was I as one of the older Mummy Bloggers on the scene. In my mind it was perhaps time to leave things to the new wave of successful young Mums coming though this year. The early bird tickets came and went and I let it ride until:

  1. My Mum’s disappointment that I wouldn’t be going to stay with her in June as had become a tradition for my attending Brit Mums.
  2. I was shortlisted in an incredible 2 BIBs categories.

Both these factors played on my mind, I didn’t want to let my Mum down and my confidence in my blog bounced back. I bought a ticket.

The Fringe Party

New for 2016   

After a  girly 24 hour catch up with my Mum, I was excited to be heading into London to find the Fringe Party.

Yikes real London! Now to work out which way I’m supposed to walk! #BML16 #fringeparty

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

Hosted by Holiday Inn overlooking Camden Lock it made the perfect party venue. The  wine flowed and the chat rose. For me this was a wonderfully relaxed way to start Brit Mums .

 

#BML16 #fringeparty getting underway tonight thank you @britmums and @hicamden for a great evening

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

Meeting  newer bloggers I’ve come into contact with this year as well as catching up with old friends is what makes me feel part of the blogging community. I felt I had more time to start a good conversation here than at the main event. If you didn’t go this year I can thoroughly recommend it as part of future Brit Mums Live events.   

 

Brit Mums Live Fringe Party with fellow bloggers

Photo stars: Catching up with Mari of Maris World, Emily of A Mummy Too who I can’t believe I’ve not spoken too before now, Wayfair UK, Susanna of A Modern Mother who again I’ve never managed to catch up with during the main event as she is busy hosting BML, Cathy of Mummy Travels who I’ve shared a bottle of wine with putting the world to rights at Coombe Mill,  the bubbly Nadine from Juggle Mummy and stunning Jen from Jenography and co founder of Brit Mums, the wonderfully friendly Franca of A Moment With Franca, and a Clare from Tin box Traveller who shares some lovely adventures with me on #CountryKids. Another Claire I was delighted to finally meet was Claire Justine, and catch up with the lovely Gretta from Mums do Travel and Penny who blogs at Aresidence. I met Kirstie, one half of the Family Adventure Project, briefly touched base with Vic of Vevivos then embarrassed myself by not remembering I’d met the lovely welsh Mummy of 5 Claire from Dairy of the Evans Crittens who always joins Country  Kids with such fun family adventures from  and the ever friendly Steph of Steph’s Two Girls.  

Brit Mums Life: The Main Event  

I was back into London on the train bright and early Saturday for Brit Mums Live supporting my ‘School Uniform’; a clever branded dress from Bags of Love.  Never again do I need to worry about what to wear to a blogging event, only to remember to breath in as it is not very forgiving on my multiple mummy tummy!

 

Wearing a Coombe Mill Holidays Branded Dress at #BML16

 

The whole day seemed to disappear in a merry blur of meeting and greeting friends, enjoying cake and dashing between the breakout sessions. How could I ever have considered missing all of this?

 

Brit Mums Live 2016

 

Photo Stars above include the talented and vivacious Vicki from Honest Mum, uplifting Michelle From The Joy Chaser, comical cartoon illustrator Jo from Heir Raising who makes me laugh every time I visit her blog, super blogger Aby from You Baby Me Mummy. Absent from photos but I was delighted to meet: Emma from Island Living, Tim from Slouching towards Thatcham who amazed us all with his singing, and the delightful Jane from Maflingo Blog as well as catching up with old friends: Catherine from Cultural Wednesdays,  John from Dad Blog UK and long time blogging friend Joanne from The Boy and Me.

I know I spoke to so many more than I have photos for and mentions here, I must have just been wrapped up in the moment and left my camera languishing at my side. Huge apologies if you are not here, I genuinely loved meeting everyone at Brit Mums Live that I came into contact with and you all made my day special.  

My Brit Mums Live key learning

 

Brit Mums Live 16 Sessions and Speakers attended by Coombe Mill

Photo Stars: Jen and Suzanna the amazing Brit Mums founders introducing the day, Judith Lewis who is wonderful at explaining SEO in simple actionable language, Julie from The Fat Girls Gide to Running who I actually had a lovely chat to at the Fringe Party the night before, Emily of A Mummy Too talking Pinterest need to knows, Gori Yahaya explaining Google Analytics.

I have come away with 2 pages of scribbled notes from sessions I attended and have listed my key learning across the groups below. The one I beneffited from most from was SEO, I went last year too and found it so helpful. Please Brit Mums can this session go on longer next year. It generates so many questions and always overruns.

  • Don’t spam your photo alt tabs with key words, Google may penalise you. Alt tabs are designed to be photo descriptions for blind people. I had thought I was being very clever tagging “Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall” onto the end of all my descriptions. That stops today!
  • Get your follow and no follow balance right. Google likes to see a good mix. Do follow bloggers you are commending on a post link and no follow any paid for posts. Not to do so risks being penalised by Google – if you are reported. I have been inclined to ‘no follow’ all but the most relevant link in fear of the wroth of Google, but this isn’t the best plan.
  • Don’t republish an old post with changes to increase its SEO, just make the update and safe as it is unless you want it to rank head of your latest posts as the changes as so significant and relevant to the current time.
  • Only your Landing page is SEO ranked, not the extra elements in a ‘read more’ link so get your key message at the top.
  • Keep an eye on AMP (accelerated mobile pages) they’re going to become critical in the future as mobile searching overtakes lap and PC use.
  • In email marketing link via a hyperlink not a click through picture. It will have a greater response as not everyone will think to click a photo.
  • If you subscribe to the paid for version of mail chimp it will help you to identify the best times of day to send out your email marketing campaign, however the free version is surprisingly helpful  to get you started.
  • In Pinterest make sure you are on a business account and have your rich pins sorted ( I still need to add the coding to mine).
  • Make sure you register to be pinned by Pinterest 
  • Google will index your Pinterest account in board order so make sure your most important boards and current season boards are towards the top.
  • Pinterest searches are months in advance, so make sure you are thinking Halloween and Christmas now and ‘How to’ and ‘Round up’ posts are the most commonly repined.
  • for help understanding Google Analytics to measure your blog success check out Google Digital Garage.
  • Make sure your blog is mobile friendly. Check this at Google webmaster tools which will show you how many things on your site fail at mobile level.
There were plenty more tips from the day, these were just the ones that I needed to act on. 

The Brilliance in Blogging Awards

As if needed, this was another chance to catch up with friends over a drink.

 

BiBs Party 2016 at the Brewery London

Photo stars include: Long time blogging friends: Helen from Actually Mummy whose work I always admire, Charly from Podcast who always oozes confidence and success, Clare from Emmy’s Mummy, one of my first ever Blogging chums and always a friendly ear, Louise from Little Hearts Big Love with the prettiest dress on the night, Darren with the lovely photos at photalife and my Cornish blogging friend Stevie from A Cornish Mum.  

I was a finalist in Readers choice but never in my wildest dreams did I think I could win. Up against blogs I admire I was happy to watch and congratulate the overwhelmed and happy winners of each category as they  received their awards. Then suddenly it was me. Totally blown away I don’t remember too much after that but thankfully I was sat with photo loving Darren of photalife who took over my camera for me and Liska of New Mum on Line who videoed me and all the other winners going up on stage. Thank you both, you have captured a great moment for me.

 

Readers' Choice Awards at the BIBs for Coombe Mill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfj9Njbup7s

This was the icing on the cake of a thoroughly enjoyable Brit Mums live and I’m thrilled with my award and bubbly.

Readers' Choice Award for Coombe Mill in the BiBs

 

I won’t be dithering over purchasing my ticket for Brit Mums Live next year (#BML17) and already look forward to catching up with everyone again.

Outstanding Action

There is just one thing niggling at the back of my mind. I promised to jump from the bridge into the river if I won in the BiBs. Oh heck! My teens say it is OK for the triplets but I’m too big and could break a leg as it isn’t deep enough. I didn’t want to chicken out completely and let the kids have a giggle by taking my turn on a rather hair raising zip wire at a local attraction. It flies up so high at the end you loose your seat and it’s a struggle to cling on. Oh Brit Mums Live remind me not to make silly promises again! 

 

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

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Why I Love our Fresh Water Lakes

Posted on July 9th, 2016 -

The Lakes at Coombe Mill

Time and time again I share photos of our lakes. I walk around them most days checking the animals or joining the morning feed run. Yet even after fourteen years of living at Coombe Mill the beauty of the lakes still takes my breath away. They change in appearance and character with the seasons. Right now they are teaming with wildlife as pond skaters, dragonflies and damselflies scoot by, not to mention being a home to our carp for those wanting to try their hand at fishing here on holiday. The carp bring the beautiful but less welcome heron gracefully sliding by, while wild ducks come and go with the promise of ducklings. There is plenty for youngsters to learn from water safety to the nature within.  Pond dipping is a favourite activity.

Pond dipping on the lakes at Coombe Mill Holidays

 

I keep meaning to head out with my tripod and long lens to capture some of the wildlife at play. However more often than not it is just an angle or cloud reflection that captures my imagination and has me reaching for my i-Phone in passing. This has been one such week.

I didn’t actually think a phone could take a decent close up but I’m quite pleased with this one in the long grass beside the lake.

 

Dragonfly or damselfly resting in the grass? #dragonfly #damselfly #grass #dew #nature

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

The reflections from the sky on a clear day give the most beautiful rich blue shine on the water.

 

Reflections over the carp lake. #lake #reflection #trees #naturalbeauty #cornwall #coombemill #tranquility #nature #countryliving #peaceful

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

This might actually be my favourite photo as it captures a different perspective to usual. It was actually taken by Theo who is showing the greatest interest of all my children in photography. He crept own into an overgrown section that once was home to one of his many childhood camps to take the photo.

 

Walking through the undergrowth and popping up by our beautiful lake. #farm #lake #countryside #Cornwall #coombemill #waterlife #green #countrylife #nature #tranquility #peaceful #trees

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

I hope where ever you are the start of July has brought some much needed sunshine your way with fewer downpours.


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