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Something For The Weekend – 25th -27th August 2017

what to do in wales with kids

If you are knee deep in the summer holidays and don’t know what to do next, this is for you.

Each week something for the weekend will be your guide to what’s on here in Wales .. family-friendly of course

so here’s what you can get up to this week…

Starting in the North.
If getting outdoors is your families kind of thing then be sure to head to RSPB Conwy nature reserve and check out ‘Catrin the caterpillar’s trail’. This is an interactive outdoor trail suitable for all ages – and you can even collect a special badge for completing the route.

nature trails in wales

 

If you fancy a trip to Machynlleth there is plenty to occupy you on the Ceredigion art trail at RSPB Ynys Hir nature reserve. With 3 different trail routes and a cafe for light refreshments, all you need to bring with you is the sunshine.

 

If you are near Tenby and want a break from the usual seaside pursuits you may want to check out the Robin Hood Treasure Trail at Carew Castle and Tidal Mill. Taking place each Saturday of the summer.

tretower castle and court

 

Tretower Court and Castle have summer events running each Saturday. Located near to the pretty town of Crickhowell there is plenty in the area to keep you occupied and the castle itself is offering activities such as games, face painting, and lantern making.

extreme sailing series cardiff

And finally, if you want to head down to Cardiff Bay you’ll be sure to see plenty of extreme sailing this weekend. That’s right the Extreme Sailing Series will be taking over the bay area this Saturday so head down to the Norwegian church for the best views. They have organised a full day of child and family friendly activities including performances and crafts.

That’s it for this week.
Whatever you decide to do, have a great time and I’ll be back next Friday with another update for your family social calendar

Festival Camping Tips – To Make It Feel Like A Holiday!

nozstock family festival

The Tent

You need somewhere to sleep right? but your tent options can be totally overwhelming so it’s important to think about what you really need for your festival camping trip. We needed our tent to be practical and affordable. Struggling to put a tent up and watch a toddler – No Way! Spending a small fortune on top of our family festival pass? No Thanks.

So we found this amazing number from Regatta.

cheap festival tent

This tent was spacious enough for 2 fully grown (and not so small adults) and a mini person (AKA 2-year-old toddler).

It’s ridiculously easy to assemble. You remove the elastic strapping and *POOF* as if by magic, the tent pops out and is ready to be pegged down. Perfect. There were no camping arguments, no need to occupy a toddler while the tent went up and we absolutely maximized our festivalling time because it was so easy.

 

Storage

Storage is KEY for any camping trip and even more important if you are trying to pack light (can that even happen with kids?) Well here’s what we did.

With a small but perfectly formed tent, we used a big plastic trunk to store the majority of our gear and two plastic trug buckets.

Inside our trunk I used a selection of waterproof ‘Dry bags’ to store each of our belongings, this made them easy to grab and use and I knew they would be kept dry.

camping storage

We used inexpensive trug buckets that we already had at home to store a selection of Fred’s toys and also some cold drinks and snacks.

*Tip* – We fed a guide rope from the tent through the handles of the trug before pegging them down and securing them to our home for the weekend.

Our little tent came with a few handy internal pockets that I was able to use to store a drink for Fred overnight and a few other essentials.

Just be as organised as you can, think about what you need, when you will need it and separate those packs up accordingly.

 

Be Prepared For All Weathers

In the UK you can expect to see all weathers in one festival weekend so it’s important to be prepared.

We always go for light layered clothing which makes it easy to move around and essentially some killer waterproof gear.

Regatta makes this easy. Their stylish gear and won’t break the bank. This lightweight coat is easy to store but will help if all that dancing brings on the rain.

cheap womens jacket

For kids, you can’t go wrong with a puddle suit. It will do well in the British rain but is light enough to be rolled up and shoved in your rucksack and the best part, you’ll be getting use out of it long after the festival ends.

cheap kids rain suit

Wellies are totally essential – and here’s a top tip, grab some gel or padded insoles and put a spring in your step all day. Likewise, wellie socks mean that even if the weather brightens up, you can still rock a dress or shorts but keep your feet dry and comfy!

wellies like joules

 

Entertainment

When you travel anywhere with kids you know you need a whole library of goods to keep those little critters entertained and festivalling is no different. You have a huge new space to explore with a million different options to entertain small humans BUT beware boredom and think ahead for entertainment. We packed a small size aquadoodle for Fred, this kept him entertained and within site when we just wanted to grab a coffee. He also adores small cars so we kept a stash in the tent pockets and in our day out rucksack.

 

 

Home Comforts

Hitting up a festival with the family doesn’t mean that you have to leave all your home comforts behind. We always take camping chairs. These are lightweight and portable but mean you can enjoy your morning coffee or late night post gig beer in comfort. Having a childs chair always keeps the little ones interested as well so it’s a great investment. Fred even uses his at home.

cheap camping chair

A door mat was a top tip from one of the readers on our Facebook page. This makes it easier to keep muck outside of your tent which really helps when you are short on space.

Snuggly layers for night time – you want to be warm, so fashion can kind of go out the window but I always camp with a onesie. I will shove it on to lounge around outside the tent and I can also grab it for sleep if the temperature dips too much for my liking.

My own ‘home’ pillow – I always camp with my own pillowcase. It makes it more familiar and comfortable and I do the same for Fred too.

And finally, add in your own special touches. I personally LOVE good coffee so I buy ‘coffee bags’ – It makes all the difference to me in the morning. I also stock pile travel size toiletries because it feels like a treat when you aren’t in your own home comforts to have some snazzy products to use.

We hope you find this little guide really helpful if you are considering a festival with kids. Remember, Kid’s are far more adaptable than we give them credit for. Just relax & enjoy the moment.

This Welsh Mother Meet Up – Barry

This-Welsh - Mother-Barry

So this Saturday, 24th June we have our first meetup being held in Barry.
I can’t tell you how excited I am..

Now, when I first put this out there I thought that a handful of us would congregate on the beach, have a walk and maybe a coffee. What I wasn’t prepared for was that SO many of you would want to come.

It left me with a dilemma.

If I kept the day unstructured there would just be too many of us for it to be casual. we wouldn’t fit in a coffee shop, where would we go? what if the weather was bad? what would the kids do etc etc?

So I’ve bitten the bullet and hired a hall.

This-Welsh - Mother-Barry

Now at such short notice, we weren’t able to get one on the island as I’d originally planned. So I’ve nabbed the only place that will have us… Gibbonsdown community Centre (cf62 9df)

The community centre will be large enough to house us all, let us have some space to pull up a chair and chat and also let the kids (if you are bringing them) run free.

With the weather being as hot as it is it’s hopefully going to also offer us some shade.

If you were planning on traveling into Barry using public transport, I’ve popped a post on the Facebook page – Please don’t panic. I don’t want you to a) miss out or b) be trying to navigate local buses.
Please just make yourself known to me on Facebook or email me directly at ceri@thiswelshmother.co.uk and I will attempt to sort out a lift for you from one of our lovely crew, or I’ll trek down and grab you myself.

What to expect on the day

This-Welsh-Mother-Barry

There will be lovely coffee’s, a selection of tea’s and some sweet treats for sale on the day, all made by my delightful other half who I will be dragging along so please bring some change – this will help me cover the cost of the hall so I’d really appreciate you grabbing what you can afford.
I’ll be putting on squash/water for the little one’s – if they need a sippy cup please bring it along.

Toilet facilities are available which we will make baby changing friendly for you.

this-welsh-mother-barry

We have a lovely local business coming along. Zac & Bella make absolutely adorable clothing and will have a small selection on hand. If there is anything there that takes your fancy, please shop till you drop and head over and like her FB page which you can find here.

I will be running a raffle on the day for some lovely prizes. Raffle tickets are £3 each and will be drawn on the day. I’d be super, super, super grateful if you could get involved with this. All the proceeds go into the pot for the This Welsh Mother scholarship to help a mum with primary age children who has gone back to university.
Prices include a family pass to Techniquest Cardiff, A family pass from Cardiff bus, Bath goodies and a few other items to be confirmed.

Hopefully, we can give the children some space to play, we can all have a good chat and you will all want to come to the next one… ha ha

Parking is available on site
Event time is 10-12
And if you need to get hold of me in an emergency I will be contactable on the day via FB messenger should you need anything.

No Faff Foods – 2nd May

This weeks no faff foods.

 

I love food and I love Pinterest so I thought a great way to combine the two was to highlight some amazing, family friendly foods that I pin each week on Pinterest for you to try.

I’m always after inspiration so I’m hoping this might give you some too. And also, I’m still trying to meal plan and I get most of my ideas on Pinterest.

If you are on Pinterest please do click here and follow me and you can find the boards and access all the pins.

 

So let’s dive into this weeks treats.

I’m not on a faddy diet but I do just like a smoothie. They are totally easy and I can get them into Fred without much fuss. The Chef just doesn’t get why you would want to drink your breakfast but hey, ho. You can’t please them all. This week I’ve meal planned some smoothies so I have been searching for some inspiration and these two looked great.

 

 

 

 

Because the chef & I both work from home we tend to eat properly at lunch time, sometimes we even have our main meal then. If I’m going to cook Lunch also tends to be the meal I’ll take on so I like super simple.

easy family chicken alfredo

Image Source – Julia’s Album

Looks so tasty and the weather’s been a little on the crap side – I’m typing this with soggy feet after just rescuing the washing from the hail- hello UK summertime.

 

Dinners. I love really simple, tasty dinners.

 

Easy Slimming World Meals

Looks hella tasty

 

Wanna bake.

I long to be a mother that’s organised enough to bake. It never happens. However, I do always feel like I’m on the hop and don’t have lovely tasty snacks for the boy. I also know that some of you are bloody goddesses in the kitchen so let’s get our bake on this week eh.

 

I want to devour these, NOW

Easy To Bake Cookies

Image Source Jay’s Baking Me Crazy

Or if you are a bit fancier you could try this from the queen, AKA Mary Berry

You just know it’s going to have that lush sugar crust and be delicious.

 

 

So those are my choices this week. They all look and sound lush. If you want to see what I get up to this week make sure you are following me on Instagram where I am generally a nerd and update my stories all the time. And if food is your thang be sure to hop here and follow me on Pinterest.

This Welsh Mother – My Week – 1st May

Where To Find Bluebells In Wales

It’s no secret to any of us that parenting is no walk in the park but after a week of sickness bugs I entered this new week pretty optimistically.

Fred was feeling better, I had ceased to smell like a fragrance best described as ‘Eau de Toddler Sick’ & the chef had actually got out of bed. I was on a high.

The lurgy had made work nigh on impossible so I had even scheduled a whole weeks worth of blog posts – strong work mamma, or so I thought.

 

Early in the week we did the whole insta-mama thang and headed to a forest full to the brim with bluebells. However, I forgot my snazzy camera and Fred, well, Fred was less than Instagram about the whole ordeal. It seems toddlers and trekking through woodland are not the ideal mix – who’d have thought it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organisation paid off though and I felt so much better being up to date with the whole blogging lark. I sold some ads for the website so can happily put the finishing touches to the first advert for a paid writer at This Welsh Mother this week, as I know I’ve got the funds to pay them for 4 months. Being able to start this process 8 weeks after launching the site makes me grin from ear to ear so If you are a mother, writer and can write in the medium of welsh language, watch out for our ad for paid work.

Welsh Language Writers Wanted

I had a ton of emails from you nominating your fave business Mothers – for Business Mother Monday which should hopefully start next week! And the whole topic of Mothers in business opened up the conversation about meet ups. So I’m gonna get raw and honest with you.

When we launched and I set out what I wanted to achieve with This Welsh Mother in the Manifesto, meet ups and in person get togethers were high on my list so I got brave and typed out that it was one of my intentions. Then, a little later and I surveyed you on the Facebook page LOADS of you responded and said that meet ups were what you wanted. Amazing, I thought. Yet, I did nothing about it.

Why is that?

Why are we always putting things off that we really want to do?

Well, for one thing. It’s scary as hell isn’t it? I’m not daunted by putting on an event. I’m scared as hell that I’ll do it and no one will come or worse, people will think ‘who the hell does she think she is putting on an event’ cos let’s be honest. I’ve taken some flack since launching this website. Yet despite all that it’s still there, tugging at my shirt and not leaving me alone so I know it’s somethong I need to do for you and I need to do for me.

So let’s sodding well do it. Look out for a post or survey this week that will hopefully help us get clearer on when and how we can hang out in real life.

So I hope your week was epic and that you have a great (shorter than usual) week ahead planned.

Working mother Wednesday – 26th April

jobs for mums wales

Hey Mother! Are you looking to step back into the world of work? Or maybe you are working but it’s just not working for you and you are on the hunt for something new. I know it can be really hard to find mum friendly jobs but it’s something I really hope to highlight here.

jobs for mums wales

Each Wednesday I am going to popping up the most parent-friendly jobs that I can find or that get sent in by our fabulous Welsh recruiters. At the moment I am only just starting to get recruiters on board so the jobs are just the result of me searching the huge cavern of the internet but you never know, they may be really useful for some of you.

Here is this week’s selection

mum friendly jobs in wales

Cardiff

Do you have some snazzy admin skills under your belt? Administration Officer – Part Time

Fancy some great on the job training? Customer service advisor – Banking – 20 hours

Llanelli

Can you chat and be an ace face of a cafe? Cafe Team Member 8 hours

Carmarthen

Babies & Bounty Self Employed Bounty Representative

Llanberis

Tea? Coffee? Part Time Cafe Assistant

 

If you are in the market for a new job you might be interested in freshening up your CV. If so I’ve got you covered. I’ve been working on a mini workshop with the amazing career coach Gina Visram. She specialises in women returning to the workplace, so if you wanna grab our workbook that will help you jazz up your cv, please pop your email here and I’ll. get it sent straight out to you when it’s hot off the press. It’s gonna be a good one.

 

Make your CV work for you!

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T&C’s – In order to receive this freebie you will be added to both my own and Gina’s mailing list.

No Faff Foods – 25th April

easy baking with kids

I love food and I love Pinterest so I thought a great way to combine the two was to highlight some amazing, family friendly foods that I pin each week on Pinterest for you to try.

easy family meal plan

I’m always after inspiration so I’m hoping this might give you some too. And also, I’m sill trying to meal plan and I get most of my ideas on Pinterest.

If you are on Pinterest please do click here and follow me and you can find the boards and access all the pins.

easy baking with kids

 

So let’s dive into this week’s treats.

My toddler is not a breakfast person. It’s cos he’s up half the night but I know the importance of breakfast and I’m always looking for healthy, great starts to the day.

  • Healthy Lemon & Poppyseed Muffins

paleo sweet treats

Image Courtesy of Nourish Your Glow

I’ve only had one experience with coconut flour and it was bad, it was real bad but I really want to try these. I think I could get Fred interested in a morning muffin and these could be made up on a lazy Sunday. Probably good with an afternoon cuppa too.

 

Lunch times can get crazy. It’s the only time my young one likes to take a nap so we inevitably end up feeding him at 11 are 2.30ish so not ideal lunch time but this, this one interests me.

healthy family lunch

 

The avocado was Fred’s first food (nostalgic mama alert) and is a firm fave in this house, Feta I mean, Yum and I have actually made flatbreads before. I know, I know. Don’t fall off your chair, It was for a job ha ha.

Quick Flatbreads with Avocado & Feta.

 

 

 

 

Image Courtesy of Jamie Oliver

 

Dinners. I love really simple, tasty dinners. I have no time for faff. I don’t want 750000 ingredients but I want it to be tasty enough that my chef other half will eat it without giving me the eye… You know the eye right? It’s like the ‘hmmmm it’s ok but it could be better if you just ……) I hate the eye.

I love a slow cooker. Actually, I like any cooking that you can just leave so this one interested me.

 

easy one pot dinner

Image courtesy of Julies Treats & Eats – Click for a link to their amazing website packed full of tasty foods

I have seen versions of this that you pop in the oven and they don’t seem like the kind of ingredients that require long, slow cooking but that said something about it makes me know it’s gonna be tasty as heck. So I’m gonna try it. The sauce looks delish and I just know it’s gonna be tender and tasty.

 

Wanna bake?

I long to be a mother that’s organised enough to bake. It never happens. However, I do always feel like I’m on the hop and don’t have lovely tasty snacks for the boy. I also know that some of you are bloody goddesses in the kitchen so let’s get our bake on this week eh.

 

These are for me really, little involvement

no bake treat

Image courtesy of My Fussy Eater – who has a whole site you should check out for ace tips on feeding your little ones

Or if you are a bit fancier you could try this corker from Waitrose.

  • Rhubarb and custard traybake.

waitrose kids food

Image courtesy of Waitrose

You can get Rhubarb at the moment in the forced variety and I blinking well love the stuff. This would be so lush with a cuppa and you’d look like such a fancy pants if you invited someone over and casually dished it out like you are a cardigan wearing housewife from the 1950’s ..ha ha

 

So those are my choices this week. They all look and sound lush. If you want to see what I get up to this week make sure you are following me on Instagram where I am generally a nerd and update my stories all he time. And if food is your thang be sure to hot here and follow me on Pinterest.

Because Tuesdays are now ALL about food

We all love a bit of food, actually, I document my love/relationship for the good stuff all over this blog but we all love and need food don’t we? We want to put good meals on the table that our families love and your kids will actually eat. So each Tuesday we are gonna talk food.

We want to put good meals on the table that our families love and your kids will actually eat. So each Tuesday we are gonna talk food, tasty food.

I’m not gonna promise that I’ll have time to write recipes and take gorgeous food photo’s because let’s face it, I barely have time to cook but I am trying to rope my other half into making some food videos for us because he’s an ace chef!

I’m also going to be posting a weekly No Faff Foods post (You can read the first one here) which links to a great pinterest board full of tasty meals and snacks you can try out.

But I am going to put a call out for your favorite meals? If you have something that you love to eat, that your family lap up, why not tell us all about it? I’ll do the hard work for you and format that into a blog post but if you’ve got a photo of your dish I’ll love you forever.

At the end of each month, a person who has put their fave family food forward will win a foodie themed prize. How cool is that?

So if you fancy winning  yourself a little kitchen treat you best get your butt in gear and send in your fave food.

This months entries close on the 28th of may 2017 at midnight and 1 entry will be chosen at random to receive one of my favourite cook books – Deliciously Ella: Awesome Ingredients, incredible food that you and you body will love. RRP £20.00.

deliciously ella book win

To Enter – Simply send me an email all about your fave family recipe

Please include

1x photo of your dish (if you have one)

1x Photo or yourself

plus max 200 words on who you are and a bit about your family.

Email this to ceri@thiswelshmother.co.uk subject line – Family food

T&C’s

I will announce the winner on our Facebook Page on Monday 29th May so make sure you are a page liker you can do that here, and you need to get in touch with me withing 14 days of winning. I will post out second class UK post, royal mail within 7 days.

 

Best Family Days Out in Wales

Family Day's Out Wales

There are so many amazing family days out in Wales that I recently decided to ask the amazing creatures in our This Welsh Mother Facebook Page what were their ultimate list.

We are always looking for great recommendations, new places to go or even to travel to so I loved putting this amazing list together and I know I am going to enjoy checking some of these off in the coming months.

Barry

barry island with kids

(Image courtesy Gordon Young)

Charlotte from the Blog Musing Mum lives in the seaside town of Barry and recommended her stomping ground as a rocking day out in Wales. I have to agree. I have fond childhood memories of days out on ‘the island’ going on fairground rides, eating chips and playing on the beach. Now we live a short drive away we often visit to pass a few hours and it’s very child-friendly. Loads of improvements have been made to the area and being by the sea always makes me feel great.

Tredegar House

tredegar house

(Image courtesy National Trust)

Tredegar House is a wonderful property maintained by The National Trust, It’s really easy to get to as it’s located just off the M4 in Newport, South Wales. If you have an NT membership or are willing to spend your hard earned pennies you can take a tour around this gorgeous property and learn about the dark arts, riotous parties, and even crocodiles? But if staying outdoors and letting the kids run free is more your thing, Tredegar House still has plenty to offer. With beautiful walled gardens and over 90 acres of parkland, you will be gasping for a cup of tea in no time. Suggested by the lovely Sian Ford

 

National Museum Cardiff

cardiff with kids

It’s open Tuesday – Sunday, 10-5 pm and is FREE to enter. Now, It may not be the hugest Museum you will visit but it does have plenty for you to look at and a lot to keep your kids occupied.

It’s great if you are visiting Cardiff City Centre as it’s easy to get to and totally less stressful than dragging smaller people around the shops.

Suggested by Claire Wade

 

Beachy Days Out

Claire also highlighted the wonderful coastline we have available to us!

welsh beaches

(Image courtesy of Visit Swansea Bay)

The Welsh coastline has some spectacular places to visit, whether you want some secluded bays or full on beach resorts you will be able to find something that suits your needs.

It’s also up to you how you spend your time and money, take a picnic, grab some traditional Fish & Chips and let the kids run wild! Jolene from Newtown also loves taking her kids off to the coastal areas in Wales but said that because there were so many great spots to choose from, her broos are visiting two beaches a day!

National Botanic Garden Wales

(Image courtesy of Vist Wales )

Hayley who writes the Winging It With 2 Boy’s Blog wanted to recommend The National Botanic Garden Wales. Her two boys loved discovering the butterfly house and all that the space has to offer.

 

Ynysangharad Park/Dare Valley Park

(Photo courtesy Aderdare Online)

Sian Smith Loves the parks that are available in the Aberdare area. Both Ynysangharad Park & Dare Valley Park have play areas, cafes, lakes, walks and tons of wildlife. Perfect for a nice day out with the kids.

Cosmeston Lakes, Penarth

Days Out Wales

(Picture courtesy BBC Wales)

This Welsh Mother reader Ruth, highly recommends Cosmeston Lakes, Penarth. With a picnic area for a lovely no-fuss snack/lunch and plenty of ducks & swans it would be a great place to spend a few hours on a Spring/Summer day.

Hendrewennol Fruit Farm

Fruit Picking Cardiff

(Photo courtesy Families Online)

If you are looking for a full day of fun then you could head out to Hendrewennol Fruit Farm. Hayley Griffiths who writes Mam In The Mountains Blog has enjoyed fruit picking, playing in the sandpit & on the hay bales and you can even check out a treasure hunt through wildflower fields. Sound heavenly.

 

So there we have it, Proof that you have some fabulous things right on your doorstep. I’d love to feature more days out across Wales, so feel free to let us know about your favourites in the comments section.

 

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