Friday, 29 May 2015

Open Farm Sunday 2015 Preview and our visit to Elm Tree Farm

Open Farm Sunday is coming up on Sunday 7th June 2015 and we were invited to a preview, so that we could tell you all about Open Farm Sunday and why you and your families should join in the fun.
We spent the day at Elm Tree Farm on Sunday 17th May 2015. It is a private farm that is not normally open to the public and focuses on special needs projects; however there are LOTS of activities on Open Farm Sunday and the public are welcome from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday 7th June.
The farm, located on Park Road in Stapleton
BS16 1AA next to the cricket ground, will be open to visitors from 11am-4pm. There is parking on-site and entry is free as part of the national Open Farm Sunday scheme.For more information, contact or phone the farm on 0117 958 6206.
The first thing we did was visit the chickens. Aaron spent what felt like ages feeding them grass. They're also hand fed corn, and their delicious free range eggs are sold to locals. The lovely lady who showed us around had to keep turning the electric fence off each time Aaron went back to the chickens again and again. It is there to deter foxes. It didn't deter this fox though LOL and thankfully the fence was off at this point and neither Aaron nor the chickens were hurt. It's only now I can see the funny side:
Clearly Aaron needs to be a little less free range. Although to be fair he is not normally this clumsy.

Aaron was rather taken with the farm cat. As you can see below, the chickens yield a decent amount of eggs.
We spent a good couple of hours exploring the farm with our personal tour guide and we were made very welcome. I can imagine the farm will be so exciting Sunday 7th June, as they have many plans to make it a wonderful day.

We loved looking at the newborn lambs:
Thankfully there was another boy there exploring the farm, and he and Aaron went everywhere together, which was wonderful to see. Also meant he stayed interested and wasn't bored just with us adults.
What I LOVE about Elm Tree Farm is it is a functioning farm, not just laid on for visitors. It has a very warm authentic feel, which I think you'd love if you visit:
My Aaron who was fox for the day, chased these ducks around until we told him off (you'd be forgiven for thinking they are geese - they're not). Before we stopped him doing it, it was so interesting to see how the ducks would chat about Aaron and stare at him. Felt like I was in a story book:
The ducks continue to keep a beady eye on Aaron:
I have LOTS and LOTS of footage of our day at the farm, and desperately need to edit it into a montage or vlog but just haven't had chance yet. REALLY must do that this weekend.

Aaron was so happy after his visit to the farm. Very at peace too. Time in nature is great:

Where: Elm Tree Farm,
Stapleton, Bristol BS16 1AA

Time: 11 am to 4 pm


Activities: Take a walk around the farm to see the animals, make a model out of vegetables or maybe create your own bug hotel and more! There will be a pig roast and other refreshments, a plant and produce sale and our friendly team will be there to answer all of your questions.

I have copied the above from their poster, but from talking to them on Sunday 17th May 2015 I know that they have a LOT more than that planned, like for example they have a foal, and on the day you get to compete to name him. If your name is chosen you win a FAB prize.
You can follow: Open Farm Sunday on Twitter
or get more information here: Open Farm Sunday 2015

Tonight at midnight I am going to hook this blog post up with #CountryKids
 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Travelling with kids in Florence. What this place has that your children will love!

Florence in Tuscany is one of the most stunning gems of the world. This city has seen the birth of the Renaissance making it a centre of great art, culture and history. This city attracts thousands of tourists. There are beautiful cathedrals and grand palaces as well as museums containing some of the most popular works of art. There are a lot of things to see making it the perfect destination for all kinds of travellers. If you are planning to spend your next vacation in Florence with your family, there are things that will keep your holiday full and lively. For help choosing the right place to stay, check out for the best accommodation in the city.
With the sophistication of the city, it can be quite challenging to plan a trip to Florence that will also entertain and amuse a family with young children. But it is far from impossible. With conscientious planning, this city can be interesting and fun for the kids too. Don’t overwhelm your children with too much sight-seeing in a day and too many things to carry around. Plan your itinerary well to visit a few areas in a day. For example, in the morning you can bring the family to Piazza Repubblica where you can visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museums in the world where you can see beautiful Renaissance art of famous people including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Boticelli. You can reserve online the tickets to visit The Uffizi Gallery Museum. After which, you can let the kids have several rides on the Antique Carousel located on the Piazza itself. It is advisable to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the long queues.
For children, visiting a museum may seem too sombre but the one in the Palazzo Vecchio will surely bring them alive. The Children’s Museum which is next to the Uffizi puts on a demonstration of the life of the Medici family. The exhibits in English are educational and are perfect for family tourists. Next, usher your children to the Institute and Museum of Science located in Piazza dei Giudicci to see the displays of many instruments and personal items associated with Galileo Galilei.
In Summer, the traffic in the city can be overwhelming, so if you want to enjoy the city away from the crowd, visiting the Oltrarno district across the Ponte Vecchio is ideal. There is the Boboli Gardens at Palazzo Pitti that have a lot of open spaces to have a picnic while the children play and explore. In some occasions, musical performances are held in the area which could serve as additional fun for the whole family. You could also treat your family to some of the best ice cream in the city just across the Ponte Santa Trinità. You can also stay around these areas.
Recount to your children the story of the contest to construct the Cathedral Dome and the Baptistery’s Golden Doors so when you bring them to see the Duomo in person, the effect will be more remarkable for them. They will then better be able to appreciate the genius in making these innovative buildings for all to see. The facade of the Duomo alone will make them see the greatness of architectural and engineering feat of those times. Then, if you can manage to climb 463 steps to the top of the dome, you and your children will have a chance to admire Giorgio Vasari's frescoes of the Last Judgment and have a marvelous 360-degree view of the city!
These are just few of the things that stunning Florence has to offer families who visit. So, the next time you plan a European vacation it's a holiday that will provide amongst its beautiful confines, many things to keep you and your children entertained.
This post is a collaboration.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Vlogging on My Phone and Ten Top Tips for New Vloggers on You Tube

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Vlog #CollectiveBias

Vlogging with my Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

Do you ever Vlog with your phone? Mine, my Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, has become invaluable lately for several reasons:
  • Memory: My Sony Cybershot camera memory card is often full, and lately my laptop is full too so I am a little buggered. This is where the phone is literally a life saver. I even bought a new memory card recently for the phone, and they've increased in size and come down in price. They are designed to process HD, so they are perfect for the up and coming Vlogger. The phone can cope with a MicroSD up to 64 GB! Memory becomes an issue when you get into Vlogging especially if you have the file size of the individual clips and then also the completed edited video - it's like doubling up!!!
  • Battery Charge: Sometimes in the rush to get out, I've forgotten to charge my camera. Or simply I use it SO much on a day out that even a full charge is not enough. Again the phone is invaluable. We always leave home with a fully charged phone right? *coughs* and moves swiftly on...
  • Selfie footage: With my Sony Cybershot I can only point outwards. It's as annoying as pushing a newborn in a buggy which has the same limitation. When I do a selfie photo it is hit and miss (but normally spot on to be fair) but I wouldn't risk it with a Vlog. I love that with my phone, I can see myself on screen and therefore self regulate my facial expressions and ensure I am in the frame. In the frame, without too much, say for example, ceiling... like you see in the pic above.
  • Quality: The spec of my phone's camera says it is only 5MP and on the selfie option only 0.3MP, yet I am happy with the quality. You can decide for yourself in the Vlog I have done below for this #CollectiveBias post.
  • Engaged child: Having the selfie option on the phone's camera, means that Aaron stays interested when we are recording a Vlog together as he can see himself. It often has funny results as with this comedy chat from the two of us or this one where Aaron sabotage my vlog with funny results.
  • Inexpensive. Often people get intimidated by the thought of "Vlogging" due to the cost of the equipment that they think is involved. BUT, often a phone will do the job fine (those two linked to above are on the phone too). People say you need microphones, tripods and lighting, BUT on those two above, in one I am holding the phone and in the other it's simply balanced on the dining table. The lighting in both is fully natural, and as we are so close to the phone a microphone is not at all required.
  • Accessible: For me, both my phone and my camera fit in my everyday handbag, but I know for you serious photographer/bloggers, that may not be the case, so having the phone to hand, for quick/easy vlogging means you capture fabulous memories you might otherwise miss. Looking back at old footage is heartwarming, so I would highly recommend, dear reader, that you start videoing, even if you don't upload to You Tube.
  • Ease of upload: I am writing this post in Ireland as we are here on holiday to see my Mum. It's meant challenges as my Mum's does not have Wifi. But the bigger challenge was that my laptop does not recognise my phone's MP4s (videos). So the plan was that I would upload the below footage offline (with a cable) from phone to laptop and edit it all at my Mum's, simply coming to my Aunt's to upload  to You Tube. I'd have already done the editing on Windows Live Movie Maker. BUT, when I couldn't drag and drop the videos, I came to my Aunt's for the day, and the problem was solved, as I could upload all the videos STRAIGHT from the phone to You Tube (which I could never do with my camera). It didn't even take that long to upload them once I was in a place with Wifi, and You Tube has its own "editor" so I was able to sit here and put all the clips together in a continuous "Vlog". You Tube has a "download MP4" option, so I then delete the footage off my phone/camera as I know it is there should I ever want it. Clearly I pick and choose which videos I am not precious with.
Uploading phone camera Vlogs straight to You Tube Editor
For this post, to showcase my phone's Vlogging ability I have recorded the below video. Anyone who knows me will know I have made a study of You Tube for the past 3 months, in that I have spent hundreds of hours on there as a user. If you follow me on Twitter you will know, as everytime I "like" a You Tube video, it tweets a link to the video I have liked, so that's more or less all my Twitter timeline consists of currently. So I now know what I like and what I don't and have compiled, quite literally on the back of an envelope:
Ten You Tube Musts for the Up and Coming Vlogger

explanations of which are included in my Vlog below.
Ten Top Tips for The Vlogging You Tuber
It just so happens that they all begin with T. I have no idea what the deeper meaning of that is. Judging by the pic above, I need a manicure in addition to the pedicure and Shellac I have just had.
My Samsung phone is my baby
I am blogging/vlogging this post from Ireland, as Aaron and I are here on our hols to see my Mum. Hence I am scrubbed up, as my Mother is a bit of a glamour puss unlike me. Serves me well for this Vlog that my cousin has cut and straightened my hair. My Mum gave me the voucher for the feet. Looking after myself is becoming a bit of a routine. I may even turn over a new leaf in time for BritMums Live. A few more pounds to shift before then though.
So here is my Vlogger's Vlog with the Ten Top Tips I have put together in a brainstorm on the back of an envelope. I hope you enjoy, like, comment and subscribe. Would be great to meet you, and widen my You Tube tribe :-)

I'm adding my post to 

The Dad Network

Liska xx

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Disney on Ice Magical Ice Festival

Just a very quick post, for any readers who may be Disney fans.

I have been very busy on You Tube and have uploaded this and this, with the former not requiring any editing and the latter requiring 8 hours...............


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

See You At BritMums Live 2015 #BritMumsLive

See you at BritMums Live 2015. Hoorrraahhh! I'm finally joining up with the Who's Going Linky

So diving straight in with the answers to the questions and a link to my posts about previous BritMums Lives:

Name: Liska
Blog: er, this one!
Twitter ID@NewMumOnline
Height: 5 foot 6
Hair: Long, straight, dark brown.
Eyes: brown

Is this your first blogging conference?
No, I first went to the second year of Cybermummy in 2011, in the Brewery. I then went to the next three BritMums Lives in a row, also at The Brewery (great venue).
2013 BritMums Live blog posts:
2014 BritMums Live blog post - Breakdown and Breakthrough at BritMums Live 2014

Are you attending both days?
Of course!

What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2015?
I always love the excitement the most.  The run up to it, as much as the event itself, and catching up with people you sometimes only see once a year.

What are you wearing? 
No idea yet but it may well be this playsuit outfit, for one of the days. For the other day, who knows... I know last year when I wore a floral outfit one day, I felt very self conscious as it made me look larger, and I knew it, but it was a very special Summer Solstice last year, so sisterhood of the rose style I was wearing an outfit covered in roses.

What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2015?
I hope to learn something. Blogging since 2008, I know the basics, but it is often a passing comment that a speaker makes, that is what stays with me. I really hope to get lots out of the You Tube session.

Do you have any tips to pass on to others who may not have been before?
  1. Yes, enjoy it. So catch up on your sleep before you go. Put your best foot forward, paste on that smile, and get the most out of it.
  2. Make sure you make a list of people you'd like to meet. Tweet them and make it happen. Don't have regrets. 
  3. There are butterflies on hand to ease your nerves. We'll be there on arrival to greet you. Here's my "Hello to you" on that score (filmed last year)
  4. Most people go for dinner on the Friday night. This works well when arranged in advance and is a great way to ensure you catch up with people.
  5. If you are lonely and you didn't arrange to meet anyone, don't leave the conference, just pop to the loo. You ALWAYS get chatting to someone fun in there. Even the keynote speakers relax and have a giggle in there. Just like in a nightclub, the loos are a fab place to connect.
  6. You'll see lots of glamour. Hair, makeup and heels. But sometimes, you actually feel more comfortable if you are more relaxed. Don't wear shoes that'll give you a blister. I did that one year and regretted it. It's also a good idea to wear something you've worn before, so that you know you're comfortable in it.
  7. If you want one glamour day, it doesn't have to be both. I found last year that a lot of people dressed up on Friday (due to dinner and the Bibs) and then relaxed on Saturday. It's NOT out of the question to wear jeans.
  8. There is a charging table at the back of the main hall, which I have used every year to charge my camera and phone, but with today's technology it is good to have one of those battery pack thingies.
  9. Tweeting pics during the event works really well, as everyone at home wants to have a virtual experience of the day.
  10. You'll be wiped out the day after, so although Daddy may have had the babies for 2 days, pre-warn him you might not be ready to do it all by yourself on the Sunday, so perhaps have Grandma or a best mate on standby for the Sunday. A PJ day is what this Doc would suggest for that day (not that I have any medical training, but I just know how I am on the Sunday every year).
  11. After the event, you will want to blog about it, so make space in your schedule to do so.
  12. If you Vlog too.......... well it all gets a bit time consuming, so block out your diary.

I'd LOVE you to watch my recording of the Bibs from last year. I only uploaded it the other day (totally forgot to last year and only noticed now due to the file size). It really gives you a flavour of the event:

See you there, not long now

Liska xxx

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Journey Through Wales and a Tour Of Bluestone

I am yet to collect and gather my thoughts for my review of Bluestone Wales National Park Resort, but I have spent about 88 hours editing and uploading this. Would love your feedback.

It's our journey alongwith a tour of the house/lodge that we stayed in.

Bye for now, lots to do before the school run,
Liska xxx 
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