Archive for May 2015

Me & Mine - May 2015

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Joining up again with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project. Here's this month's photo of our little family!


This selfie was captured on Mr MoaB's phone and I have no idea what setting he had it on as this is how it came out, but I really like it! The picture was taken on our walk in Cowleaze Woods when we went to see the bluebells.

May Highs:
  • At the start of the month we went to Cowleaze Woods to see the spectacular display of bluebells. Really beautiful.
  • We used our National Trust membership to visit Cliveden and this has to be my favourite National Trust place so far as it's so family orientated.
  • We re-visited Bletchley Park this month and had a fab day of code-breaking with Little Miss A.
  • Our 5th visit of the year to Waddesdon Manor saw us exploring areas we haven't been to before and was an absolute blast watching Little Miss A hill rolling with her Daddy.
  • My website has had a major redesign. I was previously just using a really basic Blogger template but now have my very own logo and design and I'm really pleased with it. 
May Lows:
  • Mr MoaB and I have had coughs that we just can't seem to shake.
  • Car troubles! We are fortunate to have 2 cars but it is expensive to run these and of course there are repairs that you don't always factor in to your budget. We had clutch problems with one car so that was in the garage for 10 days and cost a lot to fix. No sooner had we got that car back than the other car decided to have a problem. A costly month. Luckily I've found enough local events going on so haven't really needed a car but there have been times where I've really missed just being able to hop into the car to go somewhere.
The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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My Sunday Photo 31-05-2015

This is my favourite picture of this week. I love the look on Little Miss A's face - she's loving rolling down the hill!


The photo was taken on our most recent visit to Waddesdon Manor where we found the perfect hill for hill rolling. I was so surprised how quickly Little Miss A got the hang of it and she must have gone down at least a dozen times, sometimes on her own, sometimes racing Daddy down!

OneDad3Girls

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Meeting Some Feathered Friends

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Every school holidays on a Thursday, Aylesbury Vale District Council organise family fun events.

Today was the chance to meet some Feathered (and some not so feathered) Friends in Market Square.

After a short wait in the queue, we entered the area and our first encounter was of the non-feathered kind - a little pony. Then we saw some of the birds including a goose, some ducks and a couple of beautiful owls.



There was also this macaw parrot that Little Miss A was very friendly with and kept waving too!


Along with the animals and birds, there was also the opportunity to make a feathered head-dress. Unfortunately no pictures of this as I couldn't get Little Miss A to model it!

Also in attendance was the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, who were doing a spot of bird watching and also Little Miss A made an animal puppet. One of the things the Trust does is look after nature reserves including College Lake in Tring. I found out that they run toddler activities called 'Nature Tots' there so I must look into this for Little Miss A. We haven't been to College Lake for a while but it's on our list to revisit soon as it's a great place for a walk.

There were also some inflatables but you had to pay for these and I managed to steer Little Miss A away with a promise that we could go into the library. She loves going in there so thankfully there wasn't a tantrum.

Given that we're without a car again (the other one this time is in the garage), then this event was ideal for us as we could get the bus to town, I got a few bits I needed, and then Little Miss A got to have some fun.




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Messy Church at Southcourt Baptist Church - May 2015

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

As Little Miss A had such a good time at the Messy Church back at Easter, I was keen to take her again this school holidays.

The set-up was exactly the same with full use of the whole Church with the added bonus of some things being outside as the weather was nice.



As soon as we got in to the Main Hall Little Miss A headed straight for the giant inflatable slide and had about 4 goes whilst there was no queue. We then went to the crafts room. Little Miss A had a quick go at pebble decorating but was more interested in the cake decorating. The cake was consumed before she even left the table!

We then ventured outside for the Bouncy Castle. Lots of children were having their faces painted but as there was always quite a long queue, Little Miss A just had 2 temporary tattoos done on her arms instead. She seemed happy enough with her dog and her lion. Wonder how long they'll last!

Upstairs in the Younger Play area, Little Miss A spent some time playing with the trains and the play-doh, before it was time to do another circuit of all the areas downstairs. We stopped at the craft tables again to make some glasses and a sheep.





Time seemed to pass in a flash and it was then time for the song, story and lunch (which is included).

I met up with a friend, Working mummy and wife, at the Messy Church today who I haven't seen for a while. It was lovely watching her son and Little Miss A coming down the inflatable slide together and they had a really good boogie to the song towards to the end of the session.

Another really fun morning. These are really well organised sessions with so much for the little ones to do. A big thankyou to the organisers.

I'll definitely be putting the next one on Wednesday 28th October in my diary!




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Waddesdon Manor - A Path Less Travelled

Monday, 25 May 2015

We decided to brave the crowds and visit Waddesdon Manor again this morning.

On previous visits we've tended to visit the same areas of the Gardens, so our objective today was to just spend a couple of hours there and explore some different parts. We certainly did that and had a fab time!

We arrived early and the car park was still quite empty so we even got a space in the Parent & Child area! A quick hop on the bus and we were at the Manor. We walked up the North Avenue and saw the new candelabra sculptures by Joana Vasconcelos. You wouldn't know they were made entirely of glass bottles from a distance.



We then headed around the Manor to the left. We've not been this side so had no idea this is where the shop is located along with a Coffee Bar. We then spent some time on the Parterre. Last time we visited this area was in the winter when there was no planting. It was really pretty today with all the colourful planting. Mr MoaB threatened to throw Little Miss A into the fountain which she found hilarious!


We then wandered down some steps and found the perfect hill for hill rolling! I can't believe how quickly Little Miss A got the hang of this and she must have gone down at least half a dozen types with much laughter! This is no. 2 on the National Trust 50 Things To Do Before You're 11¾ - Roll down a really big hill. So we can definitely tick this one off the list!





Next we took a wander around the Daffodil Valley and headed towards the Aviary, as Little Miss A always likes seeing the 'birdies', before taking in some more of the gardens. There was even a spot of dancing on the tree stump!


Though we only spent a couple of hours at Waddesdon today we had such a fun time. Little Miss A was on top form and just had us entertained the whole time. I think this is my favourite picture of her from today with such a big happy smile.


We are so glad that we headed to Waddesdon so early today. As we were walking around there were times when it felt like we were the only ones there! Hard to believe on a Bank Holiday Monday. It was definitely a good decision to explore the less 'popular' areas and go on the path less travelled. By the time we were leaving, everywhere was really busy. People were streaming up North Avenue from the bus.

There were quite long queues at the Coffee Bar so we decided to try out a new local cafe in Waddesdon called 94 Coffee Shop. It was a good option for a quick refreshment and treat of some cake before heading home.

Another really great visit to Waddesdon - our 5th this year and there's still 7 months of our National Trust membership to go! Hill rolling was definitely the highlight of the day!




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My Sunday Photo 24-05-2015

Sunday, 24 May 2015

This is my favourite picture of this week. A photo of Little Miss A and her Daddy.


It was taken on our visit to Bletchley Park this week. I like the way Little Miss A is leaning against her Daddy, safe in his arms, watching the lovely scene in-front of them.

OneDad3Girls

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Playdoh and Pasta Monsters

Friday, 22 May 2015

We are stuck at home today as we still only have one car and unfortunately Mr MoaB went to work with the pushchair in the boot of his car! Whoops!


Thank goodness the weather is okay as we've spent most of the morning out in the garden. However, at one point Little Miss A asked to do playdoh. We haven't had it out for a while but I wanted to add a new element for her and came up with the idea of pasta.

I raided the kitchen cupboard to find some bits of spaghetti, penne pasta, macaroni pasta and chickpeas. Then put these out with the playdoh. 

Materials:
    • Playdoh
    • Dried pasta and chickpeas
    • Imagination
Little Miss A really seemed to enjoy having something new to do with the playdoh. She particularly liked sticking the spaghetti in. 














This is the longest she has ever sat and played with the playdoh so definitely a success!

Here are our creations. I had fun making a little monster too!



#ToddlerApprovedTuesday
My Bored Toddler

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Code Breaking at Bletchley Park

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Today we paid our second visit to Bletchley Park. We first visited last December when a friend was visiting who was keen to go.

Last night we finally got around to watching The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, a film we've had on our wish-list for a long time (highly recommended - well worth a watch). Therefore as we wanted a day out today, we thought it would be great to revisit Bletchley Park whilst the subject was fresh in our mind.

Both times we've had a really brilliant day out. Before our visit in December, I think I expected just a few huts that you can walk around but there's so much more!

On arrival it is suggested that you watch a brief film that gives you sense of what it was like at Bletchley Park. The introduction continues with a section that has some informational boards along with a few interactive elements. Little Miss A enjoyed being a radio controller and trying to break the radio signal.



Before you head out of the main building you can pick up the headphones for the audio tour (included in the price). We got these in December but I must admit I didn't get the chance to listen to much on that occasion. This time around we didn't get them.


In December as we were there with our friend, we decided that we'd like to go on a live guided tour so set off to find the Chauffeurs Hut for the start of a tour. The tour guide was brilliant. Really informative. It is much better being able to ask questions and he was certainly very knowledgeable about Bletchley. You need a dry day for this tour as it's all outdoors. Luckily we had a dry day but it was very very cold! We definitely needed a hot chocolate in the Cafe afterwards to warm up! Little Miss A was really good on the tour. It obviously wasn't that interesting for her but she sat in her pushchair and ate snacks, then walked some of it herself.

On both visits we have made sure that we visited Block B which is where there are Enigma machines and a reconstructed Turing-Welchman Bombe that is demonstrated regularly. In December, Mr MoaB watched the demonstration whilst I occupied Little Miss A. Today, it was my turn to see the demonstration of the Bombe in operation - it's a really incredible machine.


Here's Little Miss A trying to work out some controls!


Having just seen the film, we had to pay a visit to The Imitation Game exhibit in the Mansion. Those who've seen the film might recognise this bar!



Back in Decmber, there was actually a Toy Museum on site. It did seem a bit random to find this museum at Bletchley Park but it was a great place to take Little Miss A when she was starting to get a bit bored and wanted to run around a bit too much. There was an amazing collection of toys and items from the past. Most of the items were in glass cases for obvious reasons but there were 2 areas with toys that children could play with including a lovely old ride-on horse. Unfortunately, this museum has now closed.

Instead today we spent time in the outdoor playground next to the Cafe and also took our time wandering around the Lake as it was such a warm day. Little Miss A was happy as there were ducks! You can definitely tell the difference from these photos between our cold December visit and our sunny visit today!


Initially we baulked a bit at the entrance price which is currently £16.75 per adult (we paid £15 back in December). Kids under 12 are free! However, then we were informed that the ticket is valid for unlimited visits for a year. Not so good if you're not local but pretty good for us as Bletchley is only half an hour away from Aylesbury and we've now been twice with at least one more visit planned.

Each time we've only managed to see a fraction of what there is so it's definitely somewhere you can visit again and again.







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Toddler Gardening - Growing Plants with Toddlers

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Last year we undertook our first project in the garden to create a rockery in one very sorry looking corner. We can't believe how good this corner looks now the plants are established! We managed to achieve this without spending a penny! Read about our Gardening on zero budget.


Over the last few weeks we've been working on our next gardening project. Raised flower beds to grow flowers and vegetables with Little Miss A. She loves being outdoors so gardening is an ideal activity to introduce her to.

For Little Miss A's Birthday in March we asked her grandparents to buy us the raised flowerbeds. They also purchased some compost to fill them and gave her a few bulbs & seeds and gardening tools to get us underway. She really didn't need any more toys for her birthday so this is such a great present!

The first task was for Mr MoaB to put the flowerbeds together. We'd got 2 but we didn't realise quite how big they'd be so decided to combine them into one that fitted neatly into the space underneath our kitchen window.

The flowerbeds are on the gravel area of our garden so we needed to move all the stones out. Little Miss A loved helping with this bit!


We also added lining to the flowerbed frame before filling with compost. It took quite a few bags!

That just left the planting! I'm not sure Little Miss A really understood what we were doing but she did like digging lots of holes!

She also really enjoyed the watering. She's always a good helper when it comes to watering the plants so I think she'll like watering these flowerbeds as things start to grow!



I have to admit I'm not that green-fingered and don't know that much about gardening. I'm a 'put it in the ground and hope for the best' kind of gardener so this is going to be a learning curve for me. I'm looking forward to seeing Little Miss A's reaction as things start to (hopefully!) appear.

On Little Miss A's 'Things To Do Now I Am 2' are two things that we have now started with this project - Grow some flowers from seeds and Plant some vegetables.

Here's hoping that the next picture I post of the flower beds has signs of lots of nice flowers and veggies growing!


Useful resource:
Gardening with Children on the BBC website



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My Sunday Photo 17-05-2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

This is my favourite picture of this week. I've gone for a comedy shot this week - just look at me going 'Choo choo' on the train with Little Miss A!


This was taken at Cliveden (National Trust) on Friday. It is really family-orientated and we all had a fab day. It's my favourite National Trust that we've visited this year!

OneDad3Girls

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Play at Picnic in our Park

Saturday, 16 May 2015

We've had car troubles this week so I'm without a car at the moment which has scuppered the plans I had for Little Miss A and I this weekend whilst Mr MoaB is working. It makes me grateful that we have two cars as there are so many things going on, but so many of them you need to drive to.

I really don't mind getting the bus to places and quite often choose to go by bus when we go to town instead of using the car. I also don't mind a bit of walk! So last night I was frantically searching the internet for something very local to take Little Miss A to today and fortunately I found an event on Berryfields, a local housing estate.


Rather than take a picnic we actually had our lunch before we set-off. Little Miss A actually dosed off just before we got there as it was about a 20 minute walk. When we arrived I gently woke her up which I don't really like to do but the look on her face and smile when she saw the soft play area in-front of her, meant she was ok!

She launched herself straight into the toddler soft play area before heading to the big bouncy castle. She really can now hold her own with the big kids on these!


After a good bounce we went for a little wander around with the obligatory stop for an ice-cream.


We then found a craft tent and quite surprisingly Little Miss A was quite happy to sit still at each of the tables to make the craft. We made a rainbow, a windmill and a sand picture.


There were lots of activities for older kids as well but obviously we just focused on the ones suitable for toddlers.

All of the activities were free which was brilliant. You just had to pay for any refreshments, ice-creams etc. so the afternoon cost me £1.30 for the ice-cream!

It was a really well run, fun afternoon in the sunshine. So glad that I found this event that was just up the road from us.



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40 Things Beginning With B - An Update

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Last month I posted about the Novel 40th Birthday present that we are doing for Mr MoaB's sister for her 40th Birthday - 40 Things Beginning with B!

Time is ticking towards when we need to have got all of the 40 items so I thought it was time for an update on how we're getting on.

We've now got over half of the items and I'm amazed that we've only spent £15.13 in total! So we've got over half the budget of £40 left to buy just 15 items. I'm hoping we might therefore be able to get the wrapping paper within the budget as well.

Every shop I go into now, I'm scouring for things beginning with 'B'. Really chuffed with some of the finds such as the 'Birds Blackboard pegs' that I found in The Range. Unfortunately, no new freebies from companies this month so a lot of these things have been bought when they're on special offer.

Here's the new 'B' items we have got since my original post:

Bloo cistern block - bit of an odd one I guess giving something for the toilet as a birthday present but they are pretty ones in the shape of flowers!

Branston Baked Beans - purchased a multi-pack when on special offer but just giving 1 can of beans so only 32p! We've eaten the other tins ourselves!

Glass with a 'B' - this is the most item purchased so far in Matalan for £2 but I couldn't resist it as it has the intial 'B' on it.

Brush - came free with a hairdryer that my Mum bought.

Bear - a small china bear found in a Charity shop.

Boost chocolate bars - bought when on special offer. If we're going over budget then I could break the multi-pack down and just give her one bar as this would reduce the cost. We'd just have enjoy consuming the other bars ourselves!

Bounty chocolate bars - same as the Boost bars!

Broccoli seeds - found these for 39p in Aldi. Will be fun for her to plant and grow these with her children.

Beef Bourgignon sauce - like things that have more than one 'B' in them!

Blu-tack - quite surprised that I didn't have this on my original list of suggested items to buy. Seems quite an obvious one.

Bazooka Bubble gum - had bubble gum on my list but I have never heard of the name 'Bazooka' so great to find this!



Banknote tissues - a novelty item that my Mum found on-sale in a charity shop. Shame you can't get £40 notes!


Backgammon travel set - really pleased to find this set in The Range for £1.



Birds Blackboard pegs - these are something a bit different that are really cute.



We now have just over a month to finish getting all the items as we have a big family weekend away planned in June, so need to get cracking with the final 15 items and then there will be the mammoth task of wrapping them all! Good job I love wrapping presents!

My next post about this will be the Final Update so wish me luck with completing this challenge!


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May Half Term Family Activities & Events in and around Aylesbury

Monday, 11 May 2015

My post with events over the Easter holidays seemed to be popular, so I have compiled a list of the activities and events going on in and around Aylesbury during the May Half Term School Holiday.



Love Your Local Market Event
Saturday 23rd May
Celebrate the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in style with live music, crafts, giveaways, puzzles and more!
Place: Market Square, Aylesbury
Time: Keep an eye on AVDC Facebook page for times
Cost: Free

Plant it, Grow it, Eat it
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st May
Be inspired by the beautiful gardens at Waddesdon Manor to put your own gardening skills to the test. Create a plant pot along with a personalised dibber, then plant your giant pumpkin seed to take home and watch grow!
Place: National Trust - Waddesdon Manor
Time: 11am - 3pm
Cost£2 per plant pot kit. Normal garden admission charges apply.

Everyday until Saturday 30th May
Take a stroll through the woods to look for signs of spring. Follow the map, answer the questions and collect a sticker reward. 
Place: National Trust - Ashridge Estate
Time: 10am - 5pm
Cost£1 per child

Everyday (ongoing)
Watch him wiggle! See him squirm! Hip, hip, hooray for Superworm! Take a walk through the woods on the Superworm activity trail.
Join Superworm on his forest adventure! 
Place: Wendover Woods
Time: 10am - 5pm
CostFree. Car parking charges apply. Activity packs available from the Go Ape cabin or Cafe for an additional cost.
To find out more about the Trail, take a look at the review of the Superworm Trail from one of our recent visits. 

Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st May
Learn how to build and fly your very own kite. Follow the trail and then work together to create your own flying masterpieces, then it's out into the parkland to set it soaring.
Place: National Trust - Hughenden
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: Child £2. Normal admission charges apply.

Step into Spring - Seasonal Trail
Everyday until Sunday 31st May
Pick up a copy of the Spring trail which will take you on a route around the gardens to discover the fresh beginnings and beauty of the spring flowers.
Place: National Trust - Stowe
Time: 10am - 6pm
CostFree event. Normal admission charges apply.

Claydon Young Explorers Victorian Trail
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st May
Find out more about the Victorian Verney's who lived at Claydon over 150 years ago. Follow the trail around the house and win a prize.
Place: National Trust - Claydon
Time: 11am - 5pm
CostFree event. Normal admission charges apply.

The Circus Is Coming to Millets Farm
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st May
The award winning John Lawson's Circus voted 'Best small Circus' is coming to Millets Farm Centre. This enthralling show by an entirely human cast lasts an hour. It is advised you pre-book online for this event.
Place: Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Road, Frilford, Oxfordshire OX13 5HB
Times: 11am, 1pm and 3pm
Cost: £6.99 per person
Millets Farm is definitely worth a visit as there's lots to do including a Farm Zoo. Take a look at the review of Millets Farm Centre from our visit last summer.

Big Nature Day at Tring
Saturday 23rd May
Join in the fun at this special family event with nature based activities and the opportunity to meet local wildlife organisations. Suitable for all ages.
Place: Natural History Museum at Tring
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: Free

50 Things Day
Saturday 23rd May
Complete one of the 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ at Stowe. Have a hoot with the owls from the "Owls to Behold Sanctuary". Get up close and personal with these beautiful birds, you may even get to hold one.
Place: National Trust - Stowe
Time: 11am
CostFree event. Normal admission charges apply.

Lion Live
Sunday 24th May
In its 6th consecutive year, this is an event for the whole family. Family Fun (2pm - 4.30pm) with Bouncy Slide, Face-Painting, Air Soft target shooting, Auction, Raffle, Stalls & more. Live music from 5pm til late.
Place: The Lion, 70a High Street, Waddesdon, HP18 0JD
Time: 2pm - 11.30pm
Cost: Fundraising event for Helen & Douglas House Children's & Young Adults Hospice, Oxford

Pitstone Green Museum
Monday 25th May
A really interesting museum that has numerous exhibits relating to farming, country life and trades local to the area. There are lots of different buildings that contain the displays and you can wander around them at your own pace. This Museum is only open on select days throughout the year and the Bank Holiday Monday is one of them.
Place: Pitstone Green Museum, Pitstone LU7 9EY
Time: 11am - 5pm
Cost: Adults £6.00, Children £2.00
To find out more about this Museum, take a look at the review of the Pitstone Green Museum from our visit last year.

Wildlife Week
Monday 25th - Friday 29th May
Take a walk on the wild side with brilliant kid's events every day during half term! There's a different activity each day: meet the wildlife expert; create your own bug hotel; Little Bug Bakery (pre-booking required online); animal masquerade; professional story time.
Place: Wyevale Garden Centres - Bicester and World's End (Wendover)
Time: Times vary each day, check website
Cost: Prices vary each day, check website

Monday 25th - Friday 29th May
Scale the rock climbing wall and enjoy a bird's-eye view of the property. Suitable for ages 4 and over.
Place: National Trust - Hughenden, High Wycombe
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: All Tickets £3. Normal admission charges apply.

Cha Char Chimps 
Tuesday 26th May
Fun entertainment show with lots of singing and dancing! Drinks and cakes are served in the interval (included in the price). No need to book, just pay as you go.
Place: Stoke Mandeville Community Centre, Eskdale Road, Aylesbury HP22 5UJ
Time:  10.30am - 11.30am
Cost£4 for 1 Adult and 1 Child, £5 for 1 Adult and up to 3 siblings.

Little Bug Bakery
Tuesday 26th - Friday 29th May
Scuttle into the Restaurant to create creepy crawly cupcakes and squashed fly biscuits. Includes an activity sheet and unlimited squash. Pre-booking required online.
Place: Wyevale Garden Centre - Tring
Time: Times vary each day, check website
Cost: £5 per child

Art Activities
Tuesday 26th - Friday 29th May
Jewellery Making (Monday), Creative Clay (Tuesday), Marvellous Mosaics (Wednesday), Fantastic Felt (Thursday), Crazy Canvas Art (Friday). All children must be accompanied by an adult. No need to book.
Place: Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP
Time: Drop in any time between 10.00am - 12.00pm or 1.00pm - 3.00pm
Cost: £3 per child

May Half Term at Orchard View Farm
Tuesday 26th - Sunday 31st May
Scavenger Hunt, Dress Up as a Scarecrow competition. Bouncy Castles, Help construct our mini beast hotel. Farm shop and cafe.
Place: Orchard View Farm, Little Meadle HP17 9UG
Times: See website for opening times

Build a Buddy Workshops
Tuesday 26th - Sunday 31st May
Children can choose a soft toy puppy or kitten to stuff to make their very own cuddly toy. Each animal comes with their very own birth certificate and take home carry box. All followed by 30 minutes of party games and dancing fun. Each child will receive a puppy shaped biscuit and a glass of squash. Book online.
Place: Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Road, Frilford, Oxfordshire OX13 5HB
Time: 9.30am, 11.00am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm and 3.30pm
Cost: £9.99 per child
Millets Farm is definitely worth a visit as there's lots to do including a Farm Zoo. Take a look at the review of Millets Farm Centre from our visit last summer.

What Monsters Lie Ahead?
Tuesday 26th May
Encounter strange specimens and discover monstrous myths in this hands-on activity. Suitable for all ages.
Place: Natural History Museum at Tring
Times: 10.15am - 10.45am, 10.45am - 11.15am, 11.15am - 11.45am, 2.30pm - 3.00pm, 3.00pm - 3.30pm
Cost: Tickets £2

Noisy Library Half Term Fun
Tuesday 26th May
Aylesbury Library gets noisy for a fun-packed afternoon this half term. Make A Shaker: For 2-7 year olds there will be a craft event making rainmaker sticks, which are really good for shaking. Noisy Poems Writing Workshop: Older children (7-12 year old) will have the opportunity to have fun writing their own noisy poems, as well as playing some writing games.And at the same time there'll be a treasure hunt round the library, so there's something for everyone!
Place: Aylesbury Library, Aylesbury HP20 1UU
Time: 2.30pm - 4.00pm
Cost: Free

May Messy Church
Wednesday 27th May
Art, food crafts, bouncy castles, play, quizzes, story, singing, lunch and so much more...
Place: Southcourt Baptist Church, Aylesbury HP21 8HW
Time: 10:30am - 12:30pm
Cost: £1 per person
To find out more about this session, take a look at my review of the Messy Church from April.

Gruffalo Exploration
Wednesday 27th May
Explore the Gruffalo story and become part of it, make your own mask, and build a den. Suitable for all ages.
Place: Natural History Museum at Tring
Times: 10.15am - 12.15pm, 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Cost: Tickets £4, advance booking required

Wildlife Treasure Hunt
Wednesday 27th May
Join in a hunt for signs of spring wildlife and find out more about the weird and wonderful creatures that live on the Hill. Great fun for all the family. Booking in advance is essential - call the Chiltern Society Office on 01494 771250.
Place: Whiteleaf Hill, Whiteleaf Way, Princes Risborough HP27 0LN.
Time: 10am -12.30pm
Cost: £3 per child, £5 for two children. Parents/Grandparents go free

Lakeside Fair
Wednesday 27th May
A fun-packed afternoon with activities including fairground rides, inflatables, a circus workshop, magic, balloon modelling, live music, crazy golf, a petting farm and more!
Place: Black Park Lakeside (near the Play Area), Black Park Country Park, Black Park Road, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 12pm - 4pm
Cost: Free entry, individually priced activities

Pop-up and Play
Thursday 28th May
Drop-in session with activities for the little ones organised by Bearbrook & Elmhurst Children's Centres.
Place: Watermead Village Hall, Aylesbury HP19 0FX
Time: 1.30pm - 3pm
Cost: Free

Free Kids Thursday - Feathered Friends
Thursday 28th May
Free fun in the school holidays provided by the Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership. Meet a menagerie of birds and enjoy some feathered friend themed crafts and activities. 

Place: Market Square, Aylesbury
Time: 11am - 3pm
Cost: Free



Snakes Alive with Amey Zoo
Thursday 28th May
Get up close to some real live snakes and discover how incredible they really are. Suitable for ages 6 and over.
Place: Natural History Museum at Tring
Times: 10.30am - 11.10pm, 11.30am - 12.10pm
Cost: Tickets £5, advance booking required

Musical Fancy Dress Adventure Party
Thursday 28th May
Come along for some Adventure Fun with singing, dancing and gentle musical games and activities.
Hosted by Rapunzel. Places must be pre-booked with Jacqu'in the Box - Tel: 07948 371615.
Place: Fairford Leys Community Centre, Hampden Square, Aylesbury HP19 7HT
Time: 2.00pm - 3.15pm
Cost: £6 per child or £9 for two siblings
We were invited along to a similar party at Easter. Read about our Fancy Dress Party Fun Session experience.

Come Out & Play
Thursday 28th May
Bring a picnic and join in a Free afternoon of family fun. Have a go at pond dipping or bug hunting, try a nature quiz or get creative with some natural art and clay creatures.
Place: Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve, Thame
Time: 12.30pm - 3.30pm
Cost: Free

Cha Char Chimps 
Friday 29th May
Fun entertainment show with lots of singing and dancing! Drinks and cakes are served in the interval (included in the price). No need to book, just pay as you go.
Place: Aylesbury Vale Multicultural Community Centre, Friarscroft Way, Aylesbury HP20 2TE
Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Cost£4 for 1 Adult and 1 Child, £5 for 1 Adult and up to 3 siblings.

Musical Fancy Dress Adventure Party
Friday 29th May
Come along for some Adventure Fun with singing, dancing and gentle musical games and activities.
Hosted by Rapunzel. Places must be pre-booked with Jacqu'in the Box - Tel: 07948 371615.
Place: St Anne's Church Hall, Aylesbury Road, Wendover HP22 6JG
Time: 2.30pm - 3.45pm
Cost: £6 per child or £9 for two siblings
We were invited along to a similar party at Easter. Read about our Fancy Dress Party Fun Session experience.


I've compiled these events from various websites, Facebook etc. Please check with the actual organisers/venue for up-to-date information.

I'd love to know if there's any events not on this list. I'll try to add to this list with any additional ones I find out about over the next couple of weeks.

Hope you and your family have a great May half term, whatever you're up to!

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My Sunday Photo 10-05-2015

Sunday, 10 May 2015

This is my favourite picture of this week.


This was taken in Cowleaze Woods when we visited on Bank Holiday Monday. We're not all quite looking at the camera! It was sooooo difficult to get a good picture of Little Miss A in the Bluebells so this is as good as it got!


OneDad3Girls

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Food, Glorious Food at the International Market in Aylesbury

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Over the last few days there has been an International Market at Kingsbury in Aylesbury.

This week I spotted a competition on Facebook run by the Aylesbury Vale District Council to win vouchers to spend at the market and was fortunate to win £30!


I collected the vouchers yesterday and then this afternoon we all three went along to see what yummy delights awaited us.

There were stalls with food from countries around the world. We had a wander around and then headed to the stall selling Indian food. Mr MoaB and I love curries so it was easy to spend some of the vouchers at this stall. We got our tea for tonight along with some cooking sauces.

We then went to the Chorizo stall. There was a great variety to choose from including Chilli and Green Pepper. I'm not a fan but Mr MoaB likes it and we gave Little Miss A a taster and she seemed to like it!

With all this food surrounding us it was making us hungry so with our remaining vouchers I chose a French Crepe and Mr MoaB went for a Steak wrap. Both delicious!


It was good to wander around and show Little Miss A the different foods and of course take our pick from all the food for free! Feeling lucky!

Aylesbury holds a General Market every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Tuesdays there is a Vintage & Craft Bazaar. This International Market was organised as part of Love Your Local Market #LYLM2015. There are events going on in Aylesbury throughout May.

It's worth keeping an eye on the AVDC Facebook page for details of all the upcoming events and of course competitions!


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Elmhurst Children's Centre - Review

Friday, 8 May 2015

For quite a while now I've been taking Little Miss A to the Playtime sessions at Elmhurst Children's Centre. I've realised that I've not posted a review of these sessions. Today we attended the Big Kids Fun session for the second time so I thought I'd combine a review of both sessions.

Playtime sessions
The Playtime sessions are on Wednesday mornings at 9.30am. I like that they start early as then they don't interfere with Little Miss A's naptime.

The sessions are in a really large room and there are always lots of different things for the little ones to play with. Some of the things are always there for instance the things for role-playing - a shop and a kitchen with playfood. Other toys are rotated so brought out one week and then not again for a while.

The wooden train set always proves really popular including with Little Miss A. She also always likes building towers with the big soft blocks - well, the bit she really likes is knocking it down!

There's a reading corner with a really big collection of books, however it's not often that Little Miss A will sit still for a story during these sessions!

There's always a messy activity set-up. In the past activities have included painting, play-doh and shaving foam.

For the babies there is an area with lots of baby toys.

Now the weather is nicer, there's the chance to get outside into the small garden and go on the ride-ons or play in the sandpit.

Big Kids Fun sessions
On Friday mornings at 10.30am are sessions for children aged 2 and over. The room is filled with the toys specifically aimed at older kids and the kids are encouraged to run around more as there's no fear of running into tiny tots.

The first time we went along we actually spent most of the session outside in the garden on the ride-ons and 'playing' Connect 4!


All the activities were indoors this morning and Little Miss A divided her time between the ride-ons, the ball pit and the soft blocks. It's a good session to wear her out!

These are great sessions to go along too and they're free! The staff at the Centre are always really friendly. Sometimes the sessions are really busy, sometimes less so. Today there were just 8 kids.

Elmhurst Children's Centre is located on Dunsham Lane, Aylesbury. There's free parking next door at the King Alfred Community Centre or on the road. The sister Children's Centre is Bearbrook. More details can be found on the Early Years Excellence Hub.


It's worth keeping an eye on their timetable and Facebook page as they also run 'Pop-up' play sessions during the school holidays in various locations around Aylesbury.



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Bluebell Woods - Cowleaze Woods

Monday, 4 May 2015

Today we went in search of some bluebells and we weren't disappointed!

We set off for Cowleaze Woods, near Christmas Common. Little Miss A and I visited these woods almost a year ago to the day when we were invited for a free photoshoot with a local photographer. I was really keen to go back again as I remember how lovely the bluebells were. 


When we arrived we were really lucky to find a parking spot almost immediately. The car park was already packed. It's free to park here which is good.

We set off through the woods and there were bluebells everywhere. They really are lovely flowers.

We had a lot of fun along our walk sitting in the dens we found, jumping in the muddy puddles and stopping to stand on every tree stump!


The dog was in her element and loved exploring these woods.


We were there a good couple of hours and Little Miss A only asked to go in the back carrier when we were about 2 minutes from getting back to the car. I'm so amazed that she walked so far! She was rewarded with an ice-cream before we set off home.

If you want to see bluebells en-masse then these Woods are definitely a great place to go. It takes about 40 minutes to drive to them from Aylesbury. I'm sure we''ll be back again next year to see them again.




One Man and His Sprog

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