Summer afternoons picking elderflowers

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning convinced I had missed the elderflower season this year. I dashed out as soon as I was up, sure that I would have missed the best of the crop! I find time every year to make elderflower cordial, even the summer when Joe was born (full heartfelt story here).

A busy couple of weeks had meant that the elderflowers had to wait this year, but luckily opposite our house is the perfect lane for picking them. It’s quite shaded by lots of other trees, so a week or so behind the main season, and I was so happy to find that there were hundreds still in bloom, calming the elderflower anxiety (first world drama crisis, ahem).

It was also the perfect opportunity to try out my new to me Bobbin bike (committed eBay searching does pay off eventually!) and so I combined a cycle ride with elderflower collecting. The bike’s lovely wicker basket was the perfect thing for collecting and transporting the flowers safely home. Even if my family all laughed at me for being a massive blogger/IG cliche!

I hadn’t ridden a bike for over ten years and had forgotten how much fun it is; just complete exhilerating freedom, cycling down a country lane in the sunshine…it was a complete rediscovered childhood pleasure, just blissful. As Mia accurately summed up the moment, ‘oh Mummy, I didn’t know you could ride a bike…now we can cycle to the cafe together!’ She has only just learned to ride her bike after a long-standing lack of cycling confidence and some previous nasty falls. So we cycled along, collecting elderflowers like something from an Enid Blyton novel, wishing that every day could be like this. But if it was we would end up with a large amount of elderflower cordial and really achey legs!

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Let’s Be Secret Detectives

It can sometimes be difficult with Mia and Joe’s five year age gap to find an activity that captures both of their imaginations. Luckily a very exciting parcel arrived just before the half term holidays from the lovely people at BEAR nibbles. After much excitement unwrapping the parcel (always half the fun!) they were delighted to find a secret spy and invisible ink kit…complete with disguise of course!

It was so good to see how they both wanted to dress up, get into character and create some top secret messages straight away. Written with a paintbrush and lemon juice and then dried over a radiator until the secret message appears. Mia was a too impatient to wait for the radiator to dry her message and so (carefully supervised!) used a hairdryer on a low setting to dry her paper.

It worked quite well…although I suspect a little more patience with the drying process would have been rewarded with the lemon juice ink drying darker. But hey, it was about the fun of enjoying the activity rather than perfection!

As well as agreeing on how much fun it was to dress up like secret spies, Mia and Joe always agree on how yummy BEAR nibbles are. I am so glad that they love them, as they are such a healthy and convenient snack. I pop a couple in my bag for days out, and they are great for lunchboxes. They view them as a treat, the mango yoyos are a favourite with both of them, and I’m happy for them to have them as they are pure fruit without added sugar. It’s actually surprisingly difficult to find snacks, even for really young children, without any sugar or other nasties added in.

BEAR describe how they make their goodies as “real ingredients that grow on trees and fields and bake them gently. If anyone tried to sneak sugar, concentrates or any other nonsense into our foods, we’d bite their heads off.” I love this, it sums up their tasty, healthy snacks so well!

BEAR have recently launched Super Spy cards, which are perfect for collecting and swapping. I love the artwork on them too, so cute. If your little ones collect the cards they can send them to BEAR’s Super Spy Cave to receive a free Spy Kit…how exciting! More info is on their website and twitter:  http://www.bearnibbles.co.uk/ and @Follow_The_Bear

Happy faces on both of my little BEAR cub detectives, who are convinced now that they are super spies…MI5 watch out!

 

BEAR kindly sent us a box of pure fruit yoyos and a secret spy disguise. All opinions given are my own…and my two little secret spies!
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