Monday, 21 April 2014

Enjoying The Great Outdoors For Free

I love being outdoors, okay I prefer it when the weather is warm, but nevertheless, I love being outside. Being stuck inside is so depressing so we try to get out as much as possible, even if it's just into the garden. The boys love being out too, although they much prefer the getting muddy aspect of things.

The only negative thing about going is, is the expense. I see a lot of advertisements for 'family days out' but once I research them, £300, £400, £500 later, I decide that we cannot afford to go. Recently, we have been out quite a bit so I thought I would write about what we have done, things that haven't cost a penny. 

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Cayton Bay, Scarborough, Kirkstall Abbey, Sea, Football, Chalk, Bubbles, Sandcastles,

Beach Fun
Okay, okay, the holiday did cost us money, but I am talking about the actual activity. Going to the beach cost us nothing. You don't have to go abroad to get the good weather, the UK has some of the most amazing beaches around and when the weather is right, they are just perfect. 

The amount of different things you can actually do at the seaside is immense. From, building sandcastles and burying daddy in the sand to paddling in the sea and blowing bubbles into the breeze. Everything is free, fun and fantastic. 

We visited Scarborough beach and Cayton beach whilst on our holiday in Cayton Bay which I wrote about last week (you can read my post here)

Water Fun
If the weather is warm enough, dig out the paddling pool. Once again, it costs nothing to have water fun and we regularly have ours out in the summer. 

The pool is a great way to have fun and keep children cool in the hot weather also. Water fights are even better and these needn't cost a thing by using jugs, cups and good old splashing hands instead. We even put our slide into the edge also to create our own water-slide which the boys love. 

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Cayton Bay, Scarborough, Kirkstall Abbey, Sea, Football, Chalk, Bubbles, Sandcastles,

Walking In History
Getting out and about is great fun, but it's even better if children can learn as your having a fun day out too. We love going to historical buildings, learning about nature and seeing beautiful surroundings. 

Local reservoirs are a great place to visit. We went to our local, Eccup Reservoir (you can read our post here) and learnt all about birds, the water system and had a fun filled day. Yes, it was a really long day, a 7 mile walk left us feeling shattered at the end but it was a stunning place to see and the kids loved seeing all the nature. 

Old buildings are also great places to learn through play. Kirkstall Abbey, in the north-west of Leeds, is a ruined Cistercian monastery that has now been opened up to the public for viewings. Little sign posts all over explain about the history and what actually happened in each area. (you can read our post here). Not only can you learn about the Monastery but you can run, climb and play in the areas to keep learning fun. 

All these days out are super fun and cost nothing to do. You could even simply play football in the garden or at the local park or dig out your chalk and get sketching on the pavements. Days out don't need to be expensive, you just need to use your imagination and figure out how to do things on a budget. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A Photo A Day Project Week 16


The last week of the school holidays have flown by. We have managed to get out quite a bit and the great weather means that we've had fun in the sun also. 

The boys got bored of sticking to paper all the time, so this week I bought some chalk and they loved drawing on the pavement in the garden. We made a hopscotch, wrote our names and even did little doodles too. 

Just making sure the Easter eggs taste okay. Ooops, naughty mummy pinched an egg. Don't worry though, I have replaced it now hehe!

The reason I am always up early on a morning. These 2 monsters always pop into the bedroom and slip into bed with me, usually kicking me out in the process.

Kirkstall Abbey is a beautiful place to visit. We live close to it so visit quite a lot. A few yeas back, they renovated it all, fixing the unsafe parts and then opening up the building to the public to view the beauty and history. 

We've had lovely weather this week so I thought I'd get a selfie whilst chilling in the garden. The boys enjoyed some down time in the pool and Charlie enjoyed riding his scooter. Well, not really riding it, but having fun nevertheless.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Our Day At Kirkstall Abbey

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey, Cistercian, Protestant Reformation, Dissolution of the Monasteries, King Henry VIII,

This week, we went out with my sister-in-law Nina and her daughter Laurel. We visited Kirkstall Abbey so that the boys could see some of our local heritage. Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery in Leeds, not far from us. It is set in a public park on the banks of the River Aire. 

I remember visiting the abbey a lot when I was a child and wanted the boys to grow up seeing our local significant buildings, getting to learn about our history and also getting to play through learning too.  

The abbey itself is huge. You have to go through the visitor centre to get access to the inside of the building, but first of all, we enjoyed walking around the outside ad viewing the form of the abbey. It's a lovely walk around the grounds and you can even make your way right to Leeds City Centre by walking along the River Aire from here. 

Going through the visitor centre and into the abbey is a truly amazing experience. Before now, I have never been inside the building itself and getting to do some was such an emotional experience. 

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey, Cistercian, Protestant Reformation, Dissolution of the Monasteries, King Henry VIII,

The hard work, the architecture, the true scale of this monumental building is shown from the inside, but not only that. The ruins of the building and destruction are easy to see from the inside. 

Most of the abbey is open to the elements as it has no roof, stair cases are either eroded, damaged or not even there any more and there are random boulders of stone about that have fallen from the abbey in the past. 

Little posts around explained what happened in each aspect of the abbey. What it was used for, who would go there and how it was destroyed. There was also a very dark, quiet area where we could see religious people praying and such and so did not go in there as we didn't want to disturb them. 

The abbey is such a beautiful place to have the pleasure of getting to visit and we all had an amazing day out, learning about its history, viewing the ruins and getting to play a little too.

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey, Cistercian, Protestant Reformation, Dissolution of the Monasteries, King Henry VIII,

History of Kirkstall Abbey
Kirkstall Abbey is a Cistercian monastery. A Cistercian is a member of the Cistercian Order, a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns. The Cistercians were adversely affected by the Protestant Reformation, the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII. 

On 22 November 1539 the abbey was surrendered to Henry VIII's commissioners in the Dissolution of the monasteries where it was disestablished. Henry VIII was the Supreme Head of the Church in England which meant that he had the authority to do this. 

After this time, it was owned by various people and also got destroyed too, as much of the stone was removed for re-use in other buildings in the area. But in 1889 the abbey was sold to Colonel John North, who then gave it to Leeds City Council. 

The Council undertook a major restoration project and in 1895, the abbey was opened to the public to view from the outer edge due to it's unsafe buildings. After a £5.5 million renovation programme to make the building safe, the abbey was then opened and entry into the buildings itself was allowed. 

The abbey is a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument (a scheduled monument is a 'nationally important' archaeological site or historic building).

Thursday, 17 April 2014

My 1st Years

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Keyring, Jar, Personalised, Fathers Day, Review,

My 1st Years was founded in January 2010 when the founders realised that they couldn't find anything unique enough as the perfect baby gift. They realised that they had found a gap in the market for a new company that could provide baby gifts that were unique, fashionable yet affordable.

From blankets, shoes, bears & simple accessories, the company grew and grew and now sources products for occasions too and, with Father's Day just around the corner, they have a great range of items perfect for Father's Day gifts

They sent us out 2 items from their ranges, a Personalised Sweetie Jar and a Heart Outline Keyring too. 

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Keyring, Jar, Personalised, Fathers Day, Review,

Personalised Sweetie Jar
The retro style glass clip top jar comes with up to three lines of personalisation. It is very pretty and looks lovely in our kitchen. I have been meaning to buy my hubster his own jar as he does like his own sweets but have just never got round to it, now I don't need to. 
We have just got back from Scarborough and whilst there, my husband bought himself some brandy snaps. The jar is a perfect fit for them and will keep them fresh and away from the children also. 
It's £18 for the jar which comes personalised. I love the fact that you can have your own writing on it, from sweets to treats. 

Heart Outline Keyring
This is a lovely heart outline keyring with a personalised disc. It is such a thoughtful gift as not only is it the heart shape to sow your love but the disc can be personalised to make it extra special. 
We had the initials 'SMTC' which are all 4 of our initials, on it and it is stunning. 
It is £15 for the keyring but that includes personalisation and it came in a solid My 1st Years gift box just to give it that special edge. 

There are loads of personalised gifts from My 1st Years so why don't you pop over to their website and check out what else they produce. 

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Keyring, Jar, Personalised, Fathers Day, Review,