Pumpkin picking at foxes farm

Pumpkin picking at foxes farm

Every year for the last 5 years we have gone pumpkin picking together, for the last four we have been to foxes farm in colchester. A short journey from our home we love going every year. We have taken other family members and friends and this year we went just three of us. Every year we get lots of photos and its been lovely as i have a photo of Elijah in my tummy, at almost a year and now.We will continue this tradition every year now as i think its a great activity to do and something to look back on every year.

The perfect family friendly autumnal activity for all ages which happens to be really cheep aswell. How it works is you park in their massive field and then walk to the pumpkin patch. The staff are really nice and helpful and every year they have more and more things to do. This year they had food carts and they haven’t had that before so you can even grab a drink and something to eat while your walking around or finishing off . There are plenty of places to take lovely family photos together such as on hay bales or photo set ups and next to signs. There are so many things to do for little ones. Little slides, climbing on hay bales, corn maze and obviously picking the pumpkins.

There are pumpkins as far as the eye can see their are all sorts of pumpkins there are small ones, big ones, different coloured ones. It’s lovely knowing you get to pick your own pumpkin and take it home. You know where its come from and you took it home yourself. Its a fun activity for yourself and your family. It may be a bit more expensive then a shop but they don’t charge you to attend only for the pumpkins. We brought 5 miniature pumpkins and one medium one and it only came to a tenner. We loved getting muddy and getting stuck in the mud. We have been in the rain before and the sun and overall it is always a lovely day come rain or shine.

Elijah loved being free to run around and choose some pumpkins. Once he got the hang of it he was filling the wheelbarrow and loving it. He enjoyed the puddle jumping to and squelching in the mud. When we took him to the minature pumpkins he was perfect size for this and loved grabbing them and holding them. When he got to the pumpkin patch of the bigger ones he would not stop till he found the right one when he found it he shouted “its too heavy” and asked for “help”. He tried to lift himself and fell back on a pumpkin and smashed it with his bum! He was very happy when we put it in the wheelbarrow. He enjoyed sitting in the wheelbarrow and guarding his pumpkins.

Its easy to pay and i think you can even pay by card now but i would check before you go on their website. Dogs are not allowed so humans only properly to stop risk of dog poo and dogs eating the pumpkins.We will be using the miniature pumpkins to decorate the house for Halloween and the bigger one we will carve closer to Halloween as a fun activity! I’m thinking about using the insides for once and baking something with it!

Below are some photos i took on my phone and on our camera. Enjoy!

How going from being a working mum to a stay at home mum has affected me.

How going from being a working mum to a stay at home mum has affected me.

I never thought in a million years I’d give up work. I’ve always been a driven woman wanting to do my bit for the community but also get paid and have a ok living from it. That was until I had a child and even then I wanted to work. I wanted to be a good roll model I wanted to show I could do it, I could work and be a mum but it became impossible.

Childcare was difficult I had to rely on nursery two days a week as childcare and if Elijah was unwell I still had to pay the bill and take unpaid leave from work. It seemed he was always getting ill and with no alternative childcare I had to take unpaid or it was lucky I was on annual leave while he was ill. I had to keep taking leave as I had no flexibility to rearrange childcare to work different days so. In the end the pay wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth the stress of the job and the guilt of working for so little. I left mainly because of the stress and how it effected my mental health and I have to say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

I’m not saying run out there and quit your job because that would be silly. If it’s something you want to think about and discuss with your partner then do so but it’s not a decision to make lightly. We had always said one day I would stop working and it just came at a good time really.

James is self employed so he can go out and earn more money. As I left work James was in the process of taking on a lot of work and because I stopped working that meant James could start and finish earlier getting more jobs and more money. He was no longer doing the nursery run and was also visibly less stressed from not having to sit a car for a hour and half a day. We are financially better off. James has full flexibility now as I’m home to watch Elijah and it’s made such a big impact.

My mental health is miles better. I’m no longer on the edge waiting for something to push me off. I still have down days but they’re nothing like they used to be. I don’t stress about made up situations and scenarios in my head about work. I don’t worry about money. I don’t worry I’ll get fired if I or my son feels ill and can be there for my family when they are ill. I don’t have too much to worry about.

My relationships are better. I have more time to see my friends and too talk and I also communicate through texts more. My friendships are stronger than ever and I’ve even made more friends. My conversations are no longer me staring off into distance as I’m stressed wanting to leave because I’m exhausted and don’t have the mental strength to maintain or care about anything said to me. I’m able to fully input into a conversation and have some positive things to add into a situation. My family ties are stronger as I’m not so stressed, I’m not uptight as much and enjoy being in my family’s presence and making more time for it.

My family life is better. I feel like a mother. Not a part time care giver. I spend everyday with him now and have gone from sometimes not seeing him for 24 hours to not missing a thing. I’m not exhausted from work anymore so I have the energy to chase Elijah around, to play and teach him. I take him out more and it’s positive for both of us. It’s now we bond and learn together having fun every step of the way. Me and James’s relationship grows stronger everyday. For some reason I’ve found James is less stressed with me home. I thought it would be the opposite but he tells me it’s better and he doesn’t want me to work as he likes it. The house is tidy when he comes home now or little bits need doing so we have more us time. When Elijah goes to bed at 7 we have all night so we have more time to relax. We will watch a movie or tv series and cuddle on sofa, play a game or James will do work stuff at the table and I’ll read my kindle talking every now and then. Where was before we’d normally zone out and do our own stuff as I’d get home at 8 sometimes earlier and have to still do the clean up and cook and shower. I’d be exhausted and just flop onto the sofa with my phone and spend my perhaps hour of rest before bed ignoring life. We had breakfast together which used to be nice but it turned into a hulk it down so I could get ready for work while James got Elijah ready. Now we have time to be a family and sit down together it’s rare we don’t eat together now. James gets to come home and relax and we relax together. He still helps here and there but I try to get most of the work done and if we’re both exhausted I’ll offer to wash up the next day. The nicest thing is we talk more and on his days off have family time where we are all present in the moment not exhausted and thinking of other things.

The households more maintained. I have time to keep the house tidy and not just clean. I have time and energy to do decorating with James when we want to. The thought before of using my crucial time of to paint a wall made me feel physically sick. I cook more nutritious meals from scratch. I plan ahead and I’m now organised. We enjoy our home more than we used too. We also go out more too and have more guests over as I’m not embarrassed by my house.

My health is improved as I look after myself more. I don’t binge eat at work on lunch breaks from the chippy or Chinese with a dessert of chocolate every time I’ve had a shit day. I take time to look after myself. I have time to exercise. To take my tablets on time, to eat right and to be able to have time to relax and have a self care/ skin care regime too.

I do however miss my work. I miss colleagues and having a laugh with the girls. I miss having a career. I miss having somewhat a important role. I miss learning and adapting to change. I miss having me time on the way home from work and my lunch breaks. I miss being Charlie when everyone didn’t just ask about Elijah, they asked about me. I miss feeling proud to be a mum making her own money.

I don’t like asking for money. Christmas is going to be hard for me as I don’t want to ask for money to buy James his own presents. I feel degraded and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. James doesn’t mind but I hate relying on someone else and it gets me quite uptight. I also get defensive if I’m told no because I can’t just get it with my own money now. Rarely I’m told no btw and I’m not a gold digger so calm down If that’s what you where thinking.

My tired is a different tired. I’m exhausted from a child that takes every inch of my energy. He’s demanding as hell and although I love the time we spend together he can’t half be a pain in the ass.

I get lonely. If I don’t have plans for a few days in a row I get lonely. Even with Elijah I feel alone and like I have no friends even though I know I do. I also get bored easily and want to do something different all the time.

I hate the stigma that comes with being a stay at home mum. It’s like all the years of working have been for nothing. It’s like your worthless because you’ve decided to stay at home and look after your family. People don’t respect you. They think your lazy and have life easy. Having done both, working and staying at home I can say working was easier sometimes and work stops motherhood doesn’t. There’s no home Time when things get tough or calling in sick because you’re having a bad mental health day or chucking your guts up. There’s no lunch break and nobody to help.

Overall I am lucky to be given the opportunity to stay at home and to have such a loving, hard working husband to provide this life for us all. Sometimes I miss working, sometimes I don’t but for now it’s been the best decision we’ve made.

Having a zoo pass.

Having a zoo pass.

For years i wanted a zoo pass but have always thought, will i go enough? The answer has always been yes! I go at least twice a year and in those two trips i could of saved money having a pass. Since having a little one we have wanted to go and more but is such a expense so we bit the bullet and i brought them with my last paycheck. Since having the zoo pass we have been as a family 3 times. We have been with our friends 2 times and have saved lots of money on food, gift shops and even get a discount for friends and family. I even made my best friend get one and she goes all the time now!

Colchester zoo is the nearest zoo to us and we love it. It’s a short journey and there are so many animals and its so big! We never get bored and there is always plenty to do which is free. There is face painting, train journeys, enclosure walk throughs, shows and talks aswell as feeding of animals you can watch all in your visit. There’s plenty to eat and different places to go so there are lots of options from a restaurant to fast food places which we save 20% on! The gift shop is absolutely huge and we save 10% on everything! The soft play is pretty good and also free so if you wanted to take your child to soft play with a pass its essentially free!

My little guy is obsessed with big cats so he loves seeing the lions, baby tiger cubs and the cheetahs. He loves the big animals like elephants and giraffes and when hes older we will let him feed them! we love going on the train to walk around the lemur enclosure and running through the sea lion tunnel. We love letting him run round and burn all his energy and choose where he wants to go and its such a fun day out always.

It’s something i would recommend to everyone that goes to zoo at least once a year as it’s something that can be enjoyed all year long especially with toddler.It may be expensive at first but it saves so much in the long one and is cheaper than trips to various other places you would end up going instead.

The importance of adventuring the world with my toddler.

The importance of adventuring the world with my toddler.

Once they learn to walk there is nothing mote toddlers love to do more than explore. If you’re noticing your child getting increasingly more grouchy sometimes a trip out can be fun for everyone. One thing i find my toddler loves to do is explore. He loves to now pick up sticks and throw them and look for and point out all the animals. He also loves kicking around and throwing leaves in the air under a tree which has started to loose their leaves ready for the winter. Autumn is definitely my favourite time of the year and not just because of the return of gingerbread syrups and eating lots of comfort food. No i love autumn because of the temperature its cool enough you’re not hot or cold when going for a walk. You enjoy having a cup of tea after to enjoy where you’re warmed up and have that cosy warm inside feeling instead of being a hot sweaty mess. You get to wear cosy boots and wellies where you don’t get dirt under your toes of the sandels that look great on but have no practicality at all.

I always like to take my little boy for walks because that’s what me and his dad do. We always have loved walks and i want to teach him to love the world we are in. I like to go out and show him trees and wildlife. I like to point out pretty plants and views and tell him what they are. I want him to have a active life where we can instead of sitting around which we sometimes have no choice to do. I like to go to different places so we don’t get bored off the same view all the time.

Elijah loves running so we like to go and take him somewhere he can run loose and of course we chase as fast as we can to keep up with him. We normally take his trike with us so that if he is tired we can push him in his trike which he loves. We are quite lucky for where we live as there are lots of parks, nature walks, lakes, meadows and beaches short drives or walks away so we get to travel to new exciting places.

Walks are good for the well being and mind. Not only will you destress you’ll also feel more healthy. Its a activity of exercise for your toddler and you wont even know it! Talking toddlers through walks and pointing out things and chatting as you walk through is a great chance to learn. They’ll learn what things are and also chat to you as they go through with no distractions. It’s the perfect place for learning and taking in the full magnitude of the worlds beauty.

Sometimes we like going for walks to parks or places with play areas as there is nothing more our little guy likes more than completely going nuts. He loves climbing and going down the slide shouting “WEE” as loud as he possibly can. He giggles at high he goes on a slide and does a lot of exciting faces as he gets too excited using a toy stearing wheel on a model bike/ car or boat. We have one behind our house we try to go to regularly when hes good to have a run about and yes i mean behind my house i could jump my fence and be on the park. We like to spice things up tho we like to go to different parks so its different and the adventure is new. We like to try new places so it feels more like a day out and we will go with friends or weekends with daddy. The best thing about going for a walk is its a great bonding experience and memory making activity. Something ill always remember from my childhood is spending time in parks going for walks with friends and family. The fact that its free is just a plus!

Trip to Jimmy’s farm!

Trip to Jimmy’s farm!

We’re quite lucky to leave in a countryside town. They’re no shortages of beautiful countryside walks, farms and animals if you have a look about nature. We’re also very lucky to live quite near by (ten minute drive) to Jimmy’s farm! If you live in the uk it’s probably one of the most famous little farms there is. Jimmy the owner is friends with Jamie Oliver and has had a few tv shows.

It’s a lovely little farm that’s spread out. The animals all seem as happy as they can be at a farm and there is plenty to see and do. I would rate this probably one of the most toddler friendly places to go as there is so much for them and children to do. It’s not overly expensive either and there’s plenty of homey shops and cafes. The restaurant sells the best sausage and mash I have ever had! The pens are quite spaced out so lots of room to run around and no crowding on busy days. There’s lots of different pens with different animals. You can tell the farmers really look after their animals and clean up constantly as it doesn’t have that horrible farm smell you get when you go to a farm and you’re not having to watch your feet for animal poop!

The play areas are quite nice there’s a sandpit with a pirateship, sandcastle equipment, tires and a massive bouncy pillow for kids to jump on aswell as little slides. There’s also a really big play frame for kids too and more play equipment. There’s a little snack shed next door to play bits so can buy little bits for sitting round watching kiddos play. There’s also a little animal trail where you look for statues of animals and make dens with sticks. There’s a hobbit house complete with toy utensils perfect for little ones. The place is very inclusive aswell and has BSL signs for each animal to teach children the signs too aswell as hell those who are deaf! Plenty of space to run round too! There’s a little picnic area with pretend cars and tractors kids can get in and pretend to drive.

Some of the animals that we could see!

  • Ponys
  • Donkeys
  • Ducks
  • Chickens
  • Tortoises
  • Birds
  • Emus
  • Ostrich
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Wallabies
  • Pigs
  • Cows
  • Butterfly house
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Crocodiles
  • Reindeer
  • Llamas
  • Bunny’s
  • Meerkats
  • Camels

Overall a lovely day out and somewhere we go again and again. If you’re ever in Suffolk and want to see a farm this is for you!