Thursday, 28 June 2012

Stepping into the unknown...Camp Bestival


In a couple of weeks I will be stepping into the unknown. I shall be taking my children to their first ever festival. Yes, we're off to Camp Bestival in Dorset and it's about now I am starting to wonder what I've let myself in for, especially as our last camping trip didn't end on a high note. This time however, we'll be taking the new member of the family, Clemmie and we're hoping this may add to the experience. (I feel like I am talking myself into this...). Can we all start praying for nice weather now? 

I have read a lot of old blog posts this week about Camp Bestival and so far, I am comforted by the reports of the Pizza Express-eating, Boden-wearing, Waitrose-shopping clientele, as lets face it, that's right up my street but I'm a bit nervous about what to expect and whether my children will cope well with all the madness and mayhem.

Camp Bestival, if you didn't know, is a family festival (sister to the mega-popular Bestival) in the grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset. There's so much going on there that it's practically impossible for me to list it all here but there's music, numerous activities, circus skills, shows from people like The Gruffalo and the English National Ballet, Mr Tumble and of course much, much more. Clearly, one of the things I am most excited about is the food - it sounds delicious. Apparently this isn't the usual burgers and hot-dogs, oh no, there will be many different types of food available and I cannot wait to try as much of it as possible.   I really  really wanted to try the Grand Afternoon Tea from The Hurly Burly but unfortunately it's all sold out already - you snooze you lose! Bah.

Because I'm such a festival novice, I'd like to ask you a question. Well several questions.  Can you please, please, PLEASE share your top tips for attending a festival with children? The lovely Mama Sunshine has already talked a bit about it on my blog but I'd love to hear what YOUR advice would be. What are the must-haves? Where can I buy the cheapest flower garlands for our hair (priorities, priorities..)? How do I make sure I don't lose my children? How much spends will I need for the weekend? I have so many questions. HELP!

And if you have any great ideas for fancy dress in the "Silly Olympics" theme, please share them with me! 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables - the fallback food




Does anyone else have what I call - fallback food? Something you like to have when nothing else tickles your taste-buds? I can't be the only one who gets in one of those moods - you know, you're hungry and want something quick, easy and delicious but nothing seems to fit the bill?

Mine is generally roasted vegetables. I know, it sounds boring and healthy but I just love it so much and when I can't make up my mind what to have for dinner, it's my fallback option (although it doesn't do for Mr M as he's not a veggie lover). Because I normally eat my own weight in bread and garlic mayo with it, it never ends up being a particularly virtuous dinner.  (The picture above is pre-roasting. Let's face it, roasted veg really isn't that pretty and photogenic.)

My vegetables of choice are always the same - peppers (always red as a minimum, and maybe a green), courgette, red onion and cherry tomatoes. I drizzle them in garlic infused olive oil and roast them in the oven for 45mins or thereabouts, generally I play it by ear. I like them a bit crispy around the edges so sometimes leave them in there for quite a while.

Sometimes I will dish them up with a jacket potato, or occasionally some herb roasted potatoes but I always have some ciabatta on the side along with a pot of aioli and some chilli oil to dip my bread into.

I'd love to hear what you knock up when you're devoid of enthusiasm but want something yummy to eat, so leave a comment and let me know what you would consider to be your fallback food. You never know, you might inspire me to change mine!


The Fujitsu's ScanSnap Challenge - Week 1


I was recently contacted to see if I would like to try out one of Fujitsu's ScanSnap scanners and take part in a couple of scanning challenges. I said yes because I liked the sound of having a few challenges and well, I like gadgets!

I find having a scanner at home really handy and have used my current one a lot - I recently scanned in a ton of old family photos to make copies to hang on the wall however the scanner I have is about 10 years old and a is huge, cumbersome, flatbed scanner. It works fine, most of the time - it can be a bit glitchy with software, but it's so big I have nowhere to keep it.  For this reason, when asked which scanner I wanted to try, I chose the ScanSnap S1300 Compact Scanner.

The key features of the scanner are that it is ideal for mobile and stationary use, you can scan to a folder, email, scan to print or convert to Microsoft Word and Excel and apparently you can scan to your iPad/iPhone and popular Cloud services although I've not tried those features!  One of the main reasons I selected this scanner was the fact that it was compatible for both Mac and PC, in fact the biggest win for me was the fact that the software was Mac-compatible, as quite often I find that this isn't always the case.

So, the challenge?

Week 1: Ease of scanning-to-process
Get your child to draw a colourful picture of their favourite cartoon character and review the ease of using the ScanSnap to upload the picture to your PC/laptop.

I'm going to start at the beginning.


Well you don't really expect me to put something technical together without the aid of wine do you? Although in hindsight the wine was probably more of a hindrance than a help... The setting up process was easy. There was a quick start sheet and a more detailed book. The quick start was more than enough help to get it all connected up.  The first thing you do is install the software, then connect all the various leads. Then you stare at it for about 5 minutes wondering why a) no light comes on the scanner and b) why the menu hasn't come up on your laptop screen before going back to the book and reading the part you skipped over.


Ta- da! A working scanner.  Now to commence the actual challenge. 

The first thing I had to do was get my daughter to draw a picture, as below. (We'll ignore the bad spelling shall we?)


I then popped the piece of paper into the scanner (face down) and pressed the magical blue button and voila, the paper started feeding through. Once it had completed, a menu popped up on the screen which gave me the option to save it to a folder, print it, email it and so on. 


I chose to save it to a folder (you can choose which folder and where) and that was it, it was saved to my chosen folder as a PDF. The whole process took literally a minute which is way faster than the scanner I have been using.


That there is the scanned version of "Flownder".

The scanning process was very quick and easy and the output was really good. I was rather impressed, and I think my husband was too as I didn't need to ask him for help once. 

Don't forget to come back next week to see Challenge No 2.  And just in case you were wondering, this is what we were aiming for;


Flounder, from The Little Mermaid.

Thank you to Fujitsu for providing the scanner for this challenge and review.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Review

My son has been eyeing up the LeapPad Explorer for months, ever since his little friend showed him one at swimming one night after school, so when I was offered one to review, I couldn't turn it down. I've always resisted buying my children DS's and iPods as I feel at 5 and 6, they are a little too young for them and my two are more than happy to spend three hours colouring so I don't feel like I need a device to entertain them. One of my gripes about things like DS's is that they seem to be used by parents as a way of keeping them quiet and well, I've always felt they are a little anti-social. 

For some reason, I don't feel quite the same way about the LeapPad which is why I had already considered buying one. Perhaps it's because there is a strong educational element to the LeapPad Explorer and through the use of the many apps and activities it can help to develop such skills like reading, maths, science, geography, art, music and languages.


We were sent the LeapPad to review, along with a Toy Story game, Spongebob Squarepants game and a £15 voucher to choose our own apps to download.  In the box you get the LeapPad which has two pre-loaded games on it and one downloadable game which you choose during the set-up process (I chose the Jewel Train game), the parent guide, a USB cable and a spare stylus.

I decided to set up the LeapPad before I showed it to the children, so sat down with a glass of wine to commence the process. Set-up was quick and I found the instruction were easy to follow, we were up and running in no time.

Set-up was easy, the instructions were easy to follow and we were up and running in no time.



One of the first areas I explored was the LeapPad connect site so I could see what apps were available. There's a good range of apps including games, flashcards and e-books. A lot of the apps available are reasonably priced at around £5-7.50 with the more popular games like the Disney ones being £20. I personally think £20 is a bit steep but I did relent and download the Disney Cars game as my son had some birthday money to spend and he was desperate for it. I would quite like to see some cheaper games/applications available, perhaps around the £3 mark or even some occasional free downloads.

The LeapPad has clear instructions for the children and they didn't really need any help from me to get going on it as it's quite intuitive. I like that they can have their own user accounts and all games and apps you download are available on each account. There's also a guest log-in, which is what I use if I ever have a sneaky go!

I love the Learning Path function on the LeapPad Connect site, it really appeals to the spy in me. I like being able to see what they have been playing on and what skills they are excelling at and where they need a bit more practice so I always make sure that they log-in to their own user account.


The LeapPad has a built-in camera, video recorder and microphone and this is one of the features my children like best. They love to take pictures and video of each other being silly and I like that you can upload the photos to the LeapPad Connect site and share them via Facebook or save and print them.


I let the children loose with the £15 voucher and they each chose a £7.50 game. My son went for "Stretchy Monkey" which seems to be a very popular game around here with the boys and helps with learning patterns, matching and shapes, whilst the little lady opted for "In the Kitchen With Hap" which I love. The game covers things like measurement, health eating and counting. I've got my eye on "Mr Pencil" next and if it wasn't £20 to download, I'd probably already have it!

The LeapPad itself seems quite robust and isn't really rubbery like I would have expected. I'm not sure quite how much abuse it would stand up to as my children are quite careful but I'd like to think that if they dropped it accidentally it wouldn't shatter into tiny pieces immediately.

My top tip is get some rechargable batteries. It might just be that I bought rubbish batteries but the LeapPad  just ate them up. I now have a dedicated set of rechargables purely for use with the LeapPad but I'm pretty sure there is a power adaptor available separately should you wish to buy one.

One downside is that having one LeapPad is that it does mean my two little darlings fight a little about who has had longer on it but I refuse to buy two of everything and insist my children should learn to share! We tend to use time of the LeapPad as a reward now and they are understanding that. Mainly because I don't like the behaviour electronic games bring out in them but also because they love playing it so much, it works really well as a reward.

The LeapPad Explorer is not a cheap item however if I didn't already own one, I would definitely consider buying one. It's fun and educational and I think as they'd use it for a few years, it works out to be good value for money.

With thanks to LeapPad for providing this product for review. All words and opinions here are  mine and based on my own experience of the LeapPad Explorer.


Lamb & Mint Burgers


This recipe is another WeightWatchers recipe that I came across recently in my recipe files. I'm a big fan of minty lamb so didn't think I could go far wrong with it.  I always find making little burgers and patties quite satisfying so I enjoyed the process of putting these together - which was very easy as hardly any ingredients. I also enjoyed making the mint relish. Can't beat a bit of chopping and mixing in the kitchen. 

These were very tasty, and low-fat/low-carb because of the obvious lack of BUN. I know, how can you have a burger without a bun? They just rest these patties on a piece of lettuce which is lovely but you can't sustain life on that can you? So I had to sneak in a few (not many...) spicy potato wedges on the side. I'm sorry, I can't help it. I need carbs.

According to the recipe, this serves 4 and there are 5.5 WeightWatchers points per serving. Which is actually quite a lot considering they are small and when I was on WeightWatchers I only had 16 points for the entire day...but heyho, I'm not following a strict diet so all is good!

Lamb and Mint Burgers


Ingredients

low-fat cooking spray
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g lean lamb mince
2 tbsp chopped mint

For the mint relish;
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
4cm piece cucumber, diced
2 tbsp chopped mint
1 apple, cored and diced
2 tsp lemon juice

tomato slices and iceberg lettuce leaves to serve

Method

Lightly coat a frying pan with low-fat cooking spray, then heat until hot. Add the onion and garlic, then cook gently until soft. Remove the pan from the heat. 


In a bowl, mix together the lamb, mint, cooked garlic and onion. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and form the mixture into four burgers.


Spray the pan again with the cooking spray and heat until hot. Add the burgers and cook for 5-8 minutes on both sides until golden - or cooked to your liking, I like mine quite dark.


Meanwhile, whilst the burgers are cooking, make the mint relish by combining all the ingredients in a bowl.


To serve, sit the burgers on the lettuce leaves, top with a tomato slice and a spoonful of the mint relish over the top.



Monday, 25 June 2012

Meal Planning Monday (25th June 2012)

It's Meal Planning Monday again and I haven't got a plan. I HAVEN'T GOT A PLAN!

My mojo has up and left since it has been forced into healthy meals and I'm seriously lacking inspiration this week. I think it's probably going to go something like lettuce + cucumber, lettuce + radish, lettuce + lettuce. Seriously.

I'm just about to go through the past few weeks worth of submissions in the hope that some of you have been angelic and been healthy eating recently. In the meantime, here's the Linky so that those of you who do have a plan this week can submit your links! 

If you've got any stonking diet-friendly recipes, leave me a comment and let me know!

Look forward to reading all your #mealplanningmonday posts later this week.




Sunday, 24 June 2012

And the winner of the Orchard Toys giveaway is....



...Donna Lawton with her daughters rather interesting flavour of cupcake!


Congratulations Donna, the game will be on it's way to you shortly!


Big thanks to everyone who entered and left a comment - there's some very strange tastes out there indeed!


Thank you also to Orchard Toys for providing the game to giveaway.


Don't forget to check out my latest giveaway, a family pass to Lollibop.



Saturday, 23 June 2012

Lollibop, lollibop, oh lolli, lolli, lolli, lollibop (giveaway)


Ba dum dum dum.

Have you heard of Lollibop? In case you haven't, it's "the big bash for little people" and is taking place on the 17th, 18th and 19th August 2012 in Regents Park, London.


Lollibop is an event designed for the under-10's and is JAM-PACKED full of exciting and interesting things to do for your little ones.  The line-up is rather impressive this year with the Zingzillas, Dick & Dom, Mister Maker, The Gruffalo and my children's favourite thing in the whole world will be making an appearance this year with the UK's first ever Mash Up Tournament...yes, the Moshi Monsters will be there!   Add in Shrek the Musical, Mr Men, Transformers, the Roald Dahl Museum to name but a few and what do you have? Yes, a cracking day out! 


But that's not all that is at Lollibop. There is the Lollibop Kitchen, Science Museum, mini-disco, yoga, dance lessons, circus skills, face-painting, arts and crafts...indeed there is something for everyone. It's not possible for me to to list everything that will be going on here so check out the website for more information. 

I'm not just here to tell you about Lollibop, oh no. I actually have a family pass so that one lucky reader can attend the event themselves. (Please see terms & conditions below).

If you would like win the family pass (worth £92) all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me if your child could pick any tv character, who would they most like to see appear on the line-up?  Please also send a quick email to hello@athomewithmrsm.com so that I am able to contact the winner. The giveaway closes on Monday 2nd July 2012 and the winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Terms and Conditions
  • A family pass is 4 tickets to the event and can be used on either Friday 17th August or Sunday 19th August.
  • Tickets will not be issued, instead the winning names will be added to a guest list but winners will be notified by email in advance with all information bout the event.
  • The prize is non refundable and non exchangeable.
  • No cash alternative will be offered.
  • Travel is not included.
  • Closing date is Monday 2nd July 2012.

Good luck, and hopefully I might see you there!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Product Review: Hello Canvas




Recently I was approached by Hello Canvas who asked me if I'd like to send them a photo for them to print onto canvas for me.  I don't have any canvas photos in my house, they're all framed but I thought, why not.

I take a lot of photos, and I mean a lot. Our recent family holiday to Florida saw us taking around 2,000 photos over the course of two weeks. Until recently, I didn't do a lot with them but have started making photo books and framing and hanging them all over the house. What's the point in taking great photos if you're not going to look at them?

I've seen companies offering canvas printing around and about in shopping centres but had never considered that I could upload and order online. That sounds crazy now I think about it, I mean you can do everything online, but it's true. Hello Canvas were founded in 2004 and they are the largest photo on canvas website in the UK and across Europe. The prices are extremely reasonable and the range of sizes available is good too.

I sent my chosen photo to Hello Canvas as instructed and a couple of days later there was a knock at the door and my canvas was delivered! It was extremely well-packaged to prevent any damage in transit, in a robust cardboard box and then bubble wrapped inside. I was sent a 20 x 28 inch canvas which was bigger than I had expected (don't ask me why, they had told me the size in advance but I don't have much concept of these things...) and I have to say I was instantly impressed with the quality. I have to be honest, I wasn't expecting to be. I've never really been a fan of the canvas photos but I might well just be a convert. Mr M has always liked canvas prints so I think he's glad I am coming around to his way of thinking.


(I'm going to say now, that the image wasn't just of their feet...however I chose to protect my children's identity on my blog until they are old enough to make their own decisions!)

The image on the canvas was exactly the same and as good as the one on the original photo. I truly love it and it's filled a nice big space in the children's playroom. A 20 x 28 canvas is £39 including delivery (normally within a week of ordering) and for this level of service and quality, I'd be more than happy to pay that.



Mooching around the Hello Canvas website, I noticed there are a whole host of effects you can have applied to your original image too. For example, you can change it to black and white, remove red eye plus some other fun effects, and if you do like framing, you can buy one of the floating frames.

Image Credits: Hello Canvas

We'll definitely be ordering some more, I'd like to get one of my wedding photos done on canvas now to put in our bedroom which is a complete blank canvas (boom tish) at the moment.

With thanks to Hello Canvas for letting me try out their service.

Vegetable Balti


This recipe is an old WeightWatchers recipe from quite a few years back and one I looked up in my current crusade for low-fat, low-carb dinners. It was a successful meal - and for once it turned out exactly as the picture in the book, that never happens! I thought that Mr M would have a freakout about the general lack of meatiness and the high vegetable content but in fact, he loved it. Result!

I will say however it didn't really taste like a Balti to me, not as I know it, and living on the edges of Balti-land, I've had more than my fair share. That's not to say it wasn't nice, on the contrary. It was a lovely spicy (could take a good bit more spice though) vegetable dish. I just perhaps wouldn't call it a Balti myself.

This dinner was quite labour intensive as there was a lot of peeling, chopping, crushing, mincing and so forth. It suggested using cumin and coriander seeds but having wrestled with these in the past, I skipped that and used ground spices instead, much easier on the wrists!

The recipe says it serves four but as we like a bit of rice on the side (I know, controversial in both terms of low-carbing and Balti-eating) I've stretched this out into six potions, with four of them nestling in the freezer ready for some easy dinners in the next few weeks.

One of the best things about this dish is that it counts as 3 of your 5-a-day and in terms of WeightWatchers points, in the old school days this would have equated to 1 point per serving. It's been a few years since I've done WeightWatchers though so couldn't tell you what it is now, but not much different I should imagine.

Vegetable Balti

Ingredients

low-fat cooking spray
2 large onions, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp garam masala
200g potatoes, diced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 small cauliflower, chopped into florets
400g chopped tomatoes
300ml vegetable stock
200g green beans, chopped
150ml fat-free plain yoghurt
small bunch fresh coriander, chopped to garnish

Method

Heat a large non-stick frying pan, then spray with the low-fat cooking spray. Stir-fry the onions for 5 mins, season, adding a little water to stop them sticking and help soften them. Mix in the garlic, ginger, chilli and spices, then cook for a further 2 mins.

Add the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes and stock, then bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 mins. Add the beans and simmer for a further 5 mins or until the sauce is thick.

Remove the pan from the heat and sallow to cool a little before stirring in the yoghurt and fresh coriander, then serve.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Guest Post: Shortbread Star Wands from Frugal & Fun

Today I am sharing a guest post with you from Jen who not content with already being a super-successful blogger at The Mad House and a Thrifty Mum, has set out on a new venture with a couple of other top bloggers (Cass from The Diary of a Frugal Family and Becky from Baby Budgeting) to create Frugal and Fun.  

The new website will bring you a host of ideas and resources to help you make living on a budget fun for all the family so do check it out.  Today Jen is showing us how to make these fab shortbread star wands - something I'll definitely be having a go at myself! 


Hi everyone, it is Jen from The Mad House, A Thrifty Mum and Frugal and Fun

Shortbread Star Wands


Ingredients:
  • 275g plain flour
  • 200g cold butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • lolly sticks
To decorate;
  • egg white
  • sprinkles
Method:
  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  • In a bowl, add the butter and flour and mix to a breadcrumb consistency.
  • Stir in the egg yolks and icing sugar until it forms a dough.
  • Roll out on to a floured board.
  • Cut in to shapes - we used stars, my tip would be to make the shortbread about 7mm thick.
  • Push the lolly sticks in to the shapes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.


To decorate;
  • Beat the egg white lightly.

  • Brush the hot cooked shortbreads with egg white and sprinkle with decorations.

  • Leave to cool and then enjoy!


Like this craft?  Then why not register to follow us on Frugal and Fun.  We are going to be releasing an e-book full of frugal ideas to keep you and your children happy over the summer holidays.

Do you love or loath the summer holidays? 

I am in the love camp, but I do remember the time when my boys were both smaller that I dreaded them and the thought of six weeks (or more) straight with them sent me in to a tailspin. 

This year you need worry no more, as we have an e-book on the way out which will show you frugal and fun ways to get through the summer holiday. 

It begins with a week of preparation activities to help you get ready for the weeks ahead. The e-book will contain a recipe, an indoor activity and an outdoor activity each day within themed weeks. These activities are suitable for 3-10 years olds.

Themes include:
  • The Olympics
  • The Great Outdoors
  • Around the World
  • Heroes and Heroines
  • Home Sweet Home
  • Colours

The e-book sounds fab doesn't it? Thanks Jen for this great activity idea!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Meal Planning Monday (18th June 2012)

Sorry, I am a little late putting up the Meal Planning Monday post today. I've been caught up doing grocery shopping in Waitrose this morning and have finally sat down with a cup of tea!

Has anyone found summer yet? No? I just looked at the forecast and it appears this rain is here until the weekend at least. I'm totally fed-up of it now. I'm such a summer sunshine girl and this weather has really dampened my spirits recently.

In other news the dieting went okay last week. I weighed myself this morning and had a 1.5lb weight loss, which isn't radical by any means but it's going the right way huh? Especially as I had Dominos pizza on Friday, a big steak dinner yesterday and wasn't exactly low-carbing for the past few days. I'm happy with that weight loss as I've always been told a healthy loss is 1-2lb per week.

This weeks sees me trying to carry on as I've started - low-fat breakfast and lunch with a relatively healthy dinner with minimal carbs on the side. I just can't resist a bit of potato, bread or rice so I'm just trying to have a tiny amount.

This weeks plan looks like this;

Chicken fajitas
Chicken salad with a citrus chilli dressing
Vegetable balti (leftovers from last week)
Soup & bread

and one night I am eating out. I have the recipe for vegetable balti to post this week, it was an old WeightWatchers recipe so a good one if you're dieting!

The Linky is below so please add your meal planning posts! Look forward to seeing what you are cooking up.



Thursday, 14 June 2012

Carry on camping, or don't?

Dave Barry, an American Purlitzer-prizewinning writer, once said:

"It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds, for the opportunity to rain on a tent". 

I now know this to be true.

I was very excited about camping, ridiculously so. I couldn't wait to take my children on their first ever camping trip at half-term and had even been sent a lovely tent to try out from Vango (I'll be writing a review of that shortly).  Knowing we were going to be away over half-term and therefore Jubilee weekend, I even planned to have a little tea-party at our tent. It was all looking good. We packed the car up (and the roof-box, and the trailer), the sun was shining and we head off down the M5 to North Devon with much excitement.  


Mr M and I took the tent out of the bag for the first time (which let me tell you know, it 1000% easier than getting the blighter back into the bag) and impressively, we didn't row or fight about which way it had to go up and managed it rather swiftly whilst the children watched Rango in the car. It was still going to so well. The next day we woke up to sunshine. It was windy but warm, so we ventured out. Still going well. 


Then Sunday arrived and so did the rain. It was bleak.  Our campsite was rather high up above sea level and I think we were in the cloud. Not like my iTunes music. In the actual cloud. Not fun. Lower ground was slightly more pleasant, and by pleasant I mean we weren't getting blown halfway across Devon but it was still grim. Sunday night was even worse when we actually thought we were in the middle of a monsoon and the tent was going to be ripped from above us. Mr M even had to do a midnight flit outside to check we were still pegged in and there was much bed-swapping as the children were unable to sleep through the noise of the wind. 


Monday brought a fair bit of sunshine but by this point we'd already decided to cut our losses and head home, having since the forecast for the rest of the week. Heavy rain was due for the next four days and we didn't see the point in hanging around being miserable, so we enjoyed one last day in the sunshine and in the evening we took advantage of the dry weather and packed up our tent. There's nothing worse than packing up in the pouring rain and as it did in fact rain for the rest of the week, I was glad that we made that decision.


It wasn't all a loss, we did get to see some lovely parts of North Devon and pretty much fell in love with it. Ilfracombe and Woolacombe were lovely and generally it just felt like a really nice part of England. We've not fully explored as much as we would have liked but we'll be back. I didn't have nearly enough cream teas.

I was sad to cut short our much anticipated break but rain + camping = NOT MUCH FUN AT ALL! Hopefully we'll get another shot at it when the weather picks up - nope, I've not been put off at all!