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Mount Stewart!

Recently I decided to become a member of the National Trust! I don’t know why I haven’t done it before with so many great properties so close to me, but I decided that I would get a lot of use from it this year with both the kids able to enjoy it now!
Our first trip out using our membership was to Mount Stewart. We had heard about the new park that had been built there and when we woke up on Sunday and it was a glorious morning I decided that once I had fed and watered the kids I would take them out to see what the new park was like!
Amellia was very excited and just couldn’t wait to get going, and was even more excited when I let her know that it was only a 15-20 minute drive. A beautiful drive to along the Strangford lough with a spectacular view of Scrabo Tower!

When you go through the gates to Mount Stewart if you are wanting to go to the park go straight on at the round about and park in the first car park on the right! Once parked and you have everyone bundled out of the car, you then head to the little hut just in front of the car park! We got greeted by a lovely man who chatted to us about the park and told Amellia & Dylan to have a wonderful time! He then pointed us in the way of the park.. walk down the path and first left is up to the park but it is a barked path so not great for prams! We choose the second left so that I could push the pram up easily.. well not really easily it is a pretty uphill path but it was ok, We stopped to admire views and then hunted out the entrance to the park!

img_5865The park is based on letters wrote by Lady Londonderry while she was away in Spain to her daughter. They are trying to get these books republished so that they can help the park come alive to all the children who visit but for now you can check out some snippets from the books here.

As we ventured in I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting to find, I thought it would be a cute little park, but I was wrong, It was an amazing, large, very open, with wonderful made play features in! Whenever we arrived nobody else was there as it was early on a Sunday morning, so it made it perfect! I parked the pram in the middle of the park, lifted Dylan out and we set out exploring!

My little girl loved spotting all the wooden animals about the park and was on full charge mode to find them all in a record-breaking time! There was lots of them all crafted into different animals! I was so impressed with them all, the detail on them was incredibly! By the time Amellia had raced around and found them all, Dylan was still busy inspecting the first on he found in great detail! My favorite was the cute little octopus & Amellia loved this rabbit the best!

Onwards to explore! There was stepping-stones.. well stepping logs in this case! Climbing frame, balance beam, seesaw and lots of other wonderful things all made out of wood! It was just simply amazing. While Amellia was happy exploring and climbing on everything possible, Dylan really enjoyed pottering about in the big open space in the sun!

At the far end of the park there is a big open space which Amellia and Dylan spent a long time in, drumming on the stepping logs, running about and digging in the dirt! Dylan really enjoyed this as he has only just accepted the feeling of dirt on his hands, so they both sat down for a while and played in the dirt.. and ended up covered! Typical!!
There was also a big wooden chair at the end.. which I tried to get a lovely photo of my pair in.. obviously it wasn’t successful, when do those pictures ever go well, right!?
img_5920We spent two hours here, running about, laughing, climbing on things, watching a honey bee on a flower, practicing our balancing and enjoying being outside without being to restrained on where we could wander! Dylan wanted to stay there for a lot longer than I expected, he normally really likes new places like this for about thirty minutes then realises that it is somewhere new and starts screaming to leave. I think what really helped here was that we had gone so early so we were the only ones there, there was lots of open space between everything so lots of room to potter about and enjoy the fresh air and it was such a large area that I only had to turn him round a few times to keep him close by so that I could see Amellia too!

When it was time go he came over to me and put his arms up, so I picked him up and walked about for a little while showing him the wooden animals again so that Amellia could have minutes before leaving!

We then were going to go to the cafe to grab a spot of lunch.. but silly mummy forgot her purse, doh, so we had to head home for some lunch! The kids cannot wait untill the next time we visit, which will be very soon and I will remember my purse next time!

You should be sure to pop by and visit Mount Stewart if you are wondering where to head for a day out with your family! I will be sure to let you know about all the other hidden gems around the Mount Stewart gardens whenever we have explored further!
-WeeOhana x

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Throwback Thursday #2

Throwback Thursday

My guest blogger for Throwback Thursday number two is – Ruth Cartwright, teacher and blogger over at craftwithcartwright!

So; think back to when you were a teenager and answer these questions!

  1. What was your favourite band?
    My Favourite band was Nirvana, I had all the albums and even scrapbooked about them.
  2. What was your favourite movie?
    Truly, Madly, deeply. I’m still a big weepie fan now.
  3. What stereotype would you say you fitted into? (Emo,Chav,nerd..etc)
    I was a grunge queen!
  4. Tell us a funny story about something that happened!
    I once re dyed my hair peroxide blonde and it went blue instead. Had to have all my hair shaved off to be allowed back into school.
  5. Is there anything you regret that you did back then?
    Kissing the boy who gave me glandular fever, my health was a slippery slope downhill after that.
  6. What was favourite drink?
    Hooch and 20/20. I don’t know how I drank them, they were gross. I don’t drink now.
  7. Did you think you were cool?
    Of course!
  8. Is there any T.V show you watched that you wish they still showed?
    Buffy the Vampire slayer.
  9. What did you want to do when you grew up?
    I wanted to be a marine biologist. I should have stuck to sciences rather than the arts.
  10. Share a picture of you then and now!

    I’m the one with the pink buzz cut in the middle.

Ruth Cartwright, mother, teacher, designer, blogger. Full time tea drinker.
My blog craft with cartwright is a lifestyle blog, with recipes, reviews, crafts and tutorials.

www.craftwithcartwright.co.uk


Twitter link – www.twitter.com/craftcartwright
Facebook link- www.facebook.com/craftcartwright
Instagram link – www.instagram.com/craftcartwright

 

I hope you enjoyed Ruths answers! I really did!
Nirvana & Buffy the Vampire Slayer were right up my street then too!
-WeeOhana x

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Cornflake Buns!

We had lots of Kinder Egg chocolate left over after Easter so we decided to make some yummy cornflake buns! Using the Kinder Egg chocolate made them even more yummier than normal!
If you have any spare chocolate laying about after Easter here is what you can do with it!

Ingredients
200g chocolate of choice!
7 tablespoons of golden Syrup
100g unsalted butter (room temp)
200g Cornflakes
& Muffin cases for big ones or cupcake if you want to make smaller ones!

Step One!
-Put the chocolate, butter & golden syrup into a saucepan, and slowly melt it together while stirring!

 

Step Two!
-Take the chocolate melted loveliness off the heat and add the cornflakes! Do this bit by bit stirring until they are all covered!
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Step Three!
-Then separate the mixture into the cases, and place in the fridge for a few hours until they have cooled!
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Step Four!
-Enjoy.. and try not to eat them all at once!

Super Simple and Delicious!
WeeOhana x

 

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Sensory Success

My little girl is currently visiting her nanny and grampy for a few days so I decided that I would try to do some painting with Dylan! It means we get the peace and quiet he needs for new sensory things and that she isn’t diving in the middle of it all! Today we did a spot of painting! Well by a spot.. we did two hours worth of painting!

At the start it looked like it was going to go the same way as whenever we last tried it, which wasn’t very well. He was keen on any part of the painting at all, but he sat in his high chair and enjoyed watching me use the paintbrush and painting a little picture for him, he then got brave and decided that this looked like fun and was using the paintbrush by directing my hand on the paintbrush!

After thirty minutes he then took the paintbrush by himself and was happy to paint the page but as soon as he touched the paint was screaming for me to wipe it off. I had accepted this as a huge success as he was happy to touch it with something he was holding and was trying out something new!

Next thing I knew.. he was painting his tummy and his arms! He had it everywhere and was as happy as a pig in muck! I was jumping about the kitchen celebrating and being ever so delighted for him it was just simply wonderful.. so wonderful infact I started to cry tears of joy! My baby boy was painting, and getting it everywhere, he didn’t mind it on his skin, infact he loved it on his skin. He doesn’t like to touch anything that will stay on his hand when he takes it away, but today he accepted paint.
Today my boy enjoyed something that kids love doing.

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Pepper Plants

A few weeks ago Amellia and I decided to try our hand at growing our own little vegetables. We went out to the garden centre with my mum and picked up an adorable little Elho starter kit, picked out some seeds and headed home to get planting!
The next morning when Dylan was enjoying his breakfast we got stuck in! She loved filling it up with the soil using her little spade and then getting her hands messy spreading it out!

img_3832That little face gets me every time ❤

She then had a lot of fun planting the seeds! She dotted them about randomly and thought it was great pushing them into the soil! She couldn’t quite understand why they hadn’t grown overnight though and wasn’t too pleased about having to wait!
Once they had started to grow you would have thought it was Christmas! She was so excited and couldn’t get over how cute they all were! She also had to give them a little reassuring tap when they broke through the soil!

img_4130-1I did try to tell her that it wasn’t really the greatest idea.. but she wanted to welcome them to the family and reassured me she was doing it gently! It took a while for more to appear and I was convinced that we were only going to get 5-7 plants.. We ended up with a whole army of them!
img_4706We have now planted them into separate little pots.. well two in each and so far so good! We have given four to my mum so that she can look after them and have her own peppers when they get big enough and next time we see my sister I am going to take some down to her too! But we will still have an awful lot of pepper plants if they all make it! Thankfully my hubby and I really like peppers!
If you live close by and fancy one let me know as we have lots to spare!

img_5061This is less than half of what we have!

Do you grow own veg at home?

WeeOhana xx

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Jumping Fun!

Recently I have been teaching my lovely girly to jump with the help of a lovely friend! She seems to be really enjoying it and doing really well at it!

img_4304-1We started off slowly doing lots of trotting poles and raised trotting peoples and here are some pictures of the first day we jumped! =D

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Credit to her sister for catching these shots for me! IPhone cameras always impress me! Coupled with a good camera person too! 😛
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Hope you enjoyed the pictures, because I surely enjoyed getting her this far and can’t wait to be jumping more! =D
Have a lovely day!
WeeOhana xx

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Learning Curve to friendship <3

Amellia has been working really hard on building up her relationship with Dylan. She understands that he is a little different to others and that he doesn’t enjoy touching, close contact or really playing with her. Though I’m sure you can see how this is very difficult for a five year old to have to understand, and to follow through with. This is especially hard for her as she is basically the polar opposite of Dylan!

She wants to shower him with love and care. She wants to play with him 24/7, kiss and cuddle him and have in-depth conversations about what they are building with the Duplo blocks.. but she has slowly learnt that this isn’t going to get her very high up in Dylans popularity list. When he was building she used to go over and try and help and he would get frustrated at her and hit out, I always found this very hard to watch and explain to her over and over again. She wasn’t doing it out of badness, she just wanted to play and engage with her brother like she would other children. Whenever she then came anywhere near him he would hit out, try to bite her, scream etc at her.. and he still does now but not to anywhere near the same extent. They are both learning how each other work. She knows that if she goes and does something he can’t explain to her he is happy by himself so he will shout or do something else to show her, he has also learnt that not every time she walks past him or sits near that she is going to interrupt what he is doing.

I have seen huge progress between them recently, like all of a sudden they have clicked. They understand each other that little better and she understands why he is a little different and has accepted that she needs to treat him a little differently. Friday, was a huge moment for them. We came down in the morning when they had both awoken and Dylan was pottering about and Amellia was waking up and doing some drawing on her ipad.. when Dylan tottered over to her and sat up beside her all of his own accord. She then handed him her Ipad by choice and showed him what she was doing. She knows he really enjoys drawing so straight away he started to draw, he then took his little hand and placed it on hers. The squeal of delight out of Amellia was just magical. She didn’t want to move and declared this day to me as “The best day in her whole life” This is something that she has been waiting for, for a very long time!
img_4845They then sat like this for the next ten-fifteen minutes swapping whoevers hand was on top, while I melted with happiness for my little girl. This is the connection that she has been dying to get from her little brother since he was born and finally her dreams were coming true ❤
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I had seen that the friendship was growing rather steadily recently, like something had just clicked. She seemed to know when he didn’t want fussed over but was very quick to jump in when he was in a playful mood or was doing something she could do along side him! She did a lot of running about the house beside him before he would even acknowledge that she was there, but now he is looking for her when he starts running about, its magical.

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The other day they had lots of fun out on the trampoline together and Dylan got very upset when she got off, so she then got back on and bounced with him again! Then before she left she handed him a bit of chalk to draw with a zipped the trampoline up so he couldn’t get off by himself! This showed to me that she understood his cry was for her to come back, she then found something to distract him before she left and she also made sure her little brother was safe and couldn’t get hurt.

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This was on Thursday, she had gotten into the car beside him, and as you can see by her face, she is being careful not to touch him too much with her arm! He stayed a minute or two longer then was ready to depart and go back to the trampoline. His most favorite thing in the garden!

They are slowly working each other out, but today has been a big step in the right direction. I couldn’t be more proud of them both. When you have your sibling who understands you and supports you, it can really help you along.  ❤

WeeOhana xx