Friday, 23 February 2018

Coton Manor in Northamptonshire

Current opening times & prices for 2020:
Snowdrops & hellebores Saturday 15th February to 1st March 11am to 4pm.
Wednesday 1st April to Saturday 3rd October 12 noon to 5.30pm.
Adults : £8.00 Children : £3.00

A friend recommended Coton Manor to me for the Bluebells and I'd never heard of it before.

Coton Manor is a 10 acre garden most famous for its bluebell wood in flower April and May.  It is truly magical and even the kids were amazed.

Coton Manor Flamingos

Coton Manor Bluebells
Coton Manor Bluebells

Coton Manor

Coton Manor is a more grown up place but the owners are happy for children to roam free.  Most children are fascinated by the flamingos and chickens wandering around the gardens.

Coton Manor Bluebells

We've been three times and with the exception of a downpour on one visit have had a lovely time.  It is a little pricey just for wandering around a fancy garden but is beautiful.  I would 100% recommend for the bluebells but would maybe only suggest visiting at other times of the year if you are a keen gardener. 

The children rate it a 6 out 10 but an 8 out of 10 when the bluebells are out.

I've found its a good place to go for a mixed age group outing as the kids can roam free and grandparents can enjoy the gardens with a cake for everyone in the café at the end.

All the information you need to plan a visit -

The gardens are open from Tuesday 2nd April to 28th September for 2019.  Open Tuesday to Saturday closed Sundays and Mondays with the exception of  Bank Holiday weekends. The garden is opening Saturday 16th February to Sunday 3rd March especially for the snowdrops.
12noon to 5.30pm. £7.50 per adult and £3 per child.

Coton Manor, Coton, Northamptonshire, NN6 8RQ. Telephone 01604 740219

Cafe Menu

Emma xxx

For more days out with kids ideas click on the link below

Days Out Now


BeanBoozled Jelly Belly

My children love Jelly Belly jelly beans and had wanted to try the BeanBoozled challenge.

Jelly beans are in delicious flavours or wild ones! Canned dog food or chocolate pudding.  Tutti-Fruitti or Sticky socks.  They will be the same colour and same size so the only way to find out is to try.

In the Minion edition Banana and Fart flavours have been introduced.  Everyone knows the Minions love Ba-an-nas and will remember Dr Nefario's fart gun invention.

The good flavours are Coconut, Strawberry Banana Smoothie, Buttered Popcorn, Caramel Corn, Peach, Chocolate Pudding, Juicy Pear, Banana, Tutti-Frutti and Green Apple.

And the bad are Spoiled milk, Dead fish, Rotten Egg, Mouldy Cheese, Barf, Dog food, Booger, Pencil Shavings, Sticky Socks and Fart!

Luke didn't have much luck and out of his first 5 only had 1 nice one.

Do you want to take the challenge?

Emma xxx

Disclaimer: We received a free 45g sample.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Why do we share on social media? & online safety

Why do we share on social media?

A personal outlet? Validation? To get encouragement? Agreement? Provoke a debate?

We all have that friend who writes a cryptic Facebook status and then multiple people comment "Are you ok?" "What's up?" "Text me."

Social media is part of our every day lives now.  We probably share things without even realising.  My own children are shocked that I grew up and existed without Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I actually shudder at what images could be out there from my teenage years. I'm glad we didn't have smart phones with the ever ready camera setting.

I do worry that social media is making our children grow up prematurely and they see things that their young minds aren't ready for.  I have a few friends (very sensible nice people) who allow their children on Facebook etc underage (For information the age limit is 13).  Peer pressure is a huge issue but age limits are there for a reason.  Will I eventually cave? I hope not.  So far my daughter is not interested although is a huge YouTube addict.  I'm aware she can obviously view things on there that are not age appropriate but I do check.  I've made both children very aware never to share personal information, share pictures or join chat rooms and fortunately this has been discussed a couple of times at their school.

I'm a blogger so sharing is what I do and there's a balance.  I do feature my children in posts but they both know and so far don't mind.  I never include pictures I think they would be embarrassed off or that identify a school logo or name.  Of course if someone was desperate to find me they probably could but Northampton is a very big place.

Some bloggers/vloggers do daily updates and reveal many aspects of their lives.  Their audience connect and their platforms grow.  I always liked writing for its solitary existence and being known was never what I wanted but statistically a brand with a face sells.  I have considered if I need to put myself out there more but so far have decided not too. I'd love Life in the Mum's Lane to be known throughout Northamptonshire but not necessarily Emma Jones.

I do however love social media and can while away several hours scrolling through various platforms.  It's become a strange hobby. 

What do you think about social media? Do you overshare?  Or have concerns about your own children?

If you are concerned about child online safety here's a post a wrote a couple of years ago with some top tips.  This is primarily aimed at 5 to 7 year olds but has useful information for all ages.

Internet safety for children

Think U Know

Emma xxx

I'm tired! (humour)

Before you have kids you might say I'm tired, I'm bored, I need a break.

This may well be true but my god once kids arrive these statements go up to a whole other level!

I'm tired - You have no idea. Caffeine and the fact you have a little people to look after is all that is getting you through the day. Is it bedtime yet?

I'm bored - Having a baby/young child can be profoundly boring. It's ok you can admit it. They sleep, eat, can't talk. As they get older it's all Biff, Chip & Kipper books (shoot me now!) and soft play hell.  It's boring. Even when they get older boredom can set in.  Ever fancied being stuck in traffic daily on school runs, watching your 100th swimming lesson and 1000th episode of some good awful cartoon. Fun isn't it.  Good job we love our kids.

I need a break - After days/weeks/months of a little person attached to you yes you need a break! Remember that you can pass the child to their dad/mum/family/friend etc and chill the hell out! It's allowed just remember to relax and not check your phone 50 million times. 

On that note I'm tired. Is it bedtime yet?

Emma xxx