Monday, 18 June 2018

Motherhood & Guilt

Right now my children are on YouTube. I've just emptied the dishwasher, took the rubbish out and whipped the hover round.

Now I could go upstairs and see them both or I could have a cup of tea and faff on my phone.

You guessed it I'm on phone.

Shit bad mother alert!

Guilt. It's always there. I've always been a working mother and therefore time is always split.

In my previous job I felt like a crap employee and a crap mother. Neither had my full attention. Neither was fulfilled properly. I was always rushing, always on a timetable.

Guilty if they were ill and I needed a day off work. Juggling and judging will a tiny bit of Calpol see us through the day.Winging it and breathing a sigh of relief when it was home time and everyone was ok.

Missed sports days. Missed celebration assemblies. Missed promotions & associated pay rises.

My children are getting older 7 and 11 and I'm in a new job. I still feel guilty but it's relented a little.  At work I leave 30 minutes before the normal team members (I start early instead) to pick my children up from school which makes me feel guilty that I'm not a team player but that's my only employment niggle so far.  I still have the missed assembly and sports day problems but we've all got used to it.  The kids don't mind its expected and I'm not the only one that doesn't turn up.  

I constantly have to remind myself my children are happy and healthy. Maybe too much YouTube here and there but we are doing ok.

Maybe guilt is a female thing. Maybe it's just whoever does the lions share of the school runs thing. Maybe its just a primary school age thing. Maybe its just a me thing.  Maybe this is a random ramble thing. But to end although I don't always think it of myself here's my positive message to you.  We are all doing a great job!

Winging it

Emberton Country Park

Emberton Country Park is a 200 acre park on the Great Ouse river.

It is brilliant for cycling, picnics, fishing and has 3 play areas.  Enjoy the 5km of paths and trails which are mostly flat so accessible for wheelchair users and buggies. There is an onsite café with brilliant ice cream! You can camp and it has a small section of onsite caravans. 

We really enjoyed our visit and nice to see a few different items in the main children's play area.  My children loved the trampette and tube slide which was actually slidey (Sywell country park take note).

Emberton Country Park play equipment
Emberton Country Park play equipment

Emberton Country Park play equipment

Emberton Country Park play equipment

Emberton Country Park play equipment
It is £4 to park peak season and £2.60 in the winter. Fishing day tickets are £9.60 per adult, £5.20 OAP and Juniors and under 12's FREE.

Camping season 1st April to 31st October Gate House open 9am to 4.45pm daily and booking is essential. Touring Field is £23.40 per night and £27.00 with electric hook up. Rally Field £19.20 per night. Click on the link below for more information.

Camping & Caravanning

Harrold-Odell Country Park

Harrold-Odell country park is another lovely park on the River Ouse and located near the village of Harrold.  Parking is FREE but visitors are encouraged to leave a £1 donation. The park is made up of 2 large lakes with walks, play areas and a skate park.

On the day we visited the car park was busy but the park itself was quite relaxed and quiet.  It made a lovely change from our usual haunts closer to home and was a very easy journey from Northampton (it is approximately 16 miles away).

Harrold-Odell play equipment

Harrold-Odell picnic area

Harrold-Odell play equipment - Skate Park

Harrold-Odell play equipment

The Park is open to visitors 365 days a year. The overspill car park closes at 5:00pm each day.  The Dragonfly café is open daily between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

More information can be found on the website Harrold-Odell Country Park

Harrold-Odell Country Park
Carlton Road 
MK43 7DS

Friday, 18 May 2018

Rock Decorating Ideas

Our house has got really into decorating rocks as part of the rock hunting craze.

I am by no means an expert or particularly arty but really enjoy it.  If you are looking for some inspiration here's some of our designs to get you started.

Rock Decorating Ideas Sheep

Rock Decorating Ideas Coco & Day of the Dead

Rock Decorating Ideas - Trolls Poppy and Branch

Rock Decorating Ideas - Fortnite Unicorn

Rock Decorating Ideas

Rock Decorating Ideas

Rock Decorating Ideas - Unicorns

Rock Decorating Ideas

May half term things to do in Northampton

May half term is rapidly approaching and it looks like its going to be sunny. Yippee!

Here's some ideas for things to do in Northampton to keep the kids entertained.

Manor House Museum Kettering

Craft activities 29th, 30th and 31st May and 1st June 2 sessions per day 10.15am and 11.45am. make a sun catcher, mini hot balloons, stanined class window and magic. Booking recommended £3 per child sessions last 1 hour.

Call the Museum on 01536 534219 or email  for more information.

Abington Park Museum Northampton

Nature Detectives Tuesday 29 May1.15-2.30pm and 2.45-4pm
Join us as we venture out into the park on a nature scavenger hunt. Then create your own sun catcher or book mark using some of the things you have found. £3 per child ring 01604 838110 Thursday to Sunday 1-5pm or book.
Cineworld Movies for Juniors
Duck Duck Goose and A Wrinkle in Time 10.10am £3.20 per person.
Vue Mini Movies
Peter Rabbit and Nick Junior Big Screen Heroes 10am £2.49 per person
Lings Forum Cinema
Sherlock Gnomes all week 10.30am and 2pm £4.10 child and £4.90 adult discounts or free entry if a leisure centre member.
May 26th to June 3rd. May half term Dino. Meet giant T-Rex an the baby dinos. £17 per person if booked online, £8.50 for toddlers and free for children under 95cm.
Gullivers Land

Tabbalabba May half term 26th May to 3rd June.  What happens at Tabbalabba? 

  • Springtime Festivities 
  • The Big Bubble Show 
  • The Sock Puppet Parade 
  • The Gulliver's Cake-Off 

£17.95 per person online Free for children under 90cm.

Gullivers Land

Wicksteed Park

Wicksteed Park

See what animals you can spot and receive a certificate 29th May to 1st June.

30th May Family gardening workshop Drop in from 10am to 2pm. Decorate a plant pot and plant a sunflower to take home. Suggested donation of £3 per family.

You can enter Wicksteed for free to use the play area etc but charges apply to all rides and you must pay for parking.  Up to 2 hours £3 2-3 £4 and 3+ £6.  Rides £22 for 20 tokens and £37 for 40 tokens.  Wristbands also available.

Farms - We are lucky to have a great selection in Northamptonshire and I have been to the 3 main attractions and really like them all. West Lodge, Mini Meadows and Rookery Open Farm.  All 3 have indoor and outdoor attractions.

Country Parks - Brixworth, Sywell, and Irchester and the 3 nearest to us and great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Parking at most is £3 per day.

Stanwick Lakes - is one of my personal favourites.  Loads for kids to do, safe and fun. Parking is a bit more expensive that other places though. Parking £3.60 for 2 hours £4.60 for 3 hours and £5.60 for 3+

Rushden Lakes -Rushden Lakes is more than just shops, nature trail, boating lake, Rushden Rangers childrens activity pack for half term and splash zone.

Castle Ashby - Another personal favourite and great for a relatively peaceful stroll with the kids and see the famous meerkats. £7 adults, £1 per child and Free for under 5's.

Splash Park at The Embankment, Wellingborough

The Splash Park children's water play feature situated next to the River Nene at The Embankment, Wellingborough (NN8 1LD) and amazingly is completely free!

During half term open 12 noon to 6.30pm.

And lastly something a but different Mr Mulligans Crazy Gold in Milton Keynes £25 for family ticket Mr Mulligans

Have a fab week everyone 

Emma xxx

Remember to check times and dates before travelling to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Rushden Lakes

Rushden Lakes isn't just about shopping. There's a nature trail with a woodland play area, splashzone and the lovely boardwalk. Why not hire a swan pedalo or canoe and get on the water?

Rushden Lakes

Rushden Lakes offers 5 hours free parking and there are several places to eat.  We love Wildwood but there is also M & S cafe, Bill's, Pizza Express, Bewiched, Costa, Jamaica Blue and Wagamama.

A cinema complex will be opening in the future too.

We sometimes tie it in with a visit to Stanwick Lakes or Irchester Country Park.

Stowe - National Trust

We recently visited Stowe and I was pleasantly surprised having not known much about it.

Stowe is a huge area with various striking monuments or building dotted throughout the landscape.  My daughter liked being in charge of the map and finding each monument we came across.  My favourite was the Grotto and my daughter loved The Temple of Ancient Virtue which we nicknamed the dome.  My son was just happy to run free and find the tree the National Trust staff member had recommended for climbing.

Stowe does not have an actual play area and this does sometimes put me off places as my 7 year old still loves these and it can be a bribe if he's fed up of walking but at Stowe it really didn't matter. 

We stayed for approximately 3 hours and didn't cover the whole of the grounds or house.  We will definitely be back.

Now for the important information -

Open 10am to 5pm
Adult £12 Child £6 Family ticket £30
Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, MK18 5EQ
Picnics in the grounds welcome
Dogs on leads allowed in all the gardens
Lots of events throughout the year so check out the website but examples are Easter Egg hunt,Toddler Tuesdays, Monthly dog walk.

Stowe - National Trust

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Rock hunting Northampton. Have you joined in the rock hunt craze?

I first heard about rock hunting (rocking) in October 2017 via a BBC Three Counties Facebook post see original video here Have you taken part in a rock hunt yet? But it wasn't until recently I discovered how popular rock hunting has become in Northampton.

The Kindness Rocks Project and Love on the Rocks appear to be among the first rocking communities but now there are hundreds of groups mostly on Facebook.

You basically decorate a rock with an image or positive message and hide it (paint, hide and find).  Someone then finds your rock, posts a picture on social media if able/wants to and then hides for someone else to discover.  It is spreading some cheer and making someone smile.

I have recently decided to join in and have labelled my rocks with Life in the Mum's Lane as I thought it would be fantastic way to do a craft project with the kids (I'm not a crafty mum) spread some smiles and possibly find some Northamptonshire mums who might like my page as its all about local days out and parenting humour.

Rock decorating ideas
It's actually been more addictive than I thought decorating our little rocks.  My next batch will have some positive messages inspired by The Kindness Rocks Project.

Some we found & rehid 
If you want to join in all you need is some rocks, sharpies, acrylic paint or similar and varnish is optional but will mean your designs won't wash away.  I bought my rocks from Homebase a massive bag was £9.99 (we did find some at the beach but left them in a bucket with bacon from a failed crabbing trip so had to discard them!) my daughter already had sharpies and I bought some excellent pens called Posca. I only got 5 but already want more colours.

Rock decorating ideas

Rock decorating ideas

Rock decorating ideas
If you would like to join in and are looking for a Northampton group on Facebook Northampton Rocks has 800 members, Northamptonshire Rocks has 3300 and Love on the Rocks Duston has 700.  These were the biggest Northampton communities I found but there were loads including Hardingstone & Wooton, East Hunsbury, Hunsbury and Eastern District Rocks.

Why not join in and have some fun and make someone smile.

Emma xxx

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Castle Ashby Days Out

I LOVE Castle Ashby but haven't yet wrote a review.  I've been numerous times and it is a real favourite with my family.  It suits all ages and abilities.  They even allow you to borrow a wheelchair which means my Dad who has mobility issues can enjoy the surroundings too.

Castle Ashby consists of beautiful grounds to wander, a menagerie with the famous meerkats, children’s play area, plant centre, tea room and gift shop.

They have events throughout the year including the very popular Easter Egg Hunt, Pumpkin Hunt and Christmas Craft Fair.

On my first visit several years ago I was worried that it would be keep of the grass and do not touch but the gardens are welcoming and vast.  Children can run free and enjoy themselves.  The menagerie has grown over the years and as well as the meerkats is home to pigs, goats, rabbits, ducks and marmosets.

The play area too has expanded over the years and is great for pre schoolers and primary school age children.

Castle Ashby

Castle Ashby Play equipment

Castle Ashby Merrkats

Picnics are welcome in the gardens and there are benches and a few tables dotted about.

The gardens are open 1st April to 30th September: 10am – 5.30pm and 1st October to 31st March: 10am – 4.30pm.

During the spring summer admission is £7 per adult and £1 per child under 5's free.  In the Winter admission is free but you must pay for parking.  Facilities are closed such as tea rooms and toilets.

Below are two videos of our days out at Castle Ashby.  If you've never been and live locally I would 100% recommend.

For more information click on the link to go to Castle Ashby's website

Emma xx

For more brilliant days out ideas check out Days Out Now

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Easter Half Term ideas in Northamptonshire

Easter will soon be upon us Easter Sunday is 1st April 2018 and many schools break up on the 29th March as 30th is Good Friday.

If you are looking for days out with the kids in Northamptonshire at Easter, I've got lots of Easter events to inspire you.

With spring finally emerging from the frost and snow there's loads to do to get outside in the fresh air and hopefully get some much needed sunshine. Below is lots of things to do in Northamptonshire during the Easter half term.  There's a mixture of indoor and outdoor. 

Delapre Abbey, Northampton

Delapre Abbey

31st March to 2nd April 11am to 4pm.  Easter Egg hunt Decorate your own Easter lollipop,  Peter Rabbit trail around the Walled Garden, Listen to Beatrix Potter stories, Easter bonnet parade (Monday only), Decorate Peter Rabbit biscuits.  Free entry some activities have a charge.

Daventry Country Park

Daventry Country Park

Eggsplore Trail Friday 30th March 10am to 11.30am.  Find and meet the Country park’s Easter Bunny, Wiggles for a special Easter treat,  Plus Easter bonnet parade.

Abington Park Museum, Northampton

Easter Egg Trail  Friday 30 March – 12-4pm  Saturday 31 March – 12-4pm  Sunday 1 April – 1-5pm
Monday 2 April – 1-5pm.  A chocolate egg as a prize for every child. £1.50 per child Drop in – no booking required

Spring Crafts Thursday 5 April 1.10-2.10pm, 2.20-3.20pm, 3.30-4.30pm
Make a bird feeder and a bouquet of paper tulips to take home.  £3 per child.  Book online or ring 01604 838110

Minibeast Mania  Thursday 12 April 1.15-2.30pm, 2.45-4pm
Bug hunt in the park, starting at Abington Park Museum. Explore the park and the creatures that live there and create your very own minibeast. £3 per child Book online or ring 01604 838110

East Carlton Country Park, Corby, Northamptonshire

Sunday 1st April 11am to 3pm.  Best decorated Egg Competition, Easter Bonnet Parade and an Easter Egg Hunt.

Farms are always great with the kids and offer some indoor activities if the weather is a bit dodgy. Here's 3 to choose from.

West Lodge Rural Centre, Desborough, Northamptonshire

West Lodge

30th, 31st March, 1st and 2nd April
Easter Quiz, follow clues around the farm which will lead you to the Easter Bunny and receive an Easter egg, paint an egg, take part in the egg and spoon race and egg painting competition.
West Lodge also has lambs, the very popular barrel ride and pig racing plus an indoor play barn.

Mini Meadows Farm, Naseby, Northamptonshire

Mini Meadows

Feeding the gorgeous lambs.  £5 entry plus £1 per bottle. Mini Meadows also has a brilliant indoor sand pit and new indoor play barn.

Old Dairy Farm Craft Centre, nr Weedon, Northamptonshire

Old Dairy Farm

The lambing sheds will be open Saturdays and Sundays, between the 3rd of March and 1st of April between 10.00am & 4.30pm.  £2 charge per person.

Rushmere Country Park, LU7 0EB

Rushmere Country Park

Easter Egg Eye spy.  30th March to 2nd April.  Bookable event.  £3.50 per child.
Find the Rushmere chicks, answer the questions on sheet and return it to the Herons' Hatch to claim your reward. Expected to be busy so book up now.

Barnwell Country Park, Oundle, Northamptonshire

Barnwell Country Park

1st April Easter egg hunt 2pm to 3pm Start at the visitor centre £2 per child
2nd April Easter Xplorer 11am to 3pm Start at the visitor centre £1 donation

Sywell Country Park

10th April Spring into Easter Challenge 10.30am to 12.30pm £2 per child

Evenley Wood Garden, Northamptonshire, NN13 5SH

Evenley Wood Garden

28th March – 6th April – Easter Eggstravaganza
Egg hunt along with lots of other activities. Café open all week.

Evenley Snowdrops in February
National Trust, Multiple locations nationwide

National Trust Easter Egg Hunt Information

The National Trust are teamed up with Cadbury's for Easter Egg hunts.  Our nearest locations are Canons Ashby, Stowe, Lyveden and Waddesdon Manor

Stanwick Lakes, Wellingborough

Stanwick Lakes

Easter egg trail Friday 30th March to Monday 2nd April.  10am to 4pm.  2km trail suitable for all.  £2 per trail purchase tickets at the visitor centre. Normal car parking charges apply.

Castle Ashby, Northampton

Castle Ashby

1st to 3rd April.  Amazing Easter Egg hunt which gets very busy.  To combat this it is now ticket ONLY so make sure you book in.  £2.50 per child, normal adult admission prices apply. 10am to 12.30pm.

Wickstead Park, Kettering

Wicksteed Park

Wicky's Easter Trail.  Every Day from 29 March to 15 April.  Entry is £3 per child and every entry receives an Easter gift.
Easter Craft Activities.  Available on Tuesday 3rd & 10th April plus Thursday 5th & 12th April from 10am to 11.30am and 1pm to 2:30pm.  Cost is £3.00 per participant.

I know these Castles are not in Northamptonshire but they aren't far.

Rockingham Castle, LE16 8TH

Rockingham Castle

Sunday 1st & Monday 2nd April 2018 Easter Egg Hunt.  Find the brightly coloured eggs which have been hidden in the gardens. Each egg has a letter, which makes up an Easter word. Once you have found the word you can claim your chocolate egg.  Hunt and Castle Gate Adult £12, Child £8.50, Under 3's free, Family ticket £32.50.

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire CV8 1NG

Kenilworth Castle

30th March to 2nd April 11am to 5pm.  Easter Adventure Quest.  Set off on a quest to crack the clues, meeting characters from the past along the way, then claim your chocolate reward. £1 per child normal admission prices apply.

Warwick Castle, Warwick, CV34 4QU

Warwick Castle

30th March - 15th April 2018 950th Anniversary.  Special anniversary Easter offer of £9.50 per person.  Enjoy a fun-packed, full day out at Warwick Castle this Easter with our brand new Knight's School, our Horrible Histories Maze and Eagles.

Lings Forum Cinema, Northampton

Trilogy Cinema

Peter Rabbit will be showing at Lings Forum Cinema during half term for special kids screenings.  Times are usually 10.30am and 2pm but please check.  £4.70 adult and £3.90 child.  Discounts for leisure card members.

Beauty & the Beast Panto, The Castle, Wellingborough

Castle Theatre

13th April only.2pm and 6pm.  Starring comedy legend Bobby Davro and Dani Harmer from Tracy Beaker & Strictly Come Dancing

Alice in Wonderland, The Deco, Northampton

The Deco

11th April 7pm and 12th April 1pm and 5pm.  Starring Britain’s Got Talent winner Ashleigh Butler and her dog Sully alongside Children’s TV Legend Dave Benson Phillips.

*Please check all details before attending to avoid disappointment*