Sunday, 18 August 2013

Jousting at Blenheim - fun for all the family

On one of the Slummy Mummies usual outings to Blenheim we discovered that there was jousting on, Mummy G & Mummy Li were most excited ... me well I was running in the opposite direction, however as I was out voted and reminded that the children would love it so I reluctantly gave it a go....
 
We found the area via the disabled garden gate [ask at reception for the code] and unpacked our blankets and settled down to watch the fun... to start with we were given a spectacular falconry display were the big birds flew over our heads, bigger children were given the chance to take part in the arena and loved it. The Slummy babies knew something was happening and pointed with enthusiasm to the birds flying over our heads. The best bit was still to come....
 
The jousting, hosted by King Henry the 8th, we were given an amazing show where we cheered with gusto for our teams [in our case the blues] their was fighting, joking, cheeky chaps and a wonderful display of horse riding. The children soon got into the spirit and were cheering with us, and learning to 'boo' the bad guys too.


 
 
I loved it, and that comes from someone who hates any kind of audience participation, seeing Baby J's face light up where the horses came in and clapping when our team got a win was memory making. I would definitely recommend going when it's next on, take a blanket, and a picnic and make the most of it.


 
 
Blenheim planned it really well, and had a selection of tents and vans with food, drinks and gifts available. I'm really pleased I was outvoted on the day and we had such a fun time, I even dragged hubby back the next day too.
 

Fab Park Alert! Milton-under-Wychwood has the most spectacular park locally.

During a Sunday drive a few weeks ago, where we just head of in a vague direction and meander through the countryside, I happened to spot out the corner of my eye a play park which looks toddler friendly, hubby by then had already passed it, but we discovered there was a car park  at the other end of the green where the park was... HOORAY!
 
From a distance as we walked across the green the park looked good, there were a few swings, a tunnel etc, but the closer we got to it the more we saw.... their was a fence off area just for little ones, with swings, tunnel, see-saws, round-a-bouts, adventure climbing things, slide, the list goes on. Baby J had a great time, running from swings, to the play train, then on to the slide and see-saws. Both hubby and I had fun too, all of the equipment was in good condition, and their was grass to cushion any falls. I felt that Baby J was really safe as the whole section was fence in, so there was no chance of him running off and getting too far.  There was so much to do the only problem was deciding what to do first.

 
 
 
Next to the toddler play park was a section of park for bigger children, so there wasn't the worry or the awkward stand off of bigger children / teenagers misusing or hogging the equipment..... and even better next to that was a fence in courtyard for ball games!  All of this sits at the bottom of a green, which would be an ideal spot for a picnic and a kick around with a ball.
 
So how do you find it? Well on the side of the green is a co-operative supermarket whose postcode I'm hoping - OX7 6JH so please try entering that into your sat nav's, this should take you to the side of the green, the park is at one end, the parking at the other, with on street parking down the side.
 
I hope if you can find it you enjoy it as much as we did!

Aston Pottery - A fab find!

With the weather constantly changing I've been on the look out for all weather places where I take Baby J. Aston Pottery popped up on our twitter feed on Friday, and with a follower recommending them I thought I'd give them a go, I checked that they are  children friendly and grabbed their postcode and set off.
 
When I arrived I was really taken back, I was expecting a little place with a tiny cafe, what I got was a huge place, with a large cafe and stunning grounds. Their was ample room in the car park, and entrance was well sign posted. Baby J [in his buggy] and I wound our way through the beautiful gardens to the shop, and after a quick nose round found the cafe. It was a cake lovers heaven! There was so many to choose from, I wish I'd asked a fellow slummy to come with me so I could of sampled a few of the cakes.... the cafe is well spaced with lots of room for buggies, there are also quite a few high chairs. Baby J & I really enjoyed our drinks and cake whilst over looking the beautiful gardens. After we checked out the changing facilities which were nice and clean we then went back round the vast shop. Baby J has discovered he can reach out of his buggy and grab things so I was a tad concerned he'd cause mayhem, but he was really good, and enjoyed passing all of the colourful pretty things. In the children's corner I let him choose a mini soft tiger for me to buy for him to play with.
 
On the way back to the car  the sun made an appearance so we walked through their gardens, Baby J loved looking at the plants and butterflies, I enjoyed the calming atmosphere.
 
Aston Pottery scores a big thumbs up from me, parking, cake, gardens all add up well. It'd be great if they add some play equipment for children to play on too. The entrance & parking are free, there is a great range of  gifts to suit everyone too.
 
For more information check out their site - http://astonpottery.co.uk/
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval - granted

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Babycup - Product review

If you open my kitchen cupboard door [the one above my chopping board] you are likely to be greeted by a waterfall of baby drinking bottles, I seemed to of collected loads of them in all different shapes, sizes, with different teats, some with handles, some with pop up straw things, some with teat that has to be bitten the same time as being sucked for anything to come out, you name the bottle brand and it's likely we've tried it.... and the ones in the cupboard are the ones  that Baby J hasn't got on with. So when the lovely people from Babycup asked if I wanted to roadtest their baby cups, my initial reaction was "Bet I've tried something similar before...." but after a nose on their site I was pleasantly surprised to see I hadn't. The Babycup  is a range of open drinking cups which allow children to sip and not suck their drink.
 

 
 
As Baby J is an inquisitive little man he's always keen to share with mummy, and often reaches out to drink from my glass or mug, I never let him hold them alone as it would be a recipe for disaster, but I do try to support him to take a few sips. So when the cups arrived I was excited to wash them and give Baby J the chance to hold his own open drink. The cups are small and come in translucent colours, making it easy for mummy and baby to see how much liquid is inside. Baby J's first reaction was to stick his hand in the water and swirl it around....he then held it up to his lips for a sip....and poured it down himself! But given the small amount of liquid in the cups, this didn't drown him or soak him enough to need a change of clothes! After a few more attempts he soon got the hang of it, and will now grip the cup confidently to drink out of without wetting his t shirt or the floor!
 
I'm really impressed with how Baby J has taken to them, and even more impressed to read up on the benefits of using an open cup rather than a sippy one, on the babycup website [see link below] there are lots of positive comments  from experts. Using an open cup does come with the obvious downsides - such as they can be easily knocked over [but given the small amount of liquid inside shouldn't be a flooding issue] aren't as easy to use when your out and about [I've combatted this by taking a small bottle of water out with me and pouring it into the cup] But all of the bad points for me are counteracted by the fact Baby J is happy to drink from his own cup now, rather than reaching for mine.
 
The cups come in a variety of colours, and are sold as packs for 4. They are great value for money, and the top tip from my Hubby is, when Baby J no longer needs them we can use them as shot glasses, and with their handy measurement guide on the side, I've used one to help me measure liquids in one of my rare Delia moments. So the cups have multiple family uses & mine certainly won't be added to the kitchen cupboard above my chopping board! To check out the cups for yourself and to read the experts testimony go to www.babycup.co.uk
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval = GRANTED