Every year a magical event takes place as part of Voluntary Arts Week – The Woollen Woods. Woodlands across the country become inhabited with all manner of knitted (or crocheted) creatures to the delight of thousands of visitors. It all started last year with seven woods (of which Derbyshire was one) and this year it grew even bigger. This was the second year I’d had the pleasure of joining in with the Derbyshire Woollen Woods held in Belper Parks Wood. It was such a huge success that I felt compelled to share a few pics (and videos) for those who couldn’t manage to make it along.
It took months of hard work by local crafters (and a few further afield) to make enough pieces to decorate the majority of Belper Woods but as you can hopefully see from these pics it was definitely worth it. The creations were displayed between 7-15th May this year and the response we received was absolutely wonderful. We even had some visitors travel quite a distance for a day out in our Woolly Wonderland!I believe there’s a special childlike joy that only magical woolly creatures can bring and with that in mind here’s a few of my favourite pieces (not made by me) and two mini video tours.
If looking through this post has got you itching to get involved with the Derbyshire event then pop over to >Anne Clark Handmade and send Anne an email. Anne organised the Derbyshire Woollen Woods for both years and we’ve also yarn bombed several other events including local festivals, Christmas decorations, the hospital, museum and much more!
If you weren’t lucky enough to be able to visit a Woollen Woods this year then keep your eyes peeled on the >Voluntary Arts Week website for details of the event next year.
To see some pics of last years Woollen Woods check out my 2015 post.
Children love crisps. Parents love healthy snacks. Can you see the obvious problem with those two statements? Crisps are not traditionally thought of as a healthy alternative, sure they’re made of potatoes but they’re smothered in coatings, fried and salted. It doesn’t exactly scream ‘eat me, I’m good for you!’ Walkers have done their best to try and create a snack that is both low in fat, full on flavour and appealing to kids with new Mighty Lights, but have they managed it? I was so inspired by these snacks that I made this short/silly animation with my husband, kids and musically inclined brother (we’re a creative family) all about this most heroic of nibbles!
As you can probably tell from the video we are now firm fans, but make sure to read the review to find out why. This is appropriately timed given that this is the last week of Summer holidays for children across the land (not in Scotland though, they’re already back at school) lunchbox fillers are being carefully considered during the mad dash to buy shoes and uniform.
First up here’s the stats on Mighty Lights:
They contain 30% less fat than standard crisps
They are available in three flavours – Roast Chicken, Cheese and Onion, Lightly Salted
All the flavours are suitable for vegetarians
Made from real potatoes
No artificial colours or preservatives
A source of fibre
Available nationwide now!
That’s enough to satisfy most of us parents, but if they don’t stack up on taste and appeal I think their healthy credentials will fall flat with the little ones.
First up Taste
I’m actually eating a bag of Lightly Salted while writing this review so I can accurately describe the taste. They don’t taste immediately healthy (perhaps a good thing as far as kids are concerned) but your fingers aren’t left with a salty oily slick or burn that traditional crisps can cause.
Lightly salted – the flavour is gentle but by no means lacking, I’m not a huge fan of Salt & Vinegar but I can happily eat these.
Cheese & Onion – I am a long time admirer of Walkers Cheese & Onion crisps, these have the same flavour but less fat… I’m sold!
Roast Chicken – Again these taste very similar to normal Walkers chicken crisps, the flavour has not been sacrificed at all.
Crunchy, ridged and in no way inferior to traditional crisps, just less greasy.
Value for Money
I found a 6 pack of Mighty Lights on sale for between £1 – £1.79 in various supermarkets, this seems in line with other brands. Some healthy crisps contain hardly anything when you look inside the bag (it’s no wonder they’re healthy, you’re barely eating them!) These contain a decent amount and are enough for one snack.
Will kids enjoy them in their lunchboxes?
I asked mine and the responses were:
Crispy G – Yes, because they’re really healthy and they are tasty and they’re the greatest crisps in the world!
Snacky I – Yes, because they are really nice and you can find different shapes (she’s referring to the heart shaped one she found below) and they’re mighty!
Munchy N – Yes, because they’re tasty!
A parents view
I’ll admit it, I don’t overly worry about the fat content of the food my kids eat, they’re all so active and skinny it’s not really an issue. However additives, preservatives and colourings are things I worry about, with so many horror stories it’s easy to get confused and concerned about the health implications. Therefore I’ll avoid them when I can and I particularly like products that make this choice easy for me. For this reason alone I like Mighty Lights, they’re also incredibly convenient for days out and picnics.
Would I recommend Mighty Lights
I’d be happy to, they are one simple change without sacrifice to a healthier lifestyle.
Could they be improved at all?
Most definitely, they will not be perfect until Walkers make them in Bacon flavour! 🙂
Mighty Lights are available nationwide now!
For more info visit their website www.walkersmightylights.co.uk
Last Saturday my family and I travelled to Warwick Castle to meet Mike the Knight as part of a weekend organized to celebrate series two launching. The castle in conjunction with Hit Entertainment had arranged a selection of Mike themed activities. If you fancy crying ‘Be a Knight, do it Right’ Mike will be back at the castle again this coming weekend (6-7 July).
To say my children were excited would be an understatement, however my heart sank when I saw a queue at the castle ticket office (I imagined hours of waiting in line for each attraction).Thankfully this was not the case as everything was very well organized and only the Face Painting had a long queue.
The Mike the Knight area was set in little Medieval style tents and children were given booklets listing all the activities. As each activity was completed they were given a sticker and if they finished them all they received a prize (it’s a flag). The adults in charge of each event stayed in character throughout and seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the kids having fun!
My little knights started by taking a Wizard Workshop with Mike’s sister Evie. They watched as she pulled things out of a bag and helped her to cast magic spells and create something out of thin air.
Next they took to their (hobby) horses and galloped to victory in a race. The Knight in charge of this event had all the parents in stitches as he organised our kids; he had endless patience as they ran in the wrong direction, set off in twos or just generally caused chaos!
A little castle building, target shooting and face painting later we made an orderly queue and waited to meet Mike himself. He stood happily as each child came to meet him in front of the beautiful castle backdrop!
Everywhere we walked the Mike the Knight theme tune played through speakers concealed in bushes and trees 🙂 We finished by joining Sparke and Squirt’s Dragon Egg Hunt. This went all over the grounds and certainly gave the children some exercise (and the parents a chance to admire the views). We all had a fabulous time and if you have any Mike fans at home I thoroughly recommend going to meet him.
That wasn’t the end of our day though, we had the whole of Warwick Castle to explore! I have many childhood memories of visiting the castle and after reading some reviews online I wondered if I would still enjoy it. I did 🙂 The castle sometimes receives criticism for being part of the Merlin group and people accuse it of being more like a theme park than a historical monument. However I feel this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes it is owned by Merlin, yes there are photos you can buy and gift shops to visit but the Castle is very much aware of it’s past and importance in British history.
There are little rooms all around the walls with wax figures dreaming on the eve of battle, or ghosts squealing down staircases. I suppose this might not be to everyones taste, but for a child this really brings the castle to life! There’s no standing around looking bored while Mum and Dad read a plaque on the wall, here they can watch the story unfold and get involved with the action.
We visited the Princess Tower, where my daughter was picked to test a stack of 7 mattresses to see if she could feel the pea (she could, she’s a princess! 🙂 ). We went through the Merlin Tower where my son was spoken to by a dragon and somehow they knew my daughter’s name and warned her to use her powers for good (she was astounded and promised faithfully that she would).
We saw bald eagles and owls flying between the battlements and knights teaching us why metal shields would never have worked before chopping apples held in someones hand! It was thoroughly educational and more importantly… it was alive!
For more information on Warwick Castle and the Mike the Knight event click here.
To find out more about Mike the Knight visit his website here.
If you would like to support Angel Eden by adding our button to your site, please use the code below. Thank you.