Category Archives: Country Life

Celebrating Cherry Day with Cherry Good Juice

Picking Cherries with Cherry Good Juice

Last Thursday we got to enjoy an amazing day out celebrating National Cherry Day in Oxfordshire with the lovely people from Cherry Good Juice. I also got a chance to meet some other bloggers which is always great fun too, Leta from Attachment Mummy, Karin from Embrace Happy, Sara-Jayne from Keeping Up with the Jones Family and Sabina from Mummy Matters.

Picking Cherries with Cherry Good Juice

Cherry Good Juice drink is sweet, a touch tart and totally delicious, making it a great choice for all the family. I had never tasted Cherry Juice before and it reminded me of cranberry juice but yummier. Cherry Good is made from Montmorency cherries and if you are watching your calories they also have a Cherry Good Light that comes in at 32 calories a glass. Plus it won’t break the bank with a RRP of £1.50.

When I was younger I used to love going to ‘Pick Your Own’ Farms and collecting strawberries with my paper basket and trying not to eat them all as we picked them. PYO Farms don’t seem to be about as much these days and it is something I have never done with G before. Also I had never picked my own cherries before, only strawberries and raspberries, so a first for me too. We were invited to Q Gardens Farm Shop near Abingdon in Oxfordshire, they have a fabulous cherry orchard where you can wander through the trees and pick the juiciest cherries for your basket. The children had a fantastic time, seeking out the cherries that were ready to be picked. Although G refused to try a cherry he loved picking them and we came away with two punnets overflowing with delicious cherries. We had lots of fun searching out the ‘right’ colour of cherry to pick. There were also some amazing photos taken the very talented Jaqueline Cross, which we have been getting sneak peaks of from @CherryGoodJuice on Twitter.

Picking Cherries with Cherry Good Juice

Picking Cherries Cherry Good


Picking CherriesAt the Q Farm Shop there is also a great tea room, that is clearly extremely popular by the number of people who were having their lunch there. Outside there is a children’s play area with a great fort and huge sandpit that kept the children entertained all afternoon. In honour of National Cherry day we were treated a sumptuous picnic spread #CherryGoodPicnic that tasted as good as it looked!

Picking Cherries with Cherry Good Juice

Picking Cherries with Cherry Good Juice


Picking Cherries with Cherry Good Juice


Picking Cherries with Cherry Good JuiceWe really had the most fantastic day, spending time outdoors and doing something different. A big thank you to Cherry Good for our goody bags and cherries which we really enjoyed. I knew it was a hit when on Friday morning G came down asked for a glass of Cherry Good for breakfast!

Picking Cherries with Cherry Good Juice


Disclosure; we were guests of Cherry Good Juice for the day at Q Gardens Farm Shop and PYO


Insneezia-Do you realise you could be suffering?

insneezia, hayfever, insomnia sympton hayfever

Night time ‘insneezia’ hindering Brits summer shut eye

1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from hay fever, with an allergy to grass pollen being the most common type. Hay fever is a big deal in our household as my husband really suffers and it looks as though G could be following in his footsteps. Also living in the country means our pollen season can last quite a while.

Over the last few weeks Ed had been complaining of insomnia which I duly dismissed (being the caring wife that I am). That was until a really interesting email arrived in my inbox from Boots. The email was all about the problems of pollen and it’s effects on hay fever sufferers not stopping when the sun goes down.

Stats reveal that:

  •  64% of hayfever sufferers admit to suffering from ‘insneezia’ – the insomnia-esque impact of night time hayfever symptoms caused by pollen falling at the end of the day as the air cools.
  • On a typical summer night, insneezia sufferers say that they miss out on 72 minutes of sleep – which equals nearly five whole days across the months of June to August.
  • Itchy eyes (47%) and a blocked nose (45%) are the main symptoms that blight being able to nod off.  Additionally, 64% say it takes them longer to drop off as a result and an equal number (64%) find it harder to get back to sleep once they have been woken up.

Dr Peter Burt from the University of Greenwich has been quoted as saying;

“Hay fever sufferers may find that their symptoms get worse during the evening. This is because pollen rises into the lower atmosphere throughout the day and begins to fall back to the ground as the temperature drops – exposing hay fever sufferers to a higher level of pollen in the evening compared to earlier on in the day.”

It would seem that sufferes of ‘insneezia’ don’t just suffer at night.

62% report that insneezia impacts them the next day as well:

·         One in four report that they struggle the next day at work after a bad night’s sleep

·         22% say they are more argumentative with their loved ones

·         16% decline social events because of their sleepless nights

 It seems those suffering from insneezia will go to all sorts of lengths to relieve their symptoms, with 4% resorting to putting their heads in the freezer to try and provide some welcome relief! (We haven’t tried this in our house yet!)

Boots Pharmaceuticals have released some great advice for insneezia sufferers.

Angela Chalmers Boots UK Pharmacist comments: “Falling pollen at night doesn’t have to get in the way of a good night’s sleep if you take steps to keep your hay fever symptoms in check before your head hits the pillow. Most one-a-day anti-histamines are usually a 24 hour dose, so taking your daily dose at least 3 hours before you go to bed may help reduce symptoms throughout the night. Additionally, consider using a barrier nasal spray before bed, which can be more effective at treating more severe hay fever symptoms, as they create protective lining in the nasal passage reducing the inhalation of the allergens that are responsible for hay fever.” Boots have kindly sent Ed a sample of their nasal barrier spray to try, which has certainly helped ease his symptoms a little.

As regular readers to my blog know I love hacks to make our life smoother and simpler; so here are 5 Hacks for Hay Fever Sufferers.

hayfever, hayfever infographic, hacks


Silent Sunday 12.07.15

Village Hall Cotswolds

Professor Scrubbington’s Emporium of Clean Giveaway

Professor scrubbington playing parent

I recently discovered the amazing products from Professor Scrubbington after becoming slightly obsessed with the soap we received in our BritMums Live goody bags. It would appear I am in good company as Tatler also gave the Professor a rave review recently.

Professor P. Scrubbington has created a range of products designed to make keeping fresh and clean for little ones super easy.

“Here at Professor P. Scrubbington’s Emporium of Clean we specialise in creating personal care products specifically tailored to meet the needs of young people who want to take charge of their own ablutions (otherwise known as washing your bits). Careful study of the habits and hurdles involved has led me to devise the ultimate in soapy solutions: foams that stay on your hands and are easy to apply; dispensers that you can squeeze with one hand; natural ingredients that are effective and kind to your skin and the planet; fresh fragrances in place of the usual sugary scents.”

Professor Scrubbinton Product range

The smell of the products are out of this world and we have all started using them! They will definitely be coming with us on our camping holiday rather than us all having separate products as we have done in the past. Also with our life in the country G can get pretty mucky, as is often the case with 4 year old boys all over the world.

The range currently consists of 5 products individually priced at £5.00 per item but over on the website shop there are various offers and P&P is free if you spend over £10. They also come beautifully packaged so would make a wonderful gift for someone too.

Professor Scrubbington Emporium of Clean




Hair washing can be quite a fractious occasion in our house so I was interested to see if using a ‘foam’ rather than a traditional ‘liquid’ would make any difference. The foam came out of the dispenser easily and G was keen to apply it on his hair himself having been enjoying using the foam soap for a few weeks now. The foam washed off so quickly and easily that the hair washing was completed in the blink of an eye, leaving both me and the 4 year old astounded at how simple it had been. I even got the ultimate praise ‘your hair washing is much better than when Daddy does it’. I haven’t quite admitted yet that this is down to the Professor rather than my superior skills. For this alone I am now a total convert and will be sticking with Professor Scrubbington for a long time to come!

For your chance to win a selection of products from Professor Scrubbington’s Emporium of Clean please enter the competition below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given the products by Professor Scrubbington to review but all views and opinions are my own.



Top 10 Camping ‘must-have’ and ‘I want’ items

As  we are heading off camping this summer I thought I would share with you a list of my Top 10 ‘must have’ and ‘I want’ items. Last year we went camping to France and stayed on the wonderful Ile D’Oleron at a Camping Indigo site which you can read about here.

This year we still haven’t decided whether we are staying put in the British Isles or heading back to France. (We had better decide quick as we are off in 3 weeks time!) Wherever we do decide to spend our holiday there are some camping essentials we can’t live without and a few I want to take this year for the first time. I am a big believer in trying to make camping as comfortable as possible, especially when you are going camping as your main family get away for the year. Who want’s to come home feeling drained and shattered from roughing it for a week? You will need another holiday to get over it!


1. Blankets or Rugs

rugs camping

You can’t have enough of these. They look pretty and can add an extra layer of warmth and comfort if you get a chilly night. I found these on not on the high street from Ellie Ellie for £16.80 and they are made from recycled wool. Beautiful and ethical!


2. Bikes

bikes family

We always try to pick somewhere that has plenty of safe cycling. Who wants to be cycling with children near loads of traffic? Most campsites are great places for children to bike and scoot, but it is worth checking as I have seen a few recently where this has been banned!

3. Camping Gaz Party Grill


We bought ours nearly 8 years ago and it has been brilliant! It can grill and be a burner so we have got by with only this for our cooking needs. Plus it comes in a handy carry case making it easy to transport. You can get them here on Amazon for £47.99 well worth the cost.

4. Proper plates and cutlery


Having proper plates and cutlery to eat from really makes a huge difference to your mind set when it comes to camping food. We bought some cheap ones from IKEA that if they broke wouldn’t make me too sad. The one in the picture is 50p!

5. A good table


We have a great table that stores these 4 chairs neatly inside. Again sitting at a table to eat really makes a big difference rather than having to always eat off your lap.

6. A good penknife


This is an invaluable piece of kit and who does it better than the Swiss?  This one pictured comes in at under £20.

7. A cosy jumper


You can’t beat having a cosy jumper to keep you warm on chilly nights. This one pictured is a cashmere and merino mix from Woolovers and is currently on offer for £30.

8.  A big bag for everything


I bought one similar to this in France years ago and it comes everywhere with us. It is great for taking toys, going to the beach or shopping at the market. I found this one on not on the high street from Bohemia for £22.

The two items I really want for this year are

9. An enamel teapot

enamel teapot

I love my tea and spied this gorgeous teapot on not on the high street  from Baker + Bell for £17.

10. Professor Scrubbington’s Emporium of Clean

emporium of clean

These amazing smellies from the people at Professor Scrubbington are designed for kids but are too good to be just for them. They smell amazing and being made from aloe vera are kind to everyone. These will really save on space as the whole family can use them. £20 for the complete set of products from Professor Scrubbington.

Do you have any must have or I want items for your camping trips? I would love to hear what they are.




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A Cornish Mum

Instagram tips with Emily Quinton

flowers in a window

Last Friday I was lucky enough to go to a workshop on Instagram tips with the amazing Emily Quinton. The workshop was a double whammy as not only is Emily one of the most talented and inspirational photographers about but the event was held at The Hambledon, a gorgeous shop located within the grounds of one of my favourite places in Gloucestershire, Cowley Manor.

The Hambledon is one of those shops where you feel as though you could move in and be quite happy to live there. They have a great range of quirky home ware, coffee table books to die for and the most gorgeous selection of clothes. I really had to restrain myself and only bought a couple of items and my copy of Maker Spaces.

Maker Spaces by Emily Quinton

Emily has just published her first book called ‘Maker Spaces’. The book showcases the homes and studios of some of the worlds finest ‘makers’, highlighting their style, inspirations and what drives them in their creativity.

(If you click on the image it will take you to Amazon)

Emily Quinton Maker Spaces

The Hambledon, Cowley

The workshop group was very small so we had an amazing opportunity to ask Emily tons of questions and find out how she works. The one thing that amazed me the most was that all her pictures on Instagram are taken with her iPhone and not some super expensive camera.

Emily is very much known for her images of flowers and all things floral, posting a flower based image to Instagram each morning. She talked through how to get inspiration from props and colours and to not be afraid to experiment. The workshop has really made me think about

  1. how I use my phone to take pictures
  2. how I think about the light and texture in my pictures
  3. what I take my pictures of

If you have a look on my Instagram account I think you will see a definite shift in my style (which I hope you think is for the better 😉 ) Emily really stressed about listening to what you like and what inspires you rather than trying to follow a certain tribe or style. I think being real to yourself is brilliant advice in any area of your life and not just blogging/photography.


Do you use Instagram? I am hooked and really love looking through peoples images, in fact since last week I have been far more on Instagram than twitter. I would love to know how and why you use Instagram.


Pregnancy Photo shoot in the Cotswolds

Last week I was lucky enough to get the chance to photograph my beautiful friend Nadia who is 7 months pregnant. I met Nadia and her now husband Glenn a few years ago when we ran the village pub and we hit it off straight away. Glenn is from Australia and Nadia is Canadian so when they got together they decided to live in a ‘neutral’ spot and ended up in our corner of the Cotswolds.

Without sounding all gushy and fake, meeting them and having them as friends in our lives has been incredibly special. They are the kindest people and their wedding last year was one of the most beautiful I have ever been too. When Nadia asked me to take some shots of her pregnant I was so flattered! I also felt very anxious to create some beautiful pictures as I really wanted her Mum on the other side of the Atlantic to see how gorgeous her daughter is looking whilst pregnant. Her Mum loved them so I feel as though I achieved my brief!!

It was really hard to choose my favourite pictures to share here but I managed to keep it down to just a few! I hope you like them and would love to know what you think? Did you have a pregnancy photo shoot?

pregnancy outdoor pose bump in the woods heart pregnancy pose woodland pregnancy pose natural light pregnancy pose natural light black & white pregnancy pregnancy glow black and white pregnancy picture black and white natural light relaxed pregnancy pose

Family Command Centres for the Drop Zone

I am totally addicted to Pintrest and use it to get tons of ideas for crafts, interiors and children’s activities. Families in the USA seem to have some great ideas for keeping organised which if you are on here regularly know that this is something I am always trying to be better at. One of the things I have come across are ‘Family Command Centres’ which always seem to look stylish and practical (and oh so ever organised). We are fortunate to have quite a big entrance hall but the downside of this is that it can become a real dumping ground. This is called the ‘drop zone’ or ‘landing strip’ in super organised circles (I believe) and I have been coming across some gorgeous  ‘Drop Zone Command Centre’ pins.

Hallway ideas from

Hallway ideas from

Hallway organisation found on

Hallway organisation found on

Upcycled lovliness found at

Upcycled lovliness found at

Super neat hallway found on Pintrest

Super neat hallway found on Pintrest

One of my best friend’s has just moved house and her husband had made the most amazing shelf unit out of some simple wood and then it had been painted – guess what? – in my beloved chalk paint. I just fell in love with it. I was a very lucky girl and was made my own as a birthday present, to the dimensions I wanted for the exact spot I plan to create our ‘drop zone’ or ‘landing strip’ organisation centre. I am afraid that this will be a bit of a project that will be on the back burner with Christmas coming up but as soon as it is all set up I will be sharing my before and after pictures.

Would love to hear if you have anything similar or great ideas for hallway organisation. If you want to have a look at all the great ideas I have pinned you can check out my Pintrest board here

Follow Dominique’s board Family Command Centres on Pinterest.

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All Things Wild, Evesham, Worcestershire


 A while back we were recommended to visit The Domestic Wildfowl Trust just outside of Evesham in Worcestershire, there is lots more there than just chickens now and it has been rebranded as All Things Wild. We are very close to Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park so have never ventured further than here for our farm experiences with G. All Things Wild which has a great range of experiences for children from an indoor soft play to the most amazing dinosaur trail.

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The dinosaur trail is in a huge field (which if there has been any rain I recommend taking wellies, it was a bit boggy when we visited) that has a great range of dinosaurs for your dinosaur mad children to be occupied for quite a while. There is also a great fossil hunting sandpit that G loved and played in quite happily on his own for quite a while which is always a bonus.

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We were so impressed with the great range of animals including gerbils, chickens, goats, ferrets and turkeys to name a few of the outdoor ones with snakes, lizards and terrapins inside that we signed up for a year’s family membership. They also took off our entrance fee from our visit that day from the price of the Annual Pass. The soft play and indoor tractors are great for under 7’s if the weather isn’t being kind and there are comfy sofas provided for watching your little ones exhaust themselves in the soft play area whilst you can enjoy a latte from the café. The café is very reasonably priced, so much so it probably works out cheaper than a picnic with the amount we end up taking with us. It is all home cooked on the premises, so it isn’t the quickest, but well worth the wait.

Yesterday we decided to pop down for a visit as Tractor Ted was there. G has been a big fan of Tractor Ted for a while now. The DVD’s are great and can highly recommend them if you have children into big machines and anything outdoorsy. The DVD’s are very educational and the songs will annoy you so much but you will never get them out of your head!  It is these add on days that really make having the annual pass worthwhile as we only popped down for a couple of hours but it was just enough for us yesterday.

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As a family we really rate this place and would certainly recommend a visit if you are local or visiting the area. (I should add as well that this post is NOT a sponsored post in any way and all the views and opinions come completely as our own.)

Entertaining Elliot