When the weather is fine, you know it’s the time…

For messing about on the river canal! Earlier in the week I told you about our day out in the countryside with Nature Valley. I posted some pictures of my son and I feeding the ducks. We also went for a little stroll along the canal. It was cold and there still isn’t much greenery, but overall the weather was fine and there were some beautiful scenes which I thought I’d share with you all. The picture above (my favourite) shows you a beech tree which has a little bridge to keep it’s roots from touching the water.

These reeds might not look much right now, but they made fantastic reflections on the water.

The ground was rather muddy underfoot, so it was definitely a day for wellies (still hankering after my own pair of brightly coloured Hunters).

Overall there was a hopeful feeling that Spring was on the way, buds were showing and what greenery there was looked very bright.

Looking across the canal we could see some very pretty countryside, the kind that makes you spontaneously break into a round of ‘Land Of Hope & Glory’. Thankfully I refrained, but we’re certainly very lucky to live close enough to visit nature spots like this. Do any of you have a favourite place you like to visit?

A Day Out With Nature Valley!

A short while ago the good people at Nature Valley contacted me to ask if I’d like to try some of their Granola bars. I have only tried one of these before and my memory of that bar meant I was more than happy to agree. I was even more happy when the postman handed me a large box containing all these wonderful goodies!

There was also a letter suggesting that I follow the Nature Valley ethos and have a day out in the countryside. So I packed my lovely bag of things and my son and I went to a Derbyshire nature trail to feed some ducks. It was a little chilly so I was very grateful for the gloves and flask.

As for the bars, well I’m not sure I know where to start. I am completely in love with them, particularly the Nature Valley Trail Bars. I genuinely felt quite hungry while we were out and the bread we had bought for the ducks didn’t really appeal. But the Mixed Berry Trail Bar was not only yummy, but definitely staved off the hunger. I was so impressed that I plan on keeping a few bars in the car in case of snack emergencies.

I did manage to share the bars with my family (believe me there was a big pull to keep them all for myself) and everyone loved them. The children particularly took to the Canadian Maple Syrup Granola Bars (no big surprise there then).

I also suggest you check the Nature Valley Secret Spots website, it has a wealth of information to help you find the hidden nature gems in your area. I will be referring to it myself over the coming months.

So over the next few days why not take a moment to explore the hidden nature spots in your area.

If you’d like to try Nature Valley bars for yourself you can buy them at most major supermarkets. If you’d like to keep up with Nature Valley events and promotions you can follow them on twitter or facebook.

Simple Pleasures

I’ve been feeling quite stressed recently, I think when you run your own business some level of stress is inevitable. But how do you combat this when you feel the tension rising? One of my favourite things is to take a walk, no specific destination, just getting outside and clearing your mind for a while. I think a lot of pleasure (and stress relief) can be gained by taking in your surroundings and enjoying the beauty around you. I’ve taken a few pictures to show you my favourite things that I discovered.

There’s something quite romantic about a gate that leads to nowhere. This one probably hasn’t been opened in years.

Dandelions might annoy me when they invade the vegetables, but they also remind me of being little and gently blowing the seeds away to tell the time.

If you’ve looked at our jewellery you’ll probably know that I love the beauty in old doorways and houses. Even the woodwork on an old fence post can inspire.

Wildflowers are always a pleasure, I especially love the vibrant summer yellow of buttercups. Another memory of holding them up to skin to see if you like butter.

When the weather is as good as it has been recently getting outdoors seems like a must. What delights do you find near your home?

A final note to say a huge big thank you to everyone who has voted for the blog in the Dorset Cereal little blog awards. We are currently in 2nd place! I’m over the moon, it was so exciting to be nominated and even more so now we’re doing so well. Voting ends at the end of the month I believe, so if you haven’t voted please do, just click on the button on the top right. It only takes a second and you’ll make my smile even larger 🙂