October highlights

Phew it’s been a busy month! And not with blog-related stuff; I’ve been busy with work; travelled to London and Mid Wales a couple of times during October, and family stuff has been hectic too, our youngest turned two this month and our eldest had half term, with all the juggling and planning that goes into that. 

Needless to say the blog has suffered a little, but here’s a brief round up of what I’ve enjoyed and would’ve blogged about, if I’d have had a bit more time! 

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that my eldest is well into collecting the snowdogs around Cardiff. We’ve been using the app and are currently at 54! Top left is Mccoo – captured on a grey day at Roath Park lake. Bottom right is Anthem. It took us a while to find him as he’s been moved away from the stadium in preparation for the autumn rugby games. But we spotted him at his new home further along Wood Street. 

Fairy Forest at Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly
As I said, our youngest turned two this month. She’s really into the Gruffalo books at the moment so we spent the day before her birthday at Mountain View Ranch, doing the Gruffalo Trail, toasting marshmallows, finding fairies in the forest and getting muddy on roly poly hill. I love it at Mountain View Ranch, it’s so well done and there’s something new to see each time we visit. 

Because who doesn’t want a John Lewis cactus on their Christmas tree?!?

I was invited for an early peek at John Lewis’ Christmas department and picked up this cute cactus for our tree (it won’t be going up until December, but no harm in getting into the spirit!). The cactus is from their Peruvian-inspired range; think colourful string lights, poms poms and even a Santa riding a Llama!

I had a fun night with old school friends, seeing Cabaret at the New Theatre (which was great, Will Young in particular was fantastic) before heading over to Penny Royal for Prosecco and cocktails. We couldn’t find Penny Royal at first, we even asked in Barker two doors down who had no clue! But we soon spotted the gold embossed black door and were shown in by the friendly door staff. The bar staff were great too, so knowledgeable. These are ‘real’ cocktails, made with passion. There are no pre-mixes here! The menu is laid out apothecary style, so you choose your drink depending on how you feel (there were ‘relaxers’, ‘revitalisers’ and ‘aphrodisiacs’ among others – oooh er!) It was a lovely place to have a good chat too, no pumping music here (yes, I’m old). If you’re a fan of the Dead Canary, this will be right up your street. 

Middle right is a shot from a very windy Barry Island Parkrun during Storm Brian. The lashing wind and sea spray hitting my face definitely blew the cobwebs away that Saturday! You can read more of my Parkrun posts here and here

Gingerbread cappuccino at Coffi Co, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

We were meant to be away for a few days over half term but an issue with our car put paid to that (let’s just say spending 4 hours on a lay-by off the M4 and being towed home isn’t my idea of a good Friday night) so we’ve been having a ‘staycation’ instead. Luckily the weather has been gorgeous, perfect for walks (and snowdog spotting!) over the Cardiff Bay Barrage and along the Taff Trail. We also tried Coffi Co’s new location in Mermaid Quay; on the site of the old Bosporus Turkish restaurant. The location and drinks were stunning. Mine was a coconut milk chai latte. Delicious. 

The Christmas bauble was gifted to me at a John Lewis blogger event. Everything else was paid for from my own pocket. This is an honest review of my month in and around Cardiff. 

For more pictures, recommendations and inane ramblings about Cardiff, follow me on Instagram

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What we did during the Easter holiday…..Part one

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks on the blog – because it’s been a busy couple of weeks in our house. J had an operation to take his tonsils out just before the Easter break so we were forced to take it easy while he recovered from the operation. Add to that the fact that he needed to stay away from other children and possible infection for two weeks and we were basically confined to the house for a while! 

Luckily the operation and recovery went well and towards the end of week one of the holidays J felt well enough to get out and about.   

 Our first trip was to Thornhill Farm shop. A fab little shop and cafe selling local produce with a working farm attached. You can walk along the animal paddocks for free and there’s a small playground. In fact the playground had been updated since our last visit and J enjoyed playing on the tractor and digger game.   

There weren’t many animals out for us to see (it was still very cold) but we did spot a few Llamas (J loved them, especially after watching the Farmer’s Llamas at Christmas) and some lovely lambs bounding about in the field. It was a great first outing, especially as he wasn’t really up to doing too much more. I also treated us to a few goodies in the farm shop, including some Field Fare frozen croissants (seriously, you’ll never buy packet croissants again) and some vegetarian treats from the Parsnip Ship

The next day my Mum watched baby F while J and I headed to Caerphilly Castle. J has been talking about visiting since we popped by to see the dragon last month

  
The dragon has now moved inside so if you want a picture with it you have to pay the entry fee, although you can see the dragon from the entryway so you can still get a peek if you don’t want to pay to go in. 

  
However I would say it is really worth the money to go inside. Entry is £6 for adults and free for children aged four and under. Being as it was the day before J’s fifth birthday, we had a real bargain! 

  
 The castle was running a treasure hunt game during the holiday which was a really fun way to get us exploring and learning more about the castle. We stayed for ages and explored every part! However I was glad I’d left baby F at home for this visit as much of the castle is inaccessible with a buggy and the spiral stone staircases would’ve been a bit tricky with a baby in a carrier. 

  

J took this (wonky) pic of me with the dragon! 

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