Thoughtful Magnolia Tree Gift

Posted on July 25th, 2016 - Anya

Tree 2 My door 

I have always wanted a Magnolia Tree. Flowering in May I think they are one of the most beautiful English garden Trees around. I can’t believe I haven’t actually thought to buy one before given how much I admire them elsewhere. When Tree 2 My Door contacted me to review their tree gifting service I knew straight away what I’d like. What I hadn’t expected was the choice of Magnolia Tree. There are pink, lilac and white flowering varieties. In the end I settled on the Susan, with a delicate pink flower.

The 'Susan' Magnolia Tree from Tree 2 My Door

 

While I have a great appreciation of all things pretty in the garden my gardening knowledge is somewhat lacking. Thankfully Tree 2 My Door take this worry away with step by step guidelines on a well presented website and on a card with your gift tree.  I knew right from the start, where and when to plant, whether in sunlight or shade and even had direction on how to plant my tree.

My Magnolia tree arrived while I was at Brit Mums Live. Farmer Nick took receipt and unpacked it to surprise me when I came home. While I can’t now share the packaging, I can say it arrived in perfect condition and in a good sized pot ready to be planted.

Magnolia Tree Planting

My chosen spot was a sunny patch in the centre of the Coombe Mill Train track. We set to work following the helpful instructions.

  1. Soaking the pot for 10 minutes
Soaking the Magnolia Tree for 10 minutes
Jed digging the hole for the new Magnolia tree
  1. Digging our hole
  1. Gently removing from the pot
Gently removing the Magnolia Plant from the Planter
Planting the Magnolia Tree by the Train
  1. Planting our Tree.
  1. We also added a stake to protect and strengthen our Susan Magnolia Tree.
Magnolia Tree with supporting Stake

For us there was one extra step. We now had a bucket full of displaced soil and I had a very special use in mind. Over in the chicken enclosure a silly goose had lost an egg down an old rabbit hole. The children wanted to fill it in so she didn’t loose another one and our bucket of soil was perfect.

Filling the hole in the Chicken Field on the Farm

Planting our Susan Magnolia Tree really was so easy to do, the quality of the tree looks excellent and in my mind it is already a beautiful full flowering tree to delight our train passengers as they travel round. In reality Magnolia is slow growing. However one day my vision will come to fruition.

At £39.99 it is a quality gift that would be perfect for a significant birthday, Christening, Wedding or house moving present. There is such a wide choice of trees on the website you are sure to find the perfect one for any occasion. With a next day delivery option and even free delivery if you spend over £90 it is really worth a look.

Win £40 to spend at Tree 2 My Door with Coombe Mill

Win £40 to spend at Tree 2 My Door with Coombe Mill Holidays.

If you like the idea of a quality tree as a special gift complete with gift card and message of your choice just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.

 

£40 to Spend at Tree 2 My Door

 

Disclosure:

We were sent our Susan Magnolia Tree  for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts are my own.  


Journey to the Beginning of the World.

Posted on July 18th, 2016 - Anya

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.


Num Noms Go-Go Cafe Playset

Posted on July 11th, 2016 - Anya

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 - Anya

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

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

 


Mini Hornit Bike Light and Sounds for Kids Bikes

Posted on July 4th, 2016 - Anya

Mini Hornit Bike Light and Sound Effect Accessory  

Every so often a product hits the market that you really feel offers something extra. I hand it to the Mini Hornit Bike Light and Sound Effects. Designed for bikes and scooters this horn has it all to make riding around fun and safe for kids.

 

 

Here at Coombe Mill we are huge supporters of outdoor fun and cycling is a big part of this. We have our own bike lock up for those wanting to enjoy Cornwall by bike and an under 5’s ride on play area for safe scooting and cycling on the farm. With tarmac pathways and off road wooded tracks there is plenty of places for riding around here. Guy, one of my triplets, can often be seen following the morning tractor on his bike or zooming across to start the train on 2 wheels.

 

Bikes around the farm and the toddler play area at Coombe Mill.

 

When I showed Guy the Mini Hornit Bike Light and Sounds he ran straight out to fit it to his bike and claim possession. It has clever flexible easy fasten wings to attach it to most regular handlebars, but he will need to watch out as it unclips equally easily and I can see his brother and sister being keen to have a borrow too.

 

Bike light on the Bike

 

Guy spent a happy hour tearing up and down on his bike trying out the sounds and light settings.

 

Guy with his new mini hornit light

 

Finally I called him to a stop and asked him to show me how it worked. The sounds are amazing and easily identifiable, we mistook a hornet for a bee but did really well apart from that.  The light has several settings covering white and green to work alongside the sounds of your choice and there is even a remote control for the handle bar to play your chosen setting at the flick of your thumb without having to take your hands off the handlebars.

 

 

We were really impressed with the mini hornit bike light and sound effects. It is no surprise to me it has won awards and been featured on Dragons Den for it’s innovative features. The smart folk at Prezzybox know a good product when they see one and it is available from their website under gifts for kids for £14.99. Well worth every penny in our view.

Mini Hornit Bike Light and Sound Effects Features

  • 25 amazing sounds including transport, animals , farting and burping.
  • Easy clip on clip off design for most handlebars
  • Perfect for Scooters and Bikes
  • 4 great looking designs – Pink, Red, Black and Blue.
  • Green and white lights with flashing settings
  • Easy to operate remote control from the handlebars.
  • Volume control
The light and horn

Win your Mini Hornet Bike Light and Sound Effects

Win a Mini Hornit Bike Light

For your chance to win your choice of either the Blue or Pink Hornit Bike Light and Sounds for bikes and scooters with Prezzybox just follow the instructions below.

Good luck to all taking part!

Mini Hornit Bike Light and Sound Effect Accessory

Disclosure:

We were sent our Mini Hornit Bike Light and Sound Effects Accessory for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own.