Shortlisted in the 2016 BIBs Awards

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 -

I keep reading this title again and again; I am so pleased I’m not quite sure I can believe it yet. 3 days I have sat on this news and pondered this post and still the words refuse to come. It is such an honour to be shortlisted in the 2016 BIBs Awards (Brilliant in Blogging), to find myself in 2 categories leaves me speechless in the best possible way.

2016 BIBs Awards Shortlist for Coombe Mill in Social Media and Readers Choice

 

I don’t even want to think about the competition out there for the next stage, I’m still enjoying reaching this milestone. But seriously I’ve had a good look at the shortlisters in all categories and frankly wow, what a talented list with so many of my favourite blogs being recognised and a few I’m keen to discover.

2016 BiBs Awards for Social Media

I have been shortlisted 3 times and a finalist twice but never made it all the way. I feel so guilty asking to be considered again in this category especially with such well known social media gurus in the line up with me all of whom deserve to win, but I’m swallowing my guilt and asking.

Why?

Blogging is more than my passion, it is how I market Coombe Mill, and it is how Mum’s and Dad’s with young children discover our farm and book holidays. Without my blog and the social media channels I run to support it, I’d have no marketing for our family holidays. It is where I share our latest crafts, our outdoor fun, our new building programmes and all the latest news from the farm.

To be a finalist in this category and in with a shout of winning is the ultimate sign I’m doing the best I can for our family business. If you don’t already follow me please do, I’m around on every platform as Coombe Mill and you’ll find it hard to miss me in real life at a blogging event.

 

Fiona at #SBS winners meet up representing Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall.

2016 BiBs Awards for Readers Choice

This brand new category on BIBs really excites me and I cheekily popped on my side bar from the start thinking it really could be the category for me. I feel like a liquorish all sort in the blogging world. I’ve always been a parent blogger but as my six children are now age 12 – 18 I write about them less, not because there is less to say, on the contrary; but they all have their own social media now and frankly anything I might want to say about them is “embarrassing” and would be seen by their friends. I respect this and feature parenting tips from experience less than I once did. That said; with parental permission I still share plenty of parenting fun here on the farm with our holiday guests.   Our weekly Activity hour covers some imaginative crafts which I follow up with tutorials in my #Trash2Treasure linky. Outdoor fun is what gave me my blogging voice and my #CountryKids linky is now in its 5th year with a new outdoor adventure from the farm to our family travels each week. Add to this my desire to build education into everyday life and all under the umbrella of farm life and I have a blog of all sorts.

 

Coombe Mill Blog covers all the fun of the farm and more at our holidays in Cornwall.

 

Readers Choice is the place for me and if I were to be your choice for the finals I might just swim across our river to celebrate fun on the farm. Trust me that would be a personal challenge and I’d video it screams and all, though I can’t promise to be as brave as my kids jumping in from the bridge.

Jumping in the river

 Many congratulations to all the shortlisted 2016 BIBs Awards bloggers, you have such talent and I admire you all   

Please vote for your favourites here.

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How to Make a Sailboat

Posted on May 1st, 2016 -

Trash 2 Treasure: Milk bottle Sailboat

I do like to mix up the crafts we make here for activity hour on the farm.  Each week I try to find something age appropriate and fun for the children staying.  I have learned through time that anything involving water is always appreciated.  I know how popular our mini raft race is each year but wanted to find something a little different for the following week.  Seeing how well milk bottles floated as rafts I worked on a design of sailboat using them too. It had to be simple enough for the children to follow but challenging enough to keep them busy.  Instead of racing our boats down the river we let them gently sail across the lake. The finished result was so successful I’m sharing how to make one here on Trash 2 Treasure.

How to Make a Sailboat. Upcycling fun from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornrwall

What you’ll need

  • Crepe paper
  • 2 x 4litre milk bottles or one 6 litre bottle
  • Scissors
  • Duck tape colours
  • String
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • 2 sticks, one fatter and one thinner
  • Your choice of things from nature like leaves and flowers.

 

What You'll Need to make a Sailboats at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall

Method

  1. Pierce the milk bottle with the scissor tip and cut into two. Discard the handle end for the 4 litre bottles, or use both halves for the 6 litre bottle. Make sure both halves are an even height.
Cut the Milk Carton in Half: Step 1 to making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
Cut Duck Tape Colours and Staple the boat together Step 2 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
  1. Cut a piece of Duck tape colours or masking tape and stick the longer stick to the centre of one half of the milk bottle to form the mast. Staple the two halves together with the stick in the middle.
  1. You are now ready to add some rigging. Use a hole punch to make 4 holes at each corner of the boat.
Punch 4 Holes: Step 3 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
Cut and Tie one end of the string. Step 4 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
  1. Cut 4 pieces of string to equal lengths that reach from the newly punched holes to the tip of the mast. Tie one end of the string through the holes. 
  1. Thread your chosen nature bunting through the rigging. (we found using a scissor end or a fingernail did the trick). 
Threading the Leaves on the String. Step 5 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
Tie the Rigging to the Top of the Mast. Step 6 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
  1. Tie all 4 pieces of rigging to the top of the mast and secure with tape if needed.
  1. Cut a square of crepe paper for your sail. Lay the smaller stick across one edge and staple over to make the boom.
Creating the Sail. Step 7 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
Fold the Sail. Step 8 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
  1. Fold your sail to make a triangle
  1. Feed it through the string rigging securing to the top of the mast with tape.
Attaching the sail. Step 9 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
Decorating and weighting the sail boat. Step 10 of making a sailboat at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall
  1. Decorate your boat with leaves and petals and add a stone weight to each side and find a pond or lake to test your sailboat.

A few Extras you could try

Try swapping crepe paper for thin fabric like muslin for the sail

Make a peg man or animal to ride in your boat

Attach a piece of string to the back of your boat in case it gets caught and you need to pull it in

Create an egg man challenge.  We drew faces on eggs and challenged the children to successfully sail their egg person across the lake. We added a stone to counterbalance the weight on the other side of the boat.

Let the children use their imaginations and create their own games and stories with their sailboat

 

Building the Rafts and Designing Egg Men at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall

How to make a milk bottle Sailboat : Tutorial Vlog

 

Joining in with Trash 2 Treasure

If you have post about something you have made with something from nature or something you would have otherwise have thrown away please come and share on Trash 2 Treasure. The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. Posts can take any form, all that matters is that the item made has primarily been upcycled from something of little value or found in nature. Leaves and loo rolls, sticks and staples, there are so many throw away items which, with a little imagination, can be turned into something of value. Most of my something from nothing craft tutorials will come from fun keepsakes we have made with the children in our farm activity hour but sometimes I will share bigger upcycling projects from Farmer Nick too. I hope through the linky to acquire some new ideas and I welcome all posts old and new.  

A little extra from the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours

Trash 2 Treasure sponsored by Duck Tape UK with Coombe Mill Holidays for creative fun.

 

Trash to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. My favourite upcycling post each month will receive 3 colourful rolls of tape to inspire your next project. Do check out their website for plenty of creative ideas. 

My April winner of the duck tape colours is Cheryl from Time to Craft with an amazing paper mache Lighthouse Upcycled Lighthouse from time to craft  joining Trash2Treasure with Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays


As always there were some wonderful upcycled ideas again last month, Please keep them coming.

 

When joining in please use the hashtag #Trash2Treasure on Twitter, Instagram or Google Plus and I’ll find you

If you link up I’ll send you an invite to pin on my Trash 2 Treasure Pinterest board   

  Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Trash 2 Treasure. on Pinterest.

 

 

Please grab my badge and join my crafting journey and do pop back to check out other people’s posts during the month.

 




 

 

 

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Kissing Goodbye to the April Sunshine

Posted on April 30th, 2016 -

We escaped the snow up country; in fact I think we fared better than most with some beautiful April sunshine and glorious evenings. OK there have been a few hailstorms in between and it has been chilly at times, but it has also been properly warm in the sun. I think the farm agrees, we have had two sets of twin lambs born this week, our little pet goat came off the heat lamp and the farm is finally greening up for summer.

Photo highlights from the week:

I’m starting off with Clio on the evening train ride just to prove we did have some truly beautiful warm days.

Clio driving the Coombe Mill train #train #railway #holiday #farm #countrykids #countrygirl

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Goats are such comical animals and love to climb and explore. Queenie our pet goat follows me on my farm rounds and loves to stop and play. I think the April sunshine has really gone to her head.

#goatantics on a slide

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

It always makes an interesting feed run when there are new born lambs to discover. We are nearly through lambing now and I think I can safely say it has been our best season ever.

Twin lambs born on the feed run this morning. 2 little girls all healthy and a great Mum looking after them. Read more about our lambing this year on the blog http://ow.ly/4n6iYd. #lambs #twins #nature #newborn #farm #farmlife #farmstay #lambing

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 I mentioned how the farm was greening up for spring; you can really see it here compared to the last couple of weeks around the river and lakes.

The River Camel in April Sunshine at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall.

Walking the farm at dusk and locking up is one of my favourite times for photos. I love this photo of Guy looking down over the farm.

Late night walk

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

And this one looking out at the sunset.

#Sunset over the valley here in #Cornwall tonight

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

We even took advantage of the last of the April sunshine for some Maypole dancing in Activity Hour and made maypoles and bunting for a fairy party. More of this to follow on next week’s #CountryKids, but if you crept back to the fairy Gardens at dusk you would have seen the gnomes joining the dancing.

Shhhhh……. The Gnomes are going to the Fairy Party we set up earlier today in Activity Hour. #creative #imagination #fairygarden #gnomes #mayday #party

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

The week was totally blown away for me on Friday discovering I was shortlisted in the BIBs for Social Media and Readers Choice. Thank you if you voted for me, it really means the world. Of course that means the next round is up. There are some great blogs in all the categories, do check them out and please vote for your favourites.  If you are one of them good luck!

BIBs Shortlist for Coombe Mill in Social Media and Readers Choice

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend, I hope the April sunshine stays for May

Fiona

   OneDad3Girls   Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


Sailboats and Egg Men on an Epic Adventure

Posted on April 29th, 2016 -

  CountryKids from Coombe Mill

For activity hour I always like to come up with an adventure, a challenge or something creative. If I can add nature, education, imagination I will. After the success of raft racing a couple of weeks ago I was keen for a new water based activity. Instead of rafts on the river I decided on sailboats on the lake. I searched Pinterest for ideas but drew a blank on something substantial enough for the size of our lake. Thankfully I have Farmer Nick, my DIY guru, who enjoys a spot of sailing when the chance arises. Together we worked up a milk bottle prototype. Nick had rigging and a boom on the sail to which I added a touch of nature and an Egg Man challenge which gave a sense of adventure and the weight in the boat we needed.  

Sailboats and Egg Men on an Epic Adventure at coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

I was really excited to try this out and took my prototype sailboat out to the start of the morning feed run as a reminder to everyone on timings and to set expectations for the afternoon activity.

The Sailboat Challenge

“Imagine Egg Men have landed from a foreign planet, you have to create their identity and return them home across the Coombe Mill Lake in sailboats. For every Egg Man that completes the journey there will be a treat sent back to Coombe Mill for you to keep.”

Making and Creating Sailboats and Egg Men

There followed a flurry of excitement as the children from tots to parents embraced the challenge. There were sticks, flowers and leaves to be collected

Collecting Sticks and Flowers

Bottles were cut and masks and rigging added with plenty of Duck Tape Colours, staples and string. The floral decorations made each raft bespoke along with the children’s choice of Raffia sail colours.

Making sail boats for activity hour. #imagination #upcycling #sailing #sailboat #kids #creative #kidsplay #Craft #kudscrafts #holidays

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Egg men were designed and added to petal and leaf beds in the well of the boat.

Building the Rafts and Designing Egg Men at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Finally we were ready for the sailboats to take their challenge. It was quite a trek from the games room round to the lake but even the youngest managed it complete with sailboats and egg men and all lined their boats up on the slipway. We added a stone to the side of the boat without Egg Man to give balance and were ready to set sail.

Walking to the lake and Lining up the rafts at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Ready to Race our Sailboats and save the Egg Men

Guy was out in HMS Bath Tub for us ready to scoop up and boats in trouble and we had what looked like a successful launch

Launching our sail boat race on the lake today. #sailing #sailboat #kidsplay #Craft #creative #adventure #lake

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

However just a couple of feet out what little wind there was dropped and the boats drifting back towards the slipway! It was time for plan B and Guy gathered all the boats out of the water and rowed them to the middle of the lake where he released them once again. We agreed the challenge was now for the Egg men to make it in their sailboats back to shore at any point. There was just enough breeze to do this and the kids raced round the lake to see where their boat would hit land.

Setting the boats sailing from the middle of the lake

It was almost a full house with only one overturned sailboat and one child slipping into the lake (only knee deep). Back at the games room I collected the adventurous Egg Men to send home and as promised they left chocolate golden eggs and a Coombe Mill badge for the children.

Rafts over the finish line and Rewards at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

It was such a fun afternoon and a challenge that really appealed to the children. I think this is an activity I’ll be repeating again in the summer. If you are interested in trying this one yourself I’ll be adding a tutorial for making these sailboats on Trash2Treasure next Monday.

Joining in with Country Kids

I’d love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky. All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out. All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air. I’d be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these 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

Two chances to Win with Rockfish & Country Kids

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. The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month.

Congratulations to Diary of the Evans Crittens who has won the April Rockfish Wellies with a lovely post about a day at Haverford West 

My May winner will be able to choose any welly form the online range. For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here

A few of my favourites in with a chance of the May Rockfish Boots:

Bikes and scooters can transform walking for kids. Buba blue and me found them a great help exploring Eastbourne

This is a  great resource for a minibeast hunt from Creative Star  and a fun first hunt in action from Digital Motherhood 

Finally this DIY garden play caught my eye for being resourceful and with learning qualitites from Play at home Teacher 

Win 25% off weekly with Rockfish

On top of the monthly free wellies, Rockfish has kindly offered everyone who enters #CountryKids this week a chance to win 25% off at their online store, a little extra incentive for some affordable outdoor fun

25% Off Rockfish Wellies Week 13

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Finally I can't not mention how thrilled I am to be shortlisted in the BIBs for Social Media AND Readers Choice. Please check out all the fab shortlisters and vote here

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Get the Amazing Children’s Educational Magazine

Posted on April 25th, 2016 -

 

Making education interesting for our children

Here at Coombe Mill we strive to deliver amazing educational children’s farm holidays. From toddlers to the end of the primary school years we provide holidays where having fun and learning go hand in hand. Our morning farm rides take the children out onto the farm in a tractor and trailer where they have a chance to drive with farmer Nick. Coordination and steering control is something they love to practice. Once with the animals question come at quite a pace and Farmer Nick patiently answers them. Hands on care and feeding opportunities are there for all who are willing. No one is forced to participate and children opt in at their own pace picking up on the experience of others. Watching confidence grow during a holiday here is magical for parents.

Animal Feed Run at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

Learning through doing can stop here, but for those who want to supplement their understanding we also have farm educational pages on our website. These relate back to core areas of the national curriculum from maths and English to science and art.

Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays: where learning is fun in Cornwall

Our craft hour at the end of the week brings together farm learning, imagination and a little fun themed with events during the year, again education is made fun and the children respond with dedication and enthusiasm for all we do from hunting for bugs to making sail boats.

Activity hour at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

Introducing the world’s most Amazing Children’s Educational Magazine

When the makers of a new children’s educational magazine contacted me to see if I would like to receive a copy, I was immediately curious to see what was Amazing apart from the title.

Amazing Magazine, the Children's Educational Magazine

I was thrilled to discover the philosophy for learning was akin to Coombe Mill. The magazine is designed for kids who can read independently and probably moving into key stage 2 at age 7 plus. Using a fun comic style, national curriculum subjects are covered in an engaging manner. Think horrible histories across all subjects, in fact the ex-editor of Horrible Histories is part of the team, as well as writers from Simpsons and The Beano.  Reading is fun when it’s about things that appeal to kids. Zombies, aliens and smelly feet all have their place in education. The Amazing children’s educational magazine know just how to relate these fun subjects back to stuff kids really need to learn. From words derived from Latin to recipes and various subject challenges there really is something for everyone to suit both boys and girls.

Reading Amazing, the children's Educational Magazine at coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

How to make a catapult caught Guy’s attention. We had all the items in my craft cupboard so I brought them out and watched him create following the magazine instructions. 

Making and testing a catapult at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

Guy practiced firing a bottle top from his catapult and worked out how to achieve the most powerful shot. 

Here at Coombe Mill we love our copies of this children’s educational magazine and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others. It is amazing value to at £49 for an annual subscription or less for online copies. I think this would make a great gift idea from friends and relatives who want to invest in your child’s future.

  For 10% off  your subscriptions use WOW10 with your online order.

Win a year’s subscription to the world’s most Amazing Educational Children’s Magazine

If you have a child age 7 plus who might enjoy this fun style learning journey trough a monthly copy of the magazine why not enter below and win a year’s subscription delivered to your door.

Win a year's subscription to Amazing Magazine with Coombe Mill Blog

 Just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.

Amazing Magazines

Disclosure

We were sent our copy of the Amazing children’s educational magazine to review, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.

 

Family Fever Read With Me


The Lambing Season brings Heartache and Joy

Posted on April 24th, 2016 -

The Lambing season 2016

I make no secret of the fact that spring is my favourite time of year here on the farm. After another wet and mild winter so typical of Cornwall, spring brings welcome sunshine, new growth and all the promise of long summer days to follow. The Lambing season at Coombe Mill is deliberately drawn out in order to increase the chance of a birth while our spring holiday makers are here. We ration Rambo our Ram to one new lady a week. This way we spin the lambing season out over March, April and early May.

The Lambing Season at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

 

Each year we eagerly await the first arrival and take nothing for granted in nature. We had a note of when the first was due and moved all the sheep across the road into secure lambing fields in preparation. Then we waited, and waited. Right on the end of the three week window our first Ewe delivered healthy twins.

Huzzah, we have our first lambs! Twins born this morning just as the feed run began. I couldn’t be happier and it was wonderful for the children staying to see them just newly born. #lambs #twins #farm #farming #countryliving #countryside #nature #naturalbeauty #holidays #Corrnwall #farmstay

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

We breathed a sigh of relief, Rambo had done his job and the lambing season was underway. That was mid March. Since then we have had a steady stream of healthy births, some twins and some singletons, but all healthy.

All the Lambs in the Fields at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Oh Dear Ebony!

The only ewe to give us trouble was Ebony. She was our abandoned lamb of 2 years ago and had to be hand raised by us. Those sheep must instil something in their young that as humans we just can’t replicate as when Ebony gave birth to beautiful healthy twins she walked off and left them. Thankfully for the twins it all happened during the morning feed run. Farmer Nick spotted Ebony down for breakfast with the other Ewes, her behind giving away that she had just delivered. Nick assumed she would eat and return to her newborn. However she finished eating and wandered off to graze. By the end of the feed run she was still alone so we searched the field for her lambs, brought them and Ebony indoors into the stock trailer to bond whilst Nick worked on a make shift pen in the shed. Before he had even finished it was clear things were not going well.

Catching Ebony and her Lambs at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

 

When the twins tried to feed from Ebony she head butted or kicked them away, I now feared for their safety. It was clear Nick was going to need to make a double pen and in super quick time as we held the lambs. Thankfully with odds of wood and plenty of tools and straw in the shed we soon had the pens ready with the lambs in one side and Ebony in the other.

 

Baby Lambs in their Pen at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

The next job was to express some milk for the twins as they still had had nothing since their birth. Ebony may not have been a natural mother, but she is a very gentle ewe and it was relativity easy to milk her which was just as well as we had nothing else to feed the lambs with at that point. Even the guests volunteered for a go after the first few feeds.

One of our little helpers milking Ebony on the feed run this morning and doing really well! #farm #holiday #farmstay #education

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

 We rigged up a heat lamp for the first night for the lambs and left them in peace. Over the next couple of days we began bottle feeding the lambs with lamb milk formula as Ebony was drying up and looking unwell.

 

Last feed with Guy tonight. These two are really getting the hang of a bottle now.

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

We gave Ebony a couple of “miracle” sheep jabs but she deteriorated fast. Nick diagnosed depression and said we should let her back out into the field and see what happens. He was quite right, being kept in didn’t agree with her and while she refused to stand in the shed she bounced back to life in the field with the other sheep.

 

We couldn’t persuade Ebony to take any interest in her twins and he was becoming so miserable in the shed where we were milking her so we have let her go back to her friends in the field. The lambs are still inside until it warms up and dries out as the field is no fun without a caring Mum.

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Jack and Jill went up the Hill

The lambs thrived and we decided they needed names. Jack and Jill was the most popular vote from some wonderful facebook suggestions.

Facebook Naming the new lambs at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Jack and Jill became the highlight of the feed run each day for the following weeks progressing from the shed to the nursery field with their own field shelter. We had originally planned to keep all the new mothers and lambs in here for their first week of life however Jack and Jill now needed the smaller enclosed field so the older lambs and Mums were forced to move back out. Thankfully this has worked out giving everyone more space this lambing season and as yet no losses to foxes unlike last year.

Jack and Jill in their field at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

 

Jack and Jill will remain in the hearts of all who stay this spring just as Rocky and Sprout the goats did last year.  We always do all that we can to bond mothers with their newborns, but sometimes nature has different ideas. Thankfully we are on hand to step in with cuddles and bottles.

 

Lunchtime feed for Jack and Jill. #bottlefeeding #lambs #farmlife #farming #holidays #Cornwall

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall   Marvellous Mondays badge by Hello Archie Share the Joy linky at TheJoyChaser.com  ANIMALTALES Let Kids be Kids Mummascribbles  Let's Talk Mommy  Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


A Week of Kids and Birthdays

Posted on April 23rd, 2016 -

Kids and Birthdays on the Farm

There is a bit of a double twist to my kids and birthdays heading this week. My triplets turned 12 with the mother of all sleepover parties in our new games room with 15 of their closest new friends from secondary school. Meanwhile over on the farm Bully, our least friendly goat as the name suggests, gave birth to our first and only kid goat of the season.

A triple birthday

12 is an awkward age and the triplets tossed ideas for their party around for months. Since I was adamant I wasn’t having 3 parties they had to agree on something. In the past I’ve organised parties and made games up for them, but this year they were too old for that and just wanted their friends for a sleepover. I ended up with 18 of them all for a BBQ and a sleepover in our new games room. With table football, pool, pong and Wi-Fi all night they had a ball and I sent home 15 tired children the following morning.  

18 in our BBQ hut last night for a birthday supper. Just a little noisy!

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

The cake took me hours to make but was almost all gone by the morning, I’m suspecting a bit of a midnight feast!

Birthday cake for my triplets 12 yesterday with a huge party tonight

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

A new kid on the farm

We have had a great season for lambing this year, more about this on the blog tomorrow. Our goats have not been such a happy story. We have lost all at birth apart from one tiny little bundle who wedged herself safely between two panels of the shed and was found by Nick on his early morning rounds. She may have been rejected by Bully but she is much loved by us.

Finally we have a successful kid goat birth, well almost. Mum isn’t interested so she is warming up under a heat lamp.

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

By the end of the week we had let Mum back to the field, moved the little kid onto formula and let her experience a little outdoor fun. If you fancy helping us name this little girl please head over to our Facebook Page

A new kid on the farm at Coombe Mill FamilyHolidays, Cornwall

 

Spring bloom

Apart from kids and birthdays the farm is blooming and spring has sprung. Wherever I look the farm is turning green and spring flowers are thriving. this is one of my favourites taken from the garden of Eden Scandinavian lodge. 

Spring flowers in Eden Garden at coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall

 

I couldn’t resist this one either, the fresh green of new spring leaves on a branch over hanging our river.

Spring leaves over the river at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays. Cornwall

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead. 

Fiona x


Spring at Polzeath Beach

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 -

Morning on the Farm

It was one of those Easter holiday days that began with a soaking on the feed run amidst the excitement of newly born twin lambs, only later developing into a glorious sunny day.

New lambs in the field at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

A request for Polzeath Beach

The kids were inspired by the sun breaking through and asked if we could go to Polzeath beach. Checking the tides times and seeing there were 6 – 9 foot waves I was more than happy to oblige. We loaded up with surf boards and body boards and headed out. By the time we arrived the skies were clear blue and the beach surprisingly quiet for the holidays.

A view of Polzeath near Coombe Mill Family Famr Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

We wasted no time changing into wetsuits and the kids headed off together to the water while I hung back to capture them chatting together, not a squabble in sight.

A day on Polzeath Beach near Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

I was pleased to see the beach lifeguards were back for the season and left my board with them while I watched the kids for a while. They have endless energy and can stay in the water for hours, I find about 45 minutes and I’m cold so I was happy for them to have a head start. Clio met up with a friend from school and they were laughing and squealing in the waves, boarding in on the same ones together between the red and yellow flags.   

The Girls Beach Day near Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Further along Polzeath beach between the chequered flags I spotted Guy and Jed. Guy had a new surf board for Christmas but was struggling with it as it is really a pro board and not ideal in the big messy waves.

The Boys Surfing near Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Jed on the other hand had borrowed his big brother’s 6ft wide board and was coasting in on wave after wave.

Jed surfing at polzeath beach.

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

Eventually they swapped boards as Guy was losing heart. I swapped my phone for my body board with the lifeguards and joined them in the water. As always happens at the beach the time ran away from us and there was just enough  time for a treat ice cream from Polzeath beach ice cream van before Guy needed to be home to run the evening train.

 

Ice Creams to finish off the day at Polzeath Beach near Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

The sunshine continued back at Coombe Mill and with the lighter evenings the triplets joined me for an evening walk. I was determined to capture what I could see turning into a beautiful sunset. It was a perfect time of day watching the light fade around us and planning our next beach day.

Sunset at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

This was never meant to be a post and I only had my phone on me for photos, but it was one of those ordinary days that left me feeling grateful for my family and lifestyle and as such I wanted to capture our time together.

Joining in with Country Kids

 

I’d love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky. All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out. All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air. I’d be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

 

Country Kids is around in these 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

Two chances to Win with Rockfish & Country Kids

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. The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month. My April winner will be able to choose any welly form the online range. For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here

A few of my favourites in with a chance of the April Rockfish Boots:

Captain Barnacle took Craft Invaders on a trip around Bristol Harbour on the Matthew of Bristol. 

All the fun of new born animals at the farm for Attachment Mummy

The stunning scenery at Joshua Tree National Park in California makes me want to travel the world like One Tiny Leap

Waddesdon Mannor comes to life for spring and makes a lovely day out for Over 40 Mum to One

Win 25% off weekly with Rockfish

On top of the monthly free wellies, Rockfish has kindly offered everyone who enters #CountryKids this week a chance to win 25% off at their online store, a little extra incentive for some affordable outdoor fun

25% Off Rockfish Wellies Week 12

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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The Num Noms are in town

Posted on April 18th, 2016 -

Every now and then a new craze comes along that just takes off. I remember the Smurfs as a child. My parents really couldn’t understand the attraction, but to me they were the latest must have. There have been numerous card collectables in my own children’s childhood of which top gear trumps and trumps stand out the most. Who could forget loom bands, such a basic concept that spread like wildfire amongst kids with pocket money being spent each week on new packs. If you have a little girl age 4 plus watch out for the new craze set to sweep across the school playground this year. The Num Noms have come to town!

Num Noms in Packaging at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK

Num Noms in play

Think sweet smelling ice cream and playing grownups with lip gloss then combined these with a cute motorised toy and inter changeable tops and you have a Num Nom. I must say with my adult head on I couldn’t see the appeal, but I took ours out to show some of our holiday guests and they were an instant success.

The #NumNoms are going down a storm at Coombe Mill, watch out if you have young girls they are going to love these! More on the blog soon

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

It may have been a cold spring afternoon when the children were tired and hungry but the fascination of the Num Noms kept them playing and creating for nearly an hour. Their use of imagination and roll play was a joy to watch and it was a great way for the girls to make friends and play together too.

Playing with the Num Noms outside at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Suddenly I could see the appeal through a child’s eye and this is why I believe they really could be the new big craze.

The Num Nom Range

If you want to get ahead of the game and give your little girl a Num Nom treat this is the range available from all good toy shops and Tesco.

Num Noms Range on offer at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall, England, UK.

Win your Num Noms with Coombe Mill

Win Your Num Noms with #Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK

 

We have both the starter ice cream pack and the cupcake starter pack as shown above available to giveaway to one lucky winner together with 2 mystery pots. A total value of £23.96 that will see you well on your way to an exciting new collection and hours of imaginative play. To be in with a chance of winning these exciting new ranges just follow the instructions below.

Num Noms

Disclosure

We were sent a starter pack of the ice cream Num Noms to review; all opinions are my own based on watching our holiday guests at play.

Family Fever 


Army Experience at the Tank Museum

Posted on April 17th, 2016 -

Breaking the Journey When Travelling on Holiday

Embarking on a long journey with children can be daunting and often a major worry for those travelling to Coombe Mill on holiday. Splitting the journey up with something the children will enjoy in the middle of the day can transform a journey in to a fun part of the holiday. I am often asked for suggestions to do just this. If you are coming via London then I have recommended the Fleet Air Arm museum before. A great adventure and one my children adored from a young age. Jed in fact is still convinced he has been on a real helicopter there. Travelling along the south coast Via the A35 and A30 there is the much loved Peppa Pig World for young children and the Tank Museum for slightly older children. We broke our last journey up at the latter as the triplets were too young to appreciate it last time we visited. Even my older boys, who are now teenagers, look young in the photo below, showing just how long ago it must have been since our last visit.

Old Visits to the Tank Museum from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Even Theo could hardly remember it (the smallest in the photo above) so it was worth a visit. It cost us £50 for 2 adults and 4 children and we felt it was well worth it. Inside you can’t help but be impressed by the machines, even me with little real interest in them, however I did have great satisfaction in telling anyone who would listen that I won a real tank driving competition once on a corporate team building day many years ago!

Army Experience at the Tank Museum away from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

On arrival at the Tank Museum there was a good list of activities for the day displayed and someone to point us in the right direction. One tank we were able to go inside with a helpful volunteer to answer questions from us on the positions and life in the tank from the WW1 Quite predictably the kids asked lots about gun power and range (4km on the early tanks building to 8km on later ones) and about toilet arrangements, I won’t go into details but it involved bags!

Another tank we were allowed to climb up with more information and questions, this was from a later period and the kids were pleased to hear better toilet facilities on board!

Inside the first tanks away from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

Filled with information from WW1 we were keen to make it over to where a corporate from the local barracks was telling all about life on the front line in the Afghanistan War. He was absolutely brilliant and had all my children captivated. From camp to the all important wash and loo facilities, to the beds and kitchens he walked us through every stage all with its own mock up area for us to see. I must say the sachet of sticky toffee pudding in a packet didn’t look a patch on mine!

Afgan Area away from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

The highlight was Clio volunteering to be dressed in their working uniform for the day. In 40 degree heat wearing a huge amount of kit and a backpack of up to 8 stone (Clio was let off this bit) it is no wonder their rations equated to 4000 calories a day and they still looked thin! Well done the Tank Musuem on this section, it was a real highlight for us.

Clio wearing the Army Gear away from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

The sheer visual element of the day is what makes it so special, not just the tanks themselves, which for me, one looked much like another but the way it was laid out and even mini toy tank racing for younger children and drawing stations not to mention uniform to try on made it a really family day.

Exploring the Museum away from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

We couldn’t leave without going through the WW1 trenches; this was the part Felix remembered from the last visit. It is very realistic and moving and probably not an area for very young children but mine were captivated. From models sat with shell shock, armoured solders, those on stretchers and the sound of bombs going off and solders talking coming through the loud speakers left a clear impression of how life must have been.

World War One Exhibit away from Coombe Mill Farm Family Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK.

We finished off our visit to the tank museum with a look around the observatory platform and a play in the park before continuing on our way back to Coombe Mill.

I would recommend the tank museum to break up a journey, and if you look on line before you might just catch the tanks in action on the display grounds opposite, we were unlucky on this occasion but have watched them in the past.

ethannevelyn    Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


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