Gillies Goes Camping

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been camping not once…. but twice.  That would be our first camping trip as a family, closely followed by our second just days later.

Armed with our newly purchased tent & lots (& lots & lots) of accessories we set off for Devon.  It took us just over 4 hours to get there & when we did it was brilliant sunshine….. perfect tent pitching weather :)

Devon Collage

Our site was wonderful & sooooooooo peaceful.  It’s predominantly a caravan site but they have a field that has space for 8 tents with electric hook up.  The twins loved it, there was so much space for them to run around playing that they would rather do that than go on days out.  It has a large childrens park on site too.  The facilities were lovely.  Great shower & toilet blocks, restaurant, bar, kids play room, table tennis, laundry room, shop, it was perfect & we loved it there.

The restaurant had a tropical conservatory attached to it where you could enjoy a meal or just your drinks from the bar.  This area also allowed dogs.  This suited us because we had some family visit with their dog & it meant we could all enjoy our meal together.

Devon Collage 2

We stayed a total of 5 nights because when we booked that was all they had available.  We have made enquiries to book again next year for a whole week :)
The site we stayed on was Ross Park Caravan Park & I would highly recommend it, even more so if you have a doggy.

We did do some days out.  These included a trip to Brixham, Paignton & National Trust property Montacute House.

Devon Collage 3

After we arrived home from our relaxing trip to Devon, we had just 3 days to organise ourselves before heading to Camber Sands on the south coast.  This camping trip was to take place on a Park Resort holiday camp & we were camping with my brother & his family.  The twins were uber excited to be spending a weekend with their cousins & they had the promise of long sandy beaches :)

This was a TOTALLY different camping experience!!!!

Camber (11)

You’ll notice from the above image how close our tents are to each other.  We are the green tent & my brothers is the blue tent (same as ours but with a porch added on the front).  In between the tents you will see a car, this is the car of the tent that is pitched behind ours.  Behind the car you can see a blue tent, this is the tent that is pitched behind the cars tent….. & so it continues!

Dispite the lack of space between campers, the potential fire hazard it causes & no space for 5 children to play ball… we were able to deliver the sandy beach :)

Camber Collage

We spent all Saturday morning on the beach, we hired a wind break but the wind just kept on coming.  Oh yeah, did I mention ex-hurricane Bertha???  By the time we got back to the tent my brothers porch had blown over & several of our own guy ropes had been pulled out of the ground by the wind lashing the tents.  Over lunch time we had a team meeting, checked all the online weather reports, watched other people pack up & leave, had a chat with the site warden & then……. we packed up.

It was a shame as camping with family was great fun & all the children were pretty gutted to be going home but I honestly can’t say that I was disappointed.  The rain & wind the night before had been horrendous & although the children had slept through it, I certainly hadn’t.  Couple that with the lack of space on site & the forecast of weather that was on it’s way & I know that we made the right decision.

I certainly won’t be returning to the same site in the future & would strongly question any Park Resort camping field before booking another one.  The beach was lovely though :)

I look forward to camping again soon & I know the twins really want to camp again as well.  Have you any sites that you can recommend to us?

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Some #Tula100 blocks

Last weekend I was at a friends house for a sewing day.  Both of us did some sewing of our #Tula100 blocks.  I have five new blocks all stitched up in my lovely Joy fabric by Kate Spain.

Tula 100 Block 8

#Tula100 Block 8

Tula 100 Block 23

#Tula100 Block 23

Tula 100 Block 43

#Tula100 Block 43

#Tula100 Block 62

#Tula100 Block 62

#Tula100 Block 63

#Tula100 Block 63

As you can see by the number of the blocks, I haven’t stitched them in order.  I was just grabbing a bag of pre-cut blocks from my box & stitching them up.  I haven’t finished cutting them all yet either so I need some cutting days as well as some sewing days.

I’m loving how they’ve turned out, what do you think?

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Sylvanian Families – A Review

The twins (6 years old) have been into Sylvanian families ever since Nanna & Grandad bought them the Grand Hotel for Christmas a couple of years ago.  Like most childrens toys they get left & not played with for a while & then a renewed enthusiasm for them ensues & they simply must play with EVERY part that they own!

This week we were sent a new Sylvanian Family play set. Freya’s Day at the Seaside.

SylvFam

Before I let the twins see what they had & rip open the box I instructed them to get some of their existing families & bring them downstairs to play with.  They brought down the camper van, the cow family & the ice cream cart. Very apt I thought considering they didn’t know what they were getting next.   There was lots of noise when I produced the box & Hannah was desperate to get a beach scene going.

Here’s what came in the box:

SylvFam2

Hannah was all about Freya & the accessories that came with her while Robert preferred to stick with the camper van & the figures (boys & cars!!!).

It wasn’t long before they were taking the Sylvanians back up stairs, along with Freya at the Seaside, to set up an enormous beach scene, complete with hotel & lots of visitors.

SylvFamCollage

All in all we are very happy with the new Sylvanian Family play set.  It has renewed the twins interest in the entire range, so much so that now we’ve been playing with Sylvanians non stop for three days.

My only criticism is the packaging of the product.  While the box is already as small as can be & the little green plastic housing for the figure ensures that it stays in place… is it really necessary to have the rest of the parts in four separate plastic bags? The teeny tiny drinking glass came in it’s own bag.  One bag really would have done the same job as four!

Freya’s Day at the Seaside is available from Amazon & all good toy shops. RRP £12.99.

If you visit the Sylvanian Familes website at the moment you can take part in a great photo competition where you can share your Sylvanians on their holidays.

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Disclaimer: We received the Sylvanian Families play set free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own & that of my family.

Playing With Hexagons

Yesterday I went to my Thursday sewing group for the first time in weeks.  Life has recently got in the way a bit & kept me from my sewing & I realised how much I was missing the calming, stress relieving side of it.

Lucky for me it was the first day of a new workshop, Playing With Hexagons.  Our tutor is lovely, I’ve met her before on several occasions but never actually attended one of her own workshops.  We had all been emailed with fabric requirements & I decided to raid my stash fabrics for mine… it’s like shopping once you dive in :)

So here’s the fabrics I chose.  I liked the leaf design one to start with & bought the others based around that.  I have since added some other fabrics of similar colours to the bundle.  Again, all from stash.

PlayingWithHexagons (1)

The design we’re doing consists of 8 blocks, each of these blocks is made up of hexagons but those hexagons are made up of more than one fabric & a range of different designs.  It will be fun to watch the designs comes together.  Here’s how the first block is going.

PlayingWithHexagons (4)

I started with a four patch block & then used a template to cut the hexagons, making sure that each hexagon was cut with the fabric in the same place.  The single leaf hexy is for the center of my block.  As you can imagine there are plenty of ways to layout the hexagons around the middle & it took me ages to decide on my layout but I think I finally have it.

All I need now is to work out which colour to put around the edge in the diamond space of the hexagon.  I have two fabrics in mind & here is a picture of both.  Here is the layout of both.

PlayingWithHexagons (2)

PlayingWithHexagons (3)

You can see on the second layout that I haven’t used the mustard coloured solid that I orginally had chosen, instead i’ve gone for a mustard gingham colour as the solid just looked totally wrong.

So… what do you think?  Which layout colour do you prefer… lilac or gingham?

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Razor Red Knife Sharpener – Review

We recently got this lovely little gadget on Amazon UK & I have to say that we were very impressed.

RazorRedWM

It has to be the most simple knife sharpener that you could ever come across.  It has a suction cup thingy-ma-jig on the bottom so that once it’s on your worktop it’s going nowhere.  I found this particularly useful as it means you don’t have to hold on to the sharpener with one hand while trying to sharpen knives with the other.

We have a good few knives in our drawer, none of which are very sharp in my opinion but the husband insists they are “good” knives.  I tend to stick to my favourite two as I know they’re sharp.

Now, thanks to the Razor Red sharpener we have about ten knives that are all ready to do some serious damage.

Here is a quick video clip to see how you can achieve the sharp results in under a minute.

The sharpener is just 6cm in diameter & 6cm high, making it easy to store in the same drawer as I keep the knives.  It is sturdy to use & works really well.  I would highly recommend this sharpener.

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Disclaimer: I received a voucher allowing me to purchase this product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own & that of my family.