BEAR’s Paws Outdoors – Summer Holiday Garden Games

How was your summer? The holidays here just seemed to whizz by in a happy blur this year! A lot of the summer break was grey and rainy, but luckily the August bank holiday was just perfect gorgeous weather – much needed before the return to school (and the start of proper school for Joe!) As always, we have been getting outdoors as much as possible and making the most of the full range of all the summer weather.

We were recently sent some fun wildlife adventure kits by BEAR, who are teaming up with Wildlife Trusts again this year to work together with the aim of getting more ‘Paws Outdoors’, or little ones outside in the wild! With one activity for every letter of the alphabet there was plenty to keep my little bear cubs busy!

The clear first choice for both of them was the apple game! We carefully threaded string through an apple and attached it to our washing line! Doesn’t this sound like basis of a good old-fashioned summer holiday game? Using a stopwatch to ensure fairness, Mia and Joe took it in turns to see who could take the most bites of the apple. Much more difficult than they had both expected, and almost impossible once they got the giggles!

Joe’s little face says it all, as he turned around and got bumped on the head by an apple. They played the game for ages, which was lovely to see. It can be a bit of battle some days to persuade them outdoors and away from the screens of tv and computer games. Especially over the summer holidays it’s always great for them to have some new games and plenty of outdoors time.

You might see the passion flower in our garden blooming in the background of some of the pictures. I couldn’t resist sharing a close up, as it really is glorious. Such a wonderful plant to have inherited with our new garden and quite a surprise when it started growing in early summer.

As well as a few bites of apple from the game, Mia and Joe always rely on BEAR’s fruity snacks for a healthy tummy-filler between meals. After all of that running around the garden their choice was Arctic Paws in raspberry and blueberry flavour. All BEAR Paws are made with 100% pure fruit and are baked into delicious (and very cute!) paw shapes. With no-added nonsense, no added sugars or preservatives they are an excellent healthy option.

Mia and Joe are always changing their minds about which are their favourite BEAR Paw flavours – they love them all, but I think their current winners are the Dino Paws in strawberry and apple flavour for Joe and the Safari Paws in mango and strawberry flavour for Mia! There is a good range of BEAR Paw flavours, which also includes Jungle Paws (apple and blackcurrant) as well as the Arctic Paws they are snacking through here!

Always up for a nature challenge, Joe chose another activity to follow the apple game. Using a collection of leaves, pebbles, sticks and other findings from the garden, he made some lovely rubbings with crayons onto white paper. Having made something similar at nursery a few weeks ago, he decided he was quite the expert at this, and was bossing Mia around (for a change!) with instructions on how to colour the leaves and paper properly.

They both got really involved with the outdoor activities in the wildlife adventure kits. Although our fun afternoon was eventually rained off, they happily retreated indoors with their leaf pictures to stick on the kitchen fridge, and Wildlife Trust reward stickers for doing so well!

The fun alphabet BEAR cards can be collected in every multipack of BEAR Paws. Perfect for little ones making up their own alphabet-themed outdoor activities.

For more BEAR fun take a look at:

BEAR Nibbles on Facebook


As part of the BEAR Happy by Nature team we are happy to work with them on this collaborative post.





Dining Room Makeover & A Concrete Pendant Light Review

Concrete pendant lamp

I am so happy to finally share some home makeover pictures with you! Since moving into our new home in mid-April I have been busy planning, and decorating and shopping to make the place feel more like home. I must have started decorating projects in pretty much every room in the house now, but only one room is actually completely (well, almost) finished

Concrete pendant lamp

The dining room was previously a really awful shade of bright citrus yellow, that I cannot imagine would look good in any space. I managed to put up with the yellow colour for about a week before I had to paint it. I gave the walls a couple of coats of pure brilliant white emulsion, before adding a little colour back with Farrow & Ball’s Strong White. I love the colour; it changes with the light throughout the day and is so gentle and warm. The dining room is in the middle of the house and has no windows, so very little natural light. The right colour walls and good lighting choices were always going to be important to make this room work well.

And flowers too of course; there’s always a vase of something on the table. At the moment, a few slightly sorry-for-themselves delphiniums from the garden. They were damaged in a heavy rain storm, but far too pretty to throw away.

I have always loved the idea of a dining table with low pendant light over it. My home and dining room boards on
Pinterest have been filled with rustic and industrial well-lit dining areas for years and it’s a style I am always drawn to. Our previous home had a dining space within the kitchen, and there was definitely no option of adding seperate lighting to the old space just for the table. The main light here is the rough sand concrete pendant from First Choice Lighting, and works so well over the table. The gentle muted colour coordinates well with the wall colour and the Annie Sloan painted dresser in the corner of the room. It’s the texture I really love though; rough concrete is the perfect description, it’s somewhere between industrial factory and beach pebble! It’s a real focal point, when switched on or off, and it’s curved pendant shape helps to break up the straight lines and edges of the room and make it feel more homely.

This is what I like to think of as my corner of the dining room; my old rocking chair, cosy sheepskin and a few comfy cushions. It’s the perfect spot for reading, or just drinking tea and planning the day.

I love the bookcase space that the dresser provides, just enough for most of my cookbooks and a few of my Observer guides! The cupboards underneath are perfect for storing all of Mia and Joe’s craft supplies. They have so many pens, paints, crayons, not to mention the playdough, stickers and ink stamps. It’s essential for the art materials to have their own space, at child-height, so they can help themselves. Plus the dresser doors mean I can hide the clutter away.

dining room pendant light

The pendant light over the table lights up the corner of the room too, and is lovely in the evening, with just the right glow. It is just the right height over the table, to light the room, but not so low that we bump our heads on it.

I had to share the very top of the dresser too, so please ignore the dust that I’m sure has collected up there! My lovely jade plant, dala horse and moon print from The Seventy Tree.

As with all rooms, I always have plans to make small changes and add something new to the space. So, I’ll never say that a room is completely finished, but for now, I have a dining room I can live with quite happily. Next up is my bedroom, which we have taken back to it’s bare bones (I may have ripped up the carpet, underlay and plyboards one afternoon in the hope of discovering amazing 1920s floorboards!) and are gradually restoring, new flooring and everything. I will share a few photos of the bedroom makeover as soon as it has skirting boards and furniture again!



First Choice Lighting kindly provided the concrete pendant light for review. All words and opinions provided are my own.