It was 0 degrees when I took H to school this morning. Naturally he was still in shorts and t-shirt, and leisurely walking to the car as if it were, in fact, a balmy 20. I, on the other hand, was acutely aware that we are entering Winter, and as such have mentioned to everyone I have since seen today that it really is “very cold all of a sudden”. As such, it felt like a lovely day to write a quick blog reflecting on our favourite Autumnal adventures so far this year, before we well and truly Christmas it up. I flippin’ love the lead up to Christmas so I am quite excited about the sudden frost and the fact that I can now listen to Christmas tunes on the radio non stop. My husband thinks I am, in fact, a bit of a loser, but Henry and I know the deal. Christmas music is actually the BEST. Take that Daddy. Bah Humbug.
Back to lovely autumnal adventures (some a little more wet than others). There has been quite a bit of rain yes?
Sunshine Beach Days
There is no doubt that one of my favourite things on a cold crisp sunny day is a trip to the beach. Has to be the right kind of day… It is hard work with little ones on a beach in the pouring rain, or howling wind. But, a cold, crisp, sunny day is just perfection. We love heading to Budleigh Salterton which isn’t too far from us. This beach just has a really lovely long stretch to walk (space is what you need for these walks I find), the view is gorgeous, its away from the road. And for Henry and Ralph, the most important consideration of all, it has pebbles. So there is collecting, moving, building and throwing to be done (keeps them occupied for hours!!) If we have some time on a weekend and it’s dry and bright, then, more than often than not, this is where we head. The air is fresh, they can run off lots of energy, the pebbles get their imaginations whirring. And normally there is a nice hot coffee to be had at the end. Perfect kind of adventure in my mind. Easy, cheap, exhilarating.
For the past few months I have been desperate to arrange some time for H and I to do something just the two of us. We have always loved our Mummy and Henry time… It was just H for a long time (nature, it would seem, wanted to test us big time when it came to having a 2nd little bean) and I am so aware that life is very different for Henry now. Wonderful and absolutely brilliant. I mean what could be cooler than a little bro? But still, that one on one time is much harder now and it just felt like it would be a really positive thing to have some time together. Just us.
The boy is currently football mad. I am not sure when or how this happened because we are decidedly not football mad. Like in any way. But loves it he does. So I decided it would be nice to make the weekend about him and what he loves. Something memorable and special.
I discovered that the England Lionesses were playing an international game at Wembley, and as a total bonus they offer these incredibly cheap early bird tickets. Henry had absolutely loved watching them in the World Cup and it just seemed it was meant to be. Living down in beautiful Devon we don’t get to London very often, certainly not since having the boys. So actually this also gave the perfect opportunity to do a bit of London too.
I made little envelopes with clues for him, and he got to open these as the weekend unfolded to make it all an exciting surprise. When we got to London I gave him an envelope which had several different choices of activity in. He chose, to my absolute delight, visiting Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. What a little dude. Giving him the choice of adventure (we only had a limited time slot so couldn’t possibly have done everything!) worked really well. He loved having an input in to what we got up to over the weekend. They love a bit of ownership don’t they?! And never having been to London before it was magical for him to see the Palace and these places you see on TV. Simple really, but he loved it. He was like an excitable puppy all day. Bit exhausting actually!!
The football in fairness was ace. The atmosphere was incredible. I think being a Women’s game it just had such a lovely family atmosphere, and I am glad we chose this as his first experience of a big match. The local teams here don’t tend to get that kind of crowd…
And actually most adorable of all was how much he loved staying the night in a hotel with Mummy. Super cute. It just reminded me how much he loves adventure and doing new things. He literally takes everything in his stride. Never one to say no to something new. I love that about him.
If you are thinking of a weekend away like this, do it. Some seriously special memories. And he has asked me approximately 65.7 billion times since when we are going again. So I think he quite enjoyed it too.
Wild in the Woods
We have done a lot of walking in woods this Autumn and it has been glorious. Why? Big spaces that exhaust little adventurers, sticks aplenty, lots of mud, beautiful autumnal colours, great with family and friends. I have talked about our love of the woods before. I could talk about it forever. Its’s such a perfect adventure with children. We enjoyed the ‘Farmageddon’ trail at our local Haldon Woods on the weekend. If there is something similar near you check it out. It is a nice way to involve little adventurers in the walk, give them a focus and prevent the “are we done yet” scenario!!! We have all been there. It is painful.
This is a new adventure for Ralph and I. We’ve been keen to try a Forest School for a while now, but wanted him to be a good age for it in terms of actually being able to join in and get something out of it. Well we are only one session in but it was so lovely! Lots of freedom to roam and explore the woods, a little craft, a camp fire, a home made snack… What more could you want when you are nearly two? So nice to try something different, and in the great outdoors. Adventure Boy approved for sure.
Monday is normally a pretty dull start to the week… back to work and school and routine. We are very lucky to have Mondays together I know…and this has made it such a positive start to the week. That is what being outside does for you I think. Good for the soul. Plus it means a lovely post-adventuring toddler nap. Woop.
Perhaps the biggest adventure of late has been the opening of the Adventure Boy Shop. A-woo-hoo! This has taken up a great deal of our autumnal evenings as I am sure you can imagine. We still have lots of lovely designs we are working on but we were desperate to get it live for you all to see. We hope you like it! We are so chuffed with how it has come together and with the final designs. They are all hand designed by us and then turned in to awesome graphics by my husband ready for printing. The whole idea has been completely inspired by our own little adventure boys. We had got so fed up of the same old stuff for boys. Blue over here for boys. Pink over there for girls. And I know it is not all like that at all – there are some amazing things about, especially smaller, independent brands online. But man I find the high street dull at times.
We wanted something a bit more. Something that spoke of adventure and the outdoors, that inspired and celebrated our little adventurers. So the shop is the result! Organic cottons, vegan friendly inks, all eco friendly and sustainable in lovely recyclable packaging – fashion that is great quality and can be passed down from one adventurer to another. You can have a little peak by clicking here. We would love to know what you think.
Sooo that is autumn kind of wrapped up… Here’s to festive fun and wonderment. Love the magic of Christmas. Just not so keen on the To Do List before then!
In an effort to inspire and feel good about the shopping this year, we are trying to shop small (Holly Co. is running a fab shop independent campaign if you want to check it out). Any awesome recommendations welcome. We know how much it means to a small business and we hope we can support other awesome small businesses as we go.
And now? Now for a cup of tea… What winter evenings were made for.
Happy adventuring xx