Diary of a Devon Mum

The ramblings (and reviews) of a coast and country mummy

Light at the end of the tunnel: Ness Cove, Shaldon

May 26, 2016
Devon Mum

Introducing our new local beach, Ness Cove.

It’s not bad as far as locals go.

One of the best bits is getting to it.

We followed the signs to Smuggler’s Tunnel and disappeared into a dark passage.

It’s not every day you get to pretend to be smugglers. Continue Reading

Daffodils in Dunsford

April 7, 2016
Devon Mum

I’m not a particularly adventurous rambler. I like to know exactly where I’m going, how long it’s going to take and what terrain I’m dealing with. Is there a car park? Pitstop for cake? So far, when BB and I have attempted some casual local jaunts we’ve ended up amongst a herd of horned cows, teetering on some stepping stones across a rushing river and negotiating a winding path with a steep vertical drop to our left. Not ideal with a three-year-old galloping ahead and a giant baby on your back. 

Here’s our guide to the much talked about Daffodil Walk in Dunsford. Or, our version of it, as it’s still not clear we went the right way. Continue Reading

The edit.

March 9, 2016
Devon Mum

I was chuffed to bits to be one of 10 mums selected by baby brand Stokke to make a film for their #StokkeOnTheGo campaign.

I was even more chuffed when I discovered I was going to get one of their super posh buggies to keep, not just for filming. (I own a slightly bent, crisp-encrusted hand-me-down pram and a cheap pushchair bought with Tesco Clubcard Boost vouchers).

But, most of all, I am seriously delighted with the edited video clip (nice work Made For Mums editors).

I mean look at us. Adorable boys, happy faces. Living (well, holidaying down the road) in arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. We’re living the dream.

Of course, I need to fess up.

Continue Reading

Eating out: Jamie’s Italian, Exeter

January 31, 2016
Devon Mum

Due to some bad project management on my part – and the lure of the Black Friday sale – we ended up oven-less for about six weeks over the Christmas period. We got by –  with a camper stove, slow cooker and microwave – but there were times we just had to get out.

An excuse to go out for a meal? Surely a good thing? Maybe in days gone by but not so much with a 3.5 year old and 17 month old.

We have about a minute-long window – tops – when Blue Eyes sits still and eats his food. Then that’s it, he’s off. Houdini-style, he can wriggle his way out of any high chair. And being out and about is just too damn exciting, he has to explore, befriend other diners, flirt with waitresses.

So, eating out usually involves more crisis management than enjoyment.

Which leads us on to Jamie’s Italian in Exeter. We were very lucky to be given a nice fat voucher towards this meal, in return for a review. We decided to share the love with some NCT-pals and our meal became a birthday celebration. Continue Reading

Christmas craft challenge

December 14, 2015
Devon Mum

Collage of photos

Things of beauty currently dominate my Facebook news feed. Handmade Christmas decorations whispering: ‘Go on…make me. I’m beautiful and oh so easy.’

A wholesome activity to pass a grey winter’s afternoon, plus a decoration to cherish forever. It’s a win-win situation. Surely.

I have visions of two beautifully behaved children dutifully sticking and colouring under my calm direction. Serene choir carols playing and the scent of cinnamon in the air.

HA!

I have 17-month-old and 3.5 year old boys. This is not how it pans out. Ever.

Any kind of craft sessions starts well – me full of enthusiasm, boys full of anticipation.

Half-way into the activity, they’ve lost interest. I’ve lost patience. I can’t help get frustrated at their incompetence and lack of focus.

Blue Eyes has squirrelled away glue, glitter, play doh, foam – whatever he can get his chomps into – and is devouring them quietly under the table, gagging silently.

And the result is NEVER a beautiful keepsake and precious memories. It’s mess everywhere and me feeling completely inadequate as a mother.

So, I decided to set myself the challenge of attempting some of these so called ‘easy’ Christmas crafts and put them to the test. How simple are they, really? What are the pitfalls? (I’m talking about for normal mums who are perhaps a little challenged in the craft department). And most importantly are they actually a fun activity or 10 minutes of misery and wasted money?

Continue Reading

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