Tag Archives: toddlers

Salt Dough Ornaments


I’ve been trying to get Josh to help me in the kitchen recently.

Sometimes it’s a good idea.

Other times, it’s not.

Despite not actually getting anything in the bowl, Josh loves helping out and he really enjoyed making this salt dough recipe that we found here.

Salt dough seems like the perfect recipe for little hands as it only has three ingredients; salt, flour and water.

And then there’s all the fun of rolling it out and cutting it into shapes.

Or big lumps of shapes in Josh’s case.

During one rainy day several weeks back, we went ahead and made the dough, cut out some shapes using cookie cutters and baked them.

I’ve been saving them for a cold and rainy day to use as a fun, little activity to do with Josh.

Today turned out to be that day.

So, nice and warm inside, we got to work painting some of the ornaments.

Josh especially liked the fish.

I decided to try and make something to hang in Josh’s room and used some of the stars and a map of the USA.

I painted the map white and the stars red, white and blue.


Then, using some string, I threaded the ornaments onto the string.

It turned out better than I thought it would and I’m thinking that tomorrow would be good day to hang it up in Josh’s room and talk to him about Thanksgiving being celebrated back in America.

Though he’d probably be just as happy hanging the fish up instead.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Apple Picking


In an attempt to enjoy whatever “warm” weather there is left to this year (remember, I’m trying to be more positive?), Josh and I have been going a bit ‘pick your own’ crazy.

We did strawberry picking last week, which was fun.

So I thought we should try a different crop, as we now have about five pounds of frozen strawberries sitting in our freezer.

Little did I know just how many options there are for picking your own fruits and vegetables in England.

Apparently there are numerous farms and/or garden centres in our area which each have numerous pick your own crops.

I’ve been wanting to make some homemade applesauce, so this week, Josh and I went and tried our hand at picking apples.

It was fun but I’m not sure how easy it was for Josh.


Poor guy. All that effort and I don’t think that apple was even ripe yet.

Don’t tell him, will you? He was so pleased with himself.

We ended up over in the raspberries eventually. I think Josh found those much easier to pick.

And of course, much easier to eat.


A Visit to the Real Downton Abbey


We’re back from Cornwall, but the exploring hasn’t stopped.

My mom is a big fan of Downton Abbey and we found out that the house used for filming is not too far a drive from us, though after driving to Cornwall, anything seems like a short drive!

So today we went and paid a visit to Highclere Castle, which anyone who watches Downton Abbey will recognise, is where the show is filmed.



Photography is not allowed inside the castle so you’ll have to trust me that it is a lovely house.

We walked around and toured the house and afterwards went to an exhibit at the house on Egypt, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon being the man who, along with Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of Tutankamuhn.

We then went and walked around the grounds a bit, which were beautiful. We found the secret garden and had a wander around.




Though I think Josh especially enjoyed running around on all that nice green grass.



After we left the castle, we ended up stumbling upon The Swan Inn and had a late lunch.



The food was great, but perhaps the best thing was the pub had a massive garden in the back, complete with a little creek and lots of grass for Josh to run around and explore in.



Enough to keep him occupied so that we even managed to order some dessert.


Which, when dining out with a toddler, is a very rare occurrence indeed.

One Day Of Sun


There’s been whispers about it all week.


This Sunday.

There might be some sun on Sunday.

I think the whole world knows just how awful the weather has been here in England this summer. Between the Jubilee coverage and the Olympics countdown, England’s rainy skies have been broadcast around the world.

But today, the rumours were true.

Today there was sun.

And as we are still down in Cornwall, along the coast, we were in the perfect place to enjoy it.

To be honest, the morning didn’t start off great.

In fact, it was downright cold.

We drove out to Kynance Cove, which the guidebooks say is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Shivering, we hiked the 10 minutes or so to get down to the beach.



We reached the beach, a term I use loosely as we had been warned that the tide was on the way back in, so whatever “beach” there was, would be gone in the next hour.

This was basically it.


A little stretch of sand nestled between the rocks.

By the time we left it looked like this.


It was funny to watch my mom see all the British children running around with sand pails and shovels, a puzzled look on her face. I’m afraid I don’t understand it either, other than that is just what your supposed to bring when you go to the “sea side,” even if the beach is only made of rocks.

I imagine people don’t go to Kynance Cove for the beach though. I imagine it is for the view, which after climbing up onto the top of one of the cliffs, really is beautiful, especially on a sunny day like today.




After visiting Kynance Cove, we drove over to St. Ives, a place I fell in love with.

It probably helped that the sun was shining and there was a nice big sandy beach with beautiful blue water.


The houses and town are all built into the hillside, which reminded me a bit of the Almafi Coast in Italy. The town also had a very young, artsy feel to it which was nice. Quite a contrast to all the small, deserted farming villages nearby.

We spent all of the afternoon just playing on the beach and enjoying the sunshine.



Josh even made a new friend while we were there.

Can you see them there building sandcastles together?


It was pretty cute.

Sidewalk Paint


The other day I was frosting cookies for Josh’s birthday party.

Train cookies.

The poor guy. He loves trains. It was probably torture for him watching all those cookies sit there on the counter, waiting for their frosting to dry.

I told Tim I just needed a few more minutes to finish decorating the cookies and so he agreed to watch Josh outside for me.

As I went about decorating the cookies, Josh came in saying something like “Train. Paint.” and ran back outside.

I laughed to myself, thinking, “oh how cute; he thinks I’m painting trains with the icing.”

After I finished, I went outside to check on the boys and saw Josh holding a paintbrush, dripping with paint, painting, you guessed it, his train.


Josh’s Godmother, Lucy, had given him this train as a first birthday present and I guess we had left a paintbrush to soak in a cup at Josh level, and well, you know the rest.

We stopped Josh and cleaned all the paint off of Thomas. Or at least the best that we could.

Josh wasn’t too happy when we took the paintbrush away from him.

Not at all.

So in the middle of his tantrum, I looked up “how to make sidewalk paint” and in less than a minute, had made some paint.


I found the recipe here at Spoonful.

All you need is:

• 1/4 cup of corn starch;

• 1/4 cup of cold water; and

• food colouring.

Just mix the corn starch and water together, then add the food colouring to get the desired colour.

This all took less than a minute to do, and Josh was very happy when I showed him the paint that he could paint with.


Outside of course.


Over The River And Through The Woods


About a month ago, Josh broke my camera.

Not my big, nice DSLR camera thankfully, but my tiny point and shoot one.

Since I’ve had an iPhone though, I rarely even use it anymore, but we are going on vacation soon and it’s much easier to transport than taking the large camera.

So my mom was kind enough to bring a new one out for me when she flew over.

We had some nice weather yesterday so I decided to take Josh and try the new camera out.

It’s not as great as my old one in my opinion, but I may just be set in my ways.

We went to a common, which is almost like a park back in America but just several acres of forest here in England, and went for a long walk.



I really don’t understand how more people don’t get lost in commons. Josh and I would walk for an hour or so without seeing another person. You may laugh, but it reminds me of something out of the Hunger Games.

We eventually found our way to a meadow where I took some cute photos of Josh playing around in the flowers.






Josh loves his “walks” so am sure we will be going again when Grandma gets here.

You’ve been warned Mom!


Best of British Garden Party


The boys were hard at work today removing another chimney, this time from Josh’s room, in yet another installment of the great closet problem.

It was my job to keep Josh out of their way, so I decided to go to RHS Wisley and check out their Best of British Garden Party happening this weekend.


Thankfully, we managed to get some nice weather today.

The weather here lately has been awful. Even the newspaper had this as a headline on Friday.


You’ve got to love that British sense of humour.

But today the sun was shining and the garden party at Wisley was really lovely.

All the gardens looked so beautiful.



And there were so many things to keep the children occupied.

There were model ships sailing on the Greenhouse lake.


I thought it was cute when Josh went up on his toes to try and see them.


There were Punch and Judy shows.


To be honest, I have no clue what a Punch and Judy show is. We didn’t stop to watch any while we were there, but I’m assuming it’s just a puppet show, albeit a very violent sounding one.

Punch? Is that really a character’s name?

And while I’m on the subject of British things I don’t really understand…

They also had food.

Well, one food option.


First off, if you were at an event in America, there would be probably 20 different choices of all sorts of greasy, delicious food to choose from.

In England, it’s bangers or, well, bangers.


I still have no clue what bangers are exactly, but as my mom said “if you’re hungry, you’ll eat it.”

And as it was about 3pm, I was hungry.

So I ate it.

Is it just a hot dog?


Probably Josh’s favourite thing was, of course, the vintage tractor display.


There may not have been many food options, but boy were there a lot of tractors.




Josh enjoyed the tractors so much, he had that whole glazed eye stare going.


When I managed to pull him away from the tractors, we went to my favourite thing, the music.

I know I’m a sucker, but the sun was shining, there was nice green grass to sit on and a brass band to listen too.


Josh seemed to enjoy himself too.

He would sit still listening to the song, clapping along with everyone else when it was over. He even shouted “more, more” when the band stopped to take a break at one point.


That made me pretty happy.