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A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

Life as a Working at Home Mum: Is It Really the Best of Both Worlds?

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As most of you know this year marks a special milestone in my new venture becoming self employed and now I live the life of a working at home mum. Now I must admit it was a pretty scary thought at first, but now it feels like a second nature and I actually love being able to work from home. I enjoy the freedom of being my own boss, picking and choosing the brands and the campaigns I work with. I have flexibility that enables me spend time with my little lady, attend all the special dates at the school, enjoy lunch with friends and still get to work. With that being said, being a working from home mum isn’t always unicorns and rainbows. While the positives for me far outweigh the negatives, the truth is, working at home is a challenge. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, but there are a few things that can turn working from home into a sometimes frustrating experience. So today I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the pros and cons of working at home and being self-employed!

WAHM MIMIROSEANDME

Quality Time with Little Lady

I guess this one goes without saying, but one of the best perks with being a working at home mum is undoubtedly getting to spend as much time as possible with my daughter. By working from home I'm able to be a part of my daughter's routine. Not just mornings, evenings or weekends. I'm able to have lunch breaks with her and take a coffee whenever the moments arises, but it has to be said I do have to drink that pretty quick with little miss sassy though. But for me, it was more important for me to show my daughter that anything is possible. My job is far from traditional. It takes a lot for someone to be able to succeed in this field, but I really want to show my daughter that is is possible to have it all. Just grab every opportunity you can and run with it. 

Opening New Doors

My blog has opened so many new doors that I never ever envisioned in my pathway to success. It really has. I am actually making myself a brand and by writing about my life as a mum I have realised my passion, writing. It means so much that people actually read my posts, it makes me appreciate myself so much more and to realise my worth. But it doesn't just stop there. Becoming a blogger can help with so many careers, not just writing your blog. If you wanted to get involved with social media marketing, become a freelancer or work in PR, writing a little blog can help steer you in the right direction. As a woman, I have seen myself grow. As a mother, I have seen myself achieve. Trust me, being a woman cannot be easy at times, but being a mother is the most magical thing that could happen to a woman. And I want to show my daughter that anything is possible. Yes I may not have a traditional job but nonetheless I get to earn whilst spending as much time with her. Can Mother's have it all? Sure as hell they can!!! I’m proud of the fact that I’m working from home and I’m living an ambitious life. I’m proud of the fact that after I became a mother, it gave me the strength to do something unimaginable so that it sets an example for my daughter.

Flexibility

The hours in which I work are completely flexible and I am certain that I wouldn't be able to be as flexible in a traditional employment. It's strange to think since becoming self employed and a working from home mum I have become more organised and self-sufficient. I get more done in an hour that I did before. Better yet, I have developed a pretty unique quality of being able to shut out noises whilst working, whether it's the sound of my daughter watching Ben and Holly or her playing with Happy Land. It's become a kind of talent! Before becoming my own boss this was not something I would have been able to do. With such flexibility I can begin my work early, take a few hours off in the afternoon to pick my daughter up from Nursery and then continue in the evenings. I am able to set limits on both my work and family schedule so that both work out and are mutually beneficial to me. This includes being able to pick and choose brands that I work with, going for opportunities that appeal to my taste, my skills set and my passion. Most importantly, I can make decisions on whether a work project is worth my time and pays what I believe my work is worth.

Being My Own Boss

No one to have to answer to, well unless you include a little four year old of course. But I am able to work and earn my own income and build a brand. Writing is not something that I ever thought I would do, but people do actually sit and read my blog, typos included. I'm not the greatest with words but clearly people seem to like the unfinished style. My blog has quickly become a source of work in it's own right. And after a couple of blog posts I started to get emails from brands and companies interested with collaborating with us, which is amazing every single time an email pops into my inbox. When I first entered the blogging scene, companies were only just starting to invest in social media and advertising, and the budgets were nothing compared to what they are today. But I would spend my mornings on my blog and send pitches out to brands during nursery hours and in the evenings. Not just from a writing aspect, but I have taught myself how to use a camera, understand that basics of SEO and my days are consumed by social media, but who doesn't these days. Being my own boss lets me be the best that I can be, and it compels me to work harder and with more passion.


For many women, this sort of set-up would be a total dream. They get to spend time with their families while also advancing their careers and contributing financially to their families. But as great as it can be sometimes, there are many things that can make working from home not so great. Many of my family and friends believe that it's one big holiday, if only they would understand that even just because I work from home, doesn't mean I don't work. So the cons of being self employed and working from home...

You're Always Working 

The truth is, I'm always working. I often remember something late at night and rush to the computer to send that e-mail, or I'll have my phone on hand at all times and find myself replying while at the supermarket. It simply never ends. There are times that my husband and my daughter tell me that I am always on my phone, which normally cues some kind of guilt. But in reality they are right. There is always an email to reply to, a technical issue to deal with or social media posts to schedule. There’s no down time. Hours go by and I realise I haven’t moved up from my chair, or eaten or even used the bathroom. 

Not Everyone Gets It

There are a LOT of misconceptions out there about being a self employed and working from home. Most people just see most are taking photos, writing about them and making a few quid here and there. But listen up folks there is an opportunity to actually a decent wage with blogging, even if many don't consider it as 'a real job', IT IS. Blogging and social media influencing is definitely a job. Now it's certainly not easy to make money from blogging. I would probably say that most of us who do have blogs don't make a huge amount of money, or even consistent money. But with a lot of hard work, a lot of time and dedication this has become my job. Blogger, writer, influencer, whatever you want to call it. It's a money maker for lots of people. I have to say that I don't have the biggest following in this bloggersphere, but there are lots of people who follow me, take the time read my posts, send me emails to talk about my content on my blog and there are brands that want to collaborate. So YES it is a real job. So when people try to call my job cute or the fact that they would love to stay in the pjs all day, I just grin and bare it because they have no idea, whatsoever!

Distractions are Inevitable.

Whether it's the four year old telling at me that she needs to poop, the post man knocking on the door or a last minute dash to the supermarket, distractions are inevitable. Being a mum for the good part of four years I have sort of become a master of dealing with distractions, but the older she gets the more demanding she is becoming. I would be able to type away with work with a cup of coffee and she would be happy colouring in or playing with her toys. But as she develops she is becoming more insistent on other people playing with her, and when you have deadlines to meet or posts to write it can become a little overwhelming. I can't say it's all her. A catch up on netflix can sometimes be a good distraction, but eliminating these inside the working hours really helps keep the distractions to a minimum. 

Staying Motivated.

Some days are better than others, that's a given in every walks of life. One of the biggest challenges for me is keeping motivated. Many individuals working from home are content with just earning enough money to get by and don't strive to take their blog, platform or small business to the next level. Sometimes you have to be tough on yourself and power through because the deeper you get into being unmotivated the more likely you'll be put off forever, sometimes all it takes is a little push into the right direction. Being a working from home mum has made me realise that I need to stop waiting for my blog to become successful. The only person that can make this happen is me, and it won't happen while I am sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. It's going to take a lot of time, effort and a lot of patience.

Opportunities are Scarce.

Being someone who had always worried, I can't help but feel a little angst about being a self-employed blogger at times. There are going to be times where I find it difficult to secure collaborations or campaigns as it's a pretty saturated platform with so many of us. So opportunities are not going to be offered to everyone. However, since becoming a blogger I have been so lucky with all the opportunities that have come my way and so I will always feel grateful for each and everyone of them 

Finding the Right Balance is a Struggle

Some days are busier than others. Some days are far more productive than others. And some days are just better than others. It’s ok to want both, it’s all about finding the right balance between family life and work life. I know I find it hard to step away from my computer especially if it’s right there. Or to pick up my phone and scroll through social media, pinning session on Pinterest, engaging with other readers. It’s hard to switch off my blogger brain. But the key is to try and set boundaries for yourself and define when it’s work and when it’s play. Two days a week I will avoid the computer; normally a Wednesday and a Sunday. It’s so important to make time for myself and my family just as much as my work.

WAHM FLATLAY

I have to say that working from home is one of the most challenging ways to work. When you think of home, you think of relaxing and fun. Home is where your family and friends are and thinking of home as a workplace changes things. Not forgetting that I also have a little four year to keep me on my toes which is incredibly distracting. People are always quick to assume that working from home means a day in your pajamas, lazing on the sofa, drinking lots of tea and typing a couple of posts. Yes sure, there are some day when my little lady isn't at school and I will take full advantage of a pajama day, but it's not a good way for me to be productive and to stay focused though. I will wake up early, get fully ready for the day, and sit in my blogging space. My days also consist of errands, nursery drop offs and pickups, laundry and chores and anything else the day throws at me. So yes, it's pretty easy working from home! Honestly, as cliche as this may sounds becoming a working from home mum has been one of the best decisions I have made, even if at times it's hard and I feel as if I should go back my old job. I am going to grab every opportunity I can and run with it and show my daughter that she can have it all, and hopefully one day she can tell me that I make her proud!!!

What about you? Are you a stay-at-home-mum? A working mum? A working from home mum like me? Is there an ideal? Or do we all just muddle through the best we can doing what makes sense to us at the time?

Skin Chemist: Rose Quartz Lip Plump

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Some trends enter the beauty world overnight, infiltrating our social media feeds for a short while before returning to oblivion. Then there are some trends that like to stick around or ones that we like to choose to not remember. Such as those over plucked eyebrows of the 90s, sparkly eye shadows and something that has become a recent sensational trend because of a certain lady who has now removed the pout; Kylie Jenner. Everyone went a little crazy for the trend with lip fillers, overdrawn lip liners and that ridiculous challenge to get a plumper pout. I have to say that perhaps I do want a plumper pout but I am in now way willing to part with regular big cash to do so. Thankfully I was blessed with big smackers and by adding a little gloss to my lips does wonders. So that's exactly what I do. I know matte finishes are in but I can't help thinking that I just want to lick my lips all the time. Anyone else think that? But for me, I really enjoy using a gloss and I've been using something new from the SkinChemist, have you ever heard of the SkinChemist?



The SkinChemist is something that I have only discovered in the last few months, actually I came across their A-M-A-Z-I-N-G 24hr Aqua Cream inside a beauty box. This little bottle of goodness has really changed my morning routines, so you can imagine I was more than happy to try something else. However for those who are not familiar with the SkinChemists they have come along way in twenty years. World-wide distribution and hundreds of thousands of fantastic people discovering what scientific skincare made with passion, feeling, and love, can do everyday. They create personalised skin treatments that make you love your own skin. Making you feel confident, giving you the foundations for success in your life and giving you the passion to embrace the life you want to live.


They have an impressive range to suit all skin types and problems, so be rest assured that you will find something for everyone. And this time I came across their Rose Quartz Lip Plump*(£24.90) and I am very excited to try it out. The Rose Quartz Lip Plump can give you a fuller pout without the pain and commitment offered by fillers. This Lip Plump is designed to hydrate the lips, whilst actively boosting them for a fuller pout, leaving them soft and lightly glossy. Providing all the benefits of a lip gloss and a lip balm, with an actively pumping effect.


The gloss itself looks pretty, pink and shimmery, but actually goes on completely clear. I must admit I was ever so slightly disappointed that there is no colour to the gloss, as I like to add a simple shade to my lips after applying makeup. Personally I really think that if the Rose Quartz had a slight shade to the gloss would make it even more appealing. But nonetheless, with it being clear people can choose to add a colour later, just make sure that you add your favourite lipstick on top of the gloss instead of underneath. As you won't get the full effect of the gloss. The wand itself is pretty standard. But I was pretty shocked as it felt quite cheap, considering the price tag. I think I would have preferred a softer application. I also felt you had to really layer the gloss onto the lips as the wand wasn't getting enough product for one single application. 


AmadeoĆ¢„¢ Regular

Now with all products like this, it can be hard to tell after a few weeks. So I have been using this gloss only a daily basis for a couple of months now and there is no doubt about it that these gloss is super hydrating, and leaves my lips feeling nourished. But as far as the plumping goes I can't honestly say I saw a difference. When I applied the gloss to my lips I did feel a slight tingling sensation. With key ingredient Volulip, derived from the 'Kiss Me Quick' plant, this lip plump aims to stimulate the production of Hyaluronic Acid, producing an active plumping effect. Circulation of blood to the surface of the lip is further enhanced by Peppermint Oil producing a fuller pout. However you have to apply layer upon layer to get a good coverage which was disappointing. 


AmadeoĆ¢„¢ Regular

Personally? Nope! I have tried quite a few lip plumpers and I have to say that by far Nu Skin and Bourjois win hands down. I was really sad that this product didn't work for me, I can't say that it doesn't work for others, it's just not what I would use to get those desired plump lips. I really do love the SkinChemist, and perhaps with a couple of tweaks this would be a really good product and be a front runner with other brands. I wouldn't want to part with my money based on the fact that you really have to layer on the product and that my lips didn't actually feel any different. 

Have you ever tried the SkinChemist? If so, what have you tried?

Dreams Really Do Come True...

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Dreams really do come true, well at least it did for my little lady this weekend. My little Rapunzel met Rapunzel and it was a truly magical moment. The feeling watching your child getting so excited that they are finally able to meet their idol is indescribable. All you know is that their smile and excitement means everything. However, the magic didn't stop with Rapunzel. 


Fairytales and Legends is a fantastic event full of magic, enchantment and adventures. There is something truly magical about a child smiles and laughter and this was plentiful at the Fairytales and Legends event this weekend. From meeting their favourite character and reading their favourite stories to climbing a beanstalk, making their own unicorn horns and attending one of the most prestigious parties known in the Kingdom hosted by Sleeping Beauty. And no Fairytale or legend would be complete without a dragon, so children even had the chance to get up close to a fire breathing dragon who is truly the friendliest dragon you'll ever meet. 


Our first meet and greet was with the beautiful Rapunzel and as soon as my daughter caught a glimpse of the long haired princesses she made a beeline for a cuddle. It was such a magical moment for all of us. There's nothing quite like the true happiness and laughter of a child, at one point I did think that my daughter was going to cry because she was so happy. But there was so much to do there wasn't too much time to get emotional as just out the corner of her eye she saw Aurora, Moana and Belle. We did have to queue a little for these princesses, but it was worth the wait. They were so kind and really interested in the stories my daughter has to tell including that she will be starting big school soon and told Belle all about her favourite book. 


A quick cuddle and picture with the three princesses, as just behind us was Anna from Frozen. Our daughter was ecstatic as she loves Anna and gave her the biggest cuddles imaginable, perhaps a little tight for poor Anna though. What really stood out as a parent was the fact that every character made sure that they spoke to every single child, and not once did we feel as if we were been ushered along. Anna especially as she spoke to our daughter about starting school, about her dress and my daughter told Anna that she will wear her Anna dress for next time. They even had a little sing song together, which was such a lovely gesture. 




We all know princesses have a truly magical story to tell and so Rapunzel, Moana and Anna and Elsa had their own story times where they invited children along to read with them, with a little sing song too. As my daughter is obsessed with Rapunzel we had to go and sit with Rapunzel and read her story. Just as we came out of the tent, it started the rain but that didn't stop the fun. As it was now time to meet a dragon. And we all know that a magical fairytale or legends isn't complete without a dragon. Our daughter was excited to see the dragon however she was a little unsure about his size, even though he was the friendliest dragon you'll ever meet. So we made our way to lots of dragon and fairytale activities upstairs, and even got a green dragon glitter tattoo.



A little stop for some lunch and then it was back to meet more princesses. This time we were lucky enough to meet Cinderella, Jasmine and Snow White after a wait in the queue and they was also very friendly. Just on the other side of the princesses we caught sight of Captain America, Thor, and Spiderman, but as you can imagine they were very in demand. So we settle for a little wave to Spiderman. Close by there was fairytale hairstyling and pirate tattoos drop-in sessions available and more creative workshops for children to enjoy such as Unicorn Horns and fairytale finger puppets. 



In other parts of the town there were some workshops that you could in advance such as genie lamp moneyboxes & magic carpet bags where enchanting Arabia could come to life. A Troll headbands drop in to make your very own funky troll hair headband, there were quite a few of these troll headbands around. You could also create a miniature enchanted garden fit for a tiny magical being at the enchanted garden jars. A Knights’ armour drop in session, where you could design and wear your very own suit of armour. And an adventurers’ telescopes drop in session to make your own telescope for adventures big and small. 

Later in the afternoon there was so much going on over at Sleeping Beauty’s palace with dreamcatcher making, making your own sleeping mask, bedtime stories and more. To end a brilliant fun filled day everyone was invited to Sleeping Beauty’s disco at the Corn Exchange where Sleeping Beauty hosted a disco with her friends for a dance and sing along. The perfect ending to such a magical day, it was a day that you didn't want to miss.

Beanies Coffee Obsessed

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Being a mother to a four year old can be a whirlwind. Some days are full of exploring and adventures which are always fun, but my daughter's energy levels can make the adventures completely exhausting too. The summer holidays have been full on with early starts and late nights, a few sassy moments, complaints of being tired or telling me that she needs to just chill. Ha. It's been a definite struggle to get up and get on with the day at times, however the best way to keep awake during the day is without a doubt a strong coffee, most parents are fuelled by coffee these days anyway. A strong coffee will hopefully have enough caffeine in it to keep eyes wide open so my husband can get to work without worrying about falling asleep on the job and I need as much caffeine as my body can drink to see through the late nights, early morning and the meltdowns. The struggle is without a doubt real!


So let's talk coffee. How do you like yours? Strong? Black? Do you like flavour added to yours? To be honest both my husband and I love coffee but we never really stick to the same kind of coffee, seeing as it's Autumn soon it will be all about pumpkin spiced lattes, but they are times for indulgence. If I was to drink one of those everyday I would start to look as a round as a pumpkin so I needed to find something that will give me a caffeine fix but eases up on the calories. Beanies Coffee of course...


When Beanies got in touch to see if both my husband and I would be interested in trying some of their coffee, how could we refuse? We are completely obsessed with coffee, so why not. When my Beanies coffee arrived in the post, I was expecting a little selection of samples, however, Beanies were very generous and sent us a box of 100 sachets to try and a couple jars too. Yes! For those who are not familiar with Beanies Flavour Coffee they are specialists who are complete flavour fanatics and are on a mission to revolutionise the average cup of coffee. Since 2009 they have been creating some amazing coffee flavours from gingerbread to double chocolate and with just 2 calories per cup, what’s not to love?


I was fortunate enough to be sent a Stick Stash! A Stick Stash is a box packed with 100 sticks of Beanies flavour instant coffee, across 10 of their flavours, into a handy dispensing box. Like I'm obsessed with the idea, and it's a great way to try all the flavours and depending on my mood I can pick one in the assortment of flavours. Beanies sachets of flavour instant coffee are perfect for when you’re on the go, I like to keep a couple in my handbag for little adventures on the go and my husband likes to grab a handful before he heads off out to work. The Stick Stash is so convenient, but a great way to discover new flavours that I wouldn't neccessary try if it wasn't for this little stash. Inside this stash box of an assortment of flavours included; Nutty Hazelnut, Amaretto Almond, Creamy Caramel, Double Chocolate, Mint Chocolate, Very Vanilla, Irish Cream, Chocolate Orange, Gingerbread, and my absolute favourite Caramel Popcorn, I have already told my husband to avoid taking these flavours to work! These are my favourite. 

Another flavour that I am completely obsessed with is the Coconut Delight, I could drink this all day. It's so good. Just imagine tranquil and paradise settings in the comfort of your own home from just one sip? Yep well Coconut Delight will most certainly make you feel like you're in paradise. Have you tried Beanies Flavoured Coffee yet? If you haven't I really think you should do, I am pretty sure that soon enough you'll become Beanies Coffee obsessed like me.

This post contains PR samples. 

How To Be An Excellent Online Tutor

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Technology has made it easier than ever for students and tutors to connect with one another through the Internet. In order to be effective, however, online tutors need to take specific steps to communicate effectively with the students that they are tutoring. When used correctly, modern technology can make it feel as if the tutor is sitting in the same room as the student. If you are providing online tutoring session, use these five tips to make the experience as valuable as possible for your students:



Even though today's technology is extremely advanced, it is not without its faults. A variety of technology-related problems can crop up during your tutoring sessions. Make a list of all of the problems that occur and come up with an action plan for how to deal with each one. Share this list with your student so that they know what to do if you are disconnected, if the audio cuts out, or if other problems occur.


No matter how prepared you are, it is impossible to avoid all problems when working with technology. From strange audio problems to slow-loading videos, a variety of different issues can come up, disrupting your tutoring sessions. Using the list that you put together in the first step, you should be able to get back on track relatively quickly, continuing your session right away. After you get everything back up and running, jump right back into the material rather than spending a lot of time telling the student how sorry you are for the problem. The goal is to keep the tutoring session moving ahead.


Tutoring through the Internet creates a bit of a disconnect between you and your students. When compared to sitting in the same room with one another, it is often harder for students to make a real connection with you. You can help keep them engaged by being as enthusiastic as possible. Focus on making eye contact with your students. Speak clearly and try to portray to your students how excited you are about the information you are teaching them.


When conducting tutoring sessions, you need to be able to clearly hear your students. Set up your computer and an area that is completely quiet so that you aren't distracted by background noises. Additionally, check to see what the room looks like behind you to make sure that there isn't anything distracting that will show up on the screen. Finally, talk to anyone else who is in the building with you to let them know that you are going to be conducting a tutoring session. That way, they won't accidentally walk into the room or disrupt you. 


As you conduct your session, pay attention to your student. Do they seem distracted? If so, they may be fiddling around on social media instead of paying attention to their lesson. If you suspect that they have gotten off track, don't hesitate to ask them about it. You can also encourage them to pay attention by having them turn off their cell phone and close any unnecessary tabs or programs on their computer. You should encourage students to engage with you by having them repeat some of the information they are learning back to you or having them work on problems on an online whiteboard. 

As long as you focus on providing your students with the best possible experience, you should do extremely well as some who does online tutoring. Remember - technology is just a tool. It shouldn't dominate your tutoring sessions. Ideally, it should fade away into the background, making the student feel as if you are in the room with them.

Our Family Holiday 2018: North Yorkshire, Settle

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I can't believe it's taken me this long to actually sit down and write all about our family adventures to the beautiful North Yorkshire. Ever since I can remember my family have always taken holidays in the North Yorkshire Dales, honestly there is so much to do and so much to see. It was hard trying to cram all our adventures into one week, but we somehow managed to create some amazing memories and so today I wanted to share them with you.


But before we could explore the adventure we had to make the long five hour drive up North, with a four year old. But surprisingly, she did fantastic with only one stop for lunch. We did make sure that we were prepared for our journey and we made it to the cottage before dark so we had plenty of time to explore. We stayed at one of the most beautiful cottages. It was an idyllic cottage that's situated beside the beautiful River Ribble is the perfect accommodation to relax and recuperate from normality. The cottage being beside the river oozed tranquility and wonderment, there is no other way to drink of cup of tea in the mornings. It was a much needed break that my family needed. River Cottage is somewhere that we will try and stay again as it was perfect. 


The next morning we were all feeling more refreshed and couldn't wait to go and seek some adventures and our first stop was West Burton Waterfall. This little place has always had a special meaning to my family. Beautiful spot. Cascading waterfall, shady woodland, river to paddle in, pool for swimming, interesting cliffs, scenic walks, picture postcard village with pub, chapel and village store. Perfect location for times of relaxation. We then decided to go and have a cream tea at Kettlewell, which by the way is the best cream tea you'll ever have. So if you are near Kettlewell please make sure that you check out The Cottage Tea Room



After a fun filled day with lots of adventures, walks and discoveries we decided to call it a day and head back to the cottage as we had a big day ahead of us. We wanted to go to a farm and decided to go to Thornton Hall Country Park, but I have a whole different blog post for that adventure. We experience hands-on animal encounters with a wide selection of farm animals, feed the animals and even had lunch surrounded by chickens. My husband and I unleash our inner child in the indoor Wizzick play barn, swung on rope, delved into sandpits and got lost in a straw maze. It was such a fun day. 




The third day we decided to go and search for fairies and we arrived at Gordale Scar which is a huge gorge and it's true size is only visible once you walk through the field and Gordale campsite Just a few minutes from Malham, this is definitely worth a visit. A well maintained walk along a short path, turn round the corner and there is the waterfall. You can hear it before you can see it. You can climb over the rocks. I’d strongly recommend some good grip wellies if you’re just visiting the fall and not hiking. Just be safe and sensible and you’ll have a lovely time.



Only a short distance away we discovered an absolute gem, Janet's Foss. It is believed a fairy queen named Janet inhabits a cave at the rear of the waterfall, so as you can imagine my little lady adored this aspect and was in real pursuit to find some fairies with Grandad. However, as we got down to the waterfall my husband discovered a couple of people swimming naked, so be warned. But minus the nakedness it was a really nice walk, you can visit it standalone or incorporate with a loop of Malham cove and tarn, and Gordale Scar. The woodland is very pretty, and there’s spaces to sit and enjoy the waterfall. After the waterfall there are a couple of ‘tricky’ steps so one to watch out for if you have small children or aren’t too steady on your feet.



It then started to rain, so we made our way home for a hot cup of tea and some dinner. Up bright and early the next day for a spot of breakfast in Settle at The Singing Kettle, which is completely amazing by the way. Then a little adventure towards Nidderdale. We came across another gem Heben Suspension Bridge over River Wharfe. A very nice and peaceful walk along the side of the river. The view from the Center of the bridge is breath taking. Plenty of wildlife and the trees on there own are well worth a visit. Most of the walk is along a treated surface so it is easy. The bridge is narrow and sways when walked over. My mum didn't like this one bit!



I must admit this was a beautiful little place to discover, a cup of tea and back into the car for the next adventure. The very cute Pateley Bridge which is full of tranquil charm as it nestles in the heart of Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The peace of this beautiful area has provided inspiration for writers and artists alike, and kept many a visitor returning year after year to enjoy the serenity. There was a lovely play park in the town as well as bakeries, cafes and shops. But no visit to the Yorkshire Dales would be complete without a visit to The Oldest Sweet Shop in England at Pateley Bridge for a truly magical and memorable experience. It is officially the Oldest Sweet Shop in the world as validated by Guinness World Records in its publication in 2014. Row upon row of glass jars filled with handmade traditional sweets weighed out by the quarter of a pound into old fashioned scales. Smell the aroma of sweets as you marvel at the old building dating back to the 1600's with its original features, fixtures and fittings. 


Our hands loaded with traditional sweets and a slice of cake from the local bakery and we headed towards Scalber Force Waterfall. A beautiful setting, not too far from the roadside, but it's a pretty hard steep walk down to the waterfall, this little gem can be easily missed so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. 


Our last stop of the day was something a little different to anything we have ever done before. The Hoffman Lime Kiln. Wonderful place, a must place to visit when in the area. We all really enjoyed the experience. I am very surprised that it is not advertised more, as many don't know it's there. I would certainly recommend a visit, but wear suitable footwear, quite slippy in places. I was quite surprised at how big the Kiln was and was quite a long walk inside and around the Kiln, it was scary in the dark, I must admit. 



As we stopped that night, we realised that something was wrong with the car and so thankfully we already made it back to to cottage but we had to wait for the RAC to try and fix out car. However, they were unable to and we had to take it to a garage the next morning. So it was a morning in the town of Settle. We really enjoyed our day strolling through the streets of Settle and being amazed, amused, entertained and astonished at over 100 quirky Flowerpot Displays. We also ventured into the Settle-Carlisle Railway, and we will make sure we come back when they have the family days out on the steam train. Back into town we discovered one of the most amazing toy shops I have ever seen. Even as an adult you could stay in there all day. The House That Jack Built has over two floors of traditional toys and including brands such as Melissa and Doug, John Crane, Hippychick, The GroCompany, Manhattan Toys, Moulin, Roty, Haba, Plan and Le Toy Van. They offer a stay and play policy ensuring that children get a chance to play before buying. 



Thankfully a little wait for our car to be fixed wasn't wasted as we discovered the beautiful town of settle. However, an early night relaxing at home was just what we all needed. Ready for the next adventure. The Coldstones Cut. A great sculpture in the middle of nowhere. Try and see it on a day when workers are in the Quarry, it's quite fascinating to watch. Make sure to check out the old lime kiln before you leave.




The Druid's Temple in Ripon. Styled after stone circles and well known prehistoric monuments such as Stonehenge. Despite its origin being common knowledge, myths and rumours of mystic practices have sprung up over its lifetime with tales of Devil worship and harrowing frights experienced by those who have spent the night. I am convinced I captured a fairy on my camera, see if you can spot it too? Bottom right. 


Our last stop at Carperby was 'The Bridge'. It has a special meaning to all of my family and goes back 45 years worth of memories, so you can only imagine the emotions we were all feeling as we walked across. For me, it was being with my brother and sister throwing sticks and dock leaves into the water to have races. It does make me feel a little sad about those times with loved ones and now I have to look at creating special memories with my own family and perhaps visit this place more, so my daughter can explore the outdoors, just like I did. 



Phew we got there in the end. Sorry about the length of this post. But I wanted to tell you all about our family trip. It's always so lovely spending as much time as we can with my parents, or at least to laugh at them. As you can see my Dad is always up for a laugh, my daughter decided to take her socks off and put them on his ears and told him to be a sheep. Well if a four year old tells you to do something you just have to. Have you ever been to North Yorkshire? 

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