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1 August 2014

Le Langon Holiday

Time to escape from it all for our Summer holidays, this year we're heading to a wonderful looking French villa in Le Langon, France to relax with other family members, ten in all of us. 
As you can see from the map it's a bit of an epic journey which we did in a 3 car convoy with as few as breaks as possible, although possibly more than necessary.
However traveling this far with 4 children under 8, especially as one of mine gets car sick, was not going to happen in a day so we planned a stop just outside of Calais for the night. 
                               
Tips for long car journeys with kids(or how we survived 2 days driving with kids):
Portable DVD players
DS/tablet device (fully charged)  
Bottles of water/juice
Snacks (but not cheese if they may be sick, as it stinks) 
Colouring books/felts
Blankets
Loom bands(in lock tight tub)
Lego(in lock tight tub)
Activity books 
Teddy/dolls
Sunglasses
Sickbags
Easy to reach change of clothes for all family members
Wetwipes 

It was my Mother In Laws birthday the first day of travel which led to a lot of present opening at the rest stops along the way. We made really good time, unfortunately there was a delay of a few hours on the Chunnel which set us back. So it was a bit of a rush to get to our hotel in France in time for supper, where we had a cake waiting for Sue, who was caught totally by surprise.
L'Escale Hotel is a wonderful stop off before or after the Chunnel, the flowers everywhere are stunning and the rooms pleasant and well sized. The restaurant served an amazing array of seafood to get our taste buds tingling on our first French evening. 
The seafood platter below was my delight, although I wasn't very taken with Oysters and was slightly shocked it was served ice cold, it was a fantastic meal. 
The next morning we all met up for breakfast, the kids were taken back with the amount of choice they got, an array of breads, cereals, pancakes, hams, cheese, and fruits. 
Although I think the biggest joy came when they were given their own pot of hot chocolate when the grown ups got coffee. Well as you can see we're raring to get on to the holiday house. 
Bon voyage!

17 July 2014

It's just hair Mummy...

In May on her 8th birthday, my daughter Maisie had her first real haircut; until then I'd trimmed the ends but only that. Her hair though beautiful was so hard to care for, and as a very active girl who likes to climb and swing from the monkey bars it was bothersome at times. We'd had a conversation the month before about bald people(Maisie had already talked about getting her hair cut), which ranged from why people choose to be bald to alopecia and cancer. Maisie was quite sad that some children couldn't have hair as they may be bullied because of it; and so we looked at where we could send her hair after the big chop. 
We read up on the amazing work the Little Princess Trust do and choose to send her hair there, we didn't do a sponsored cut as I didn't want her to feel under pressure that she had to do it. However I think she was far calmer than the hairdresser and myself, she did flinch or worry and she looks cooler than ever. 
The girls at Violet White hair salon in Carlisle were amazing, they made Maisie feel like such a superstar-she especially liked being brought tea and biscuits and gave her the cut for free. 
Move on a month and I'm getting set to get my haircut when I read about the Odyssey Foundation - this is a local to me charity to support people fighting and recovering from cancer.  
They were helping promote the Little Princess Trust campaign too, asking people to donate 7 inches or more of hair to be made into wigs for those in need. Now my hair is totally huge and grows at silly speed, and as it was pointed out to me by Maisie "It's only hair Mummy, you'll still have some when they have none". 
Well how can you argue with that logic? 
I also had the big chop at Violet White, and have never felt better, thank you girls.
Are you thinking of making a big hair change, if so think about donating your locks to a great cause. 
Little Princess Trust
Odyssey Foundation,Carlisle. 

28 June 2014

Woolfest 2014

This Friday and Saturday saw Woolfest in Cumbria for an amazing tenth year, having been a few years back with Maisie I was taken back by how much this event has grown since.
I'm sure it will only grow as well as the wooly fleeces it provides. I've got some of my highlights below, where you there if so what were yours?
Woolfest 2014 - Brinkley Looms
Brinkley Looms a cornucopia of beautiful colours and unique easy to set up looms. Which is now on my crafty wishlist. I've always wanted to take up weaving and have had a small go on my friends loom but the size/storage was always a factor. This could easily be done at home and stored upright when not in use.
Woolfest 2014 - Brinkley LoomsWoolfest 2014 - Sewsisters
How can you not love a stand attended to by a large crown wearing chicken, Sewsister were doing felting demonstrations and had a wonderful selection of kits and fabric. We all ended up buying from this stall. 
Woolfest 2014 - SewsistersWoolfest 2014-Easyknit
Easyknits was just a full rainbow of yarn to choose from and I'd love to own one of every colour, I must make room in my stash before I go to Woolfest next year. 
Woolfest 2014 - Easyknit
 Not all sellers were wool and fleece, these beautiful baskets really catch my eye.
Woolfest 2014 - Baskets
The Natural Dye Studio had a beautiful palette of vibrant colours but in softer tones, with a selection of patterns to go with your yarn. They also produce a yearly mystery blanket club where the yarn for the entire project is delivered to you and then you get a pattern a month to follow until completion. That may well be another wish list addition. Instead I left with a bag of mixed yarn and dreams of a shawl by Autumn. 
Woolfest 2014- Natural Dye Studio
Workshops and demonstrations were around every corner, here is Thread of Life tutoring on the art of crochet, a personal favourite. 
Woolfest 2014-Thread of Life teaching crochet.
There is something magical about watching people spin, it's something I'd love to master one day but this lady just made it look so simple. 
Woolfest 2014 - Spinning demonstration.
Giant knitting produced on giant needles, these were amazing but I have images of my kids battling it out with these beauties, the end product looked great and it's a great way to use that stash up. 
Woolfest 2014- Extreme knitting.
I spent waaay too long stood in Spin City watching this lady demonstrate spinning on way are the most beautiful looking spinners I've ever seen. There beauty alone was nearly enough to get me giving it a go, but I resolved not to till I get rid of my already here stash.  
Woolfest 2014 - Spin city demonstration.Woolfest 2014 - Spin City stand
Mulberry Dyer stood out for me as it had such lovely chatty owners, thankfully it's the type of event that's used to people spending far too long touching the product. I especially liked their colour organisation, and only wish my own collection looked so neat.
Woolfest 2014- Mulberry Dyer
Bunting, bunting everywhere.
Knitted, crocheted, sewed it really added an extra element to the festival feel of the event.
Woolfest 2014
Okay I was very restrained buying only one quarter of fabric, a mixed pack of Natural Dye Studios yarn and some Tussah silk yarn, the pattern was free with the yarn. I can't wait to get making with them.
Woolfest 2014- Things I bought on the day.
Have you added to your stash this weekend? What did you by?
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