Monday, 29 June 2015

Living Arrows 26/52

This weeks portraits for Living arrows were taken during Armed Forces Day. It was an amazing day, the children had so much fun eating ice cream, riding in the military cars and playing soldiers. 

“You are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth" Kahlil Gibran

seaside, living arrows, plymouth, waterfront, portraits
armed forces day, plymouth, plymouth hoe
armed forces day, plymouth hoe, waterfront, plymouth bloggers, theatre royal, plymouth, things to do in plymouth, events, devon, fun, ice-cream

Linking up to Living arrows with Shutterflies

Sunday, 28 June 2015

My Sunday Photo: Armed forces day

This weeks 'my Sunday Photo' was taken on Saturday during the armed forces day celebrations in Plymouth. We were all sat on the green watching the military wives choir sing their hearts out on the main stage. My little sister and my two boys really enjoyed the day, especially the ice cream as you can see in the photo. 

Armed forces day, plymouth, plymouth bloggers, navy, fun, my sunday photo, sunday, harry, alfie, zoella, plymouth hoe, july, devon, military

Linking up to my Sunday photo

Friday, 26 June 2015

Country Kids: Our recent trip to Dartmoor Zoo

Last Saturday we decided to head to Dartmoor Zoo in Devon, somewhere we have been desperate to visit for a little while now as they now have a new male Lion and Jaguar. The last time we visited was way back in November which you can see here  so we were way overdue a visit. You may know the zoo from the film 'We brought a zoo' which is based on the story of Dartmoor zoo's owner Benjamin Mee. I cried watching that film because I spent so many happy memories at the zoo as a child and it gave me the dream of becoming a zoo keeper one day, a dream I still have. 

I am kicking myself for not taking enough photos of the beautiful zoo especially the fact that we completely missed out seeing Chincha the new Jaguar and a few of the other animals. We will have to return again during the holidays to see him but the zoo has a blog if you are interested to see what he looks like:  

On arrival, we took the long path up to the main part of the zoo stopping briefly to say hello to the Cabybaras who were sleeping by the river. The boys main aim was to get to the new African male lion, Jasiri. We have met him before at his old home in Newquay Zoo so were looking forward to saying hello in his new enclosure. Jasiri was fast asleep when we arrived which I guess is typical of cats. I told the boys to be very quiet to not wake him up. Thomas took this seriously as you can see from the photo below because Alfie was not so quiet.

I don't know if the boys shouts woke him up or if he heard the peacock calling in the distance, but he sat up and gave us a bit of an evil stare. 

Around the corner from the male lion's enclosure lives his future mate Josie who I think they will be introducing to each other soon. Josie has been at the zoo for a long time and she is one of my favourite animals to come and watch. She is normally very active, loud and playful but today she was laying in the grass soaking up the sunshine. 

I think one of the most popular enclosures at the zoo is the two meerkat houses. There are always lots of people watching them run around, stand guard, and sleep. There are two family groups, one by the Jaguar restaurant located near the entrance of the zoo which is more open and currently has a few little babies. The second just below the big cat enclosures and has a nice viewing window into their sleeping quarters.

Last time we visited Dartmoor zoo Thomas brought a stuffed otter from the gift shop so he asked me if he could bring it back today to show it to the two gorgeous Asian short clawed otters at the zoo. One of the otters seemed to like it as he kept running up and down past Thomas while looking up at the teddy. They are called Jonsi and Attitude and are just  the cutest little things, especially when they squeak at you.

Beside the otters is a racoon which the boys loved. He wasn't doing much other than cleaning himself but as the boys love the film Guardians of the galaxy, which features a raccoon if you haven't seen it, they really enjoyed seeing him.

Our very last stop was to see Fudge and Hayley the two brown bears who are both older than I am and looking very well. They were cuddled up together in amongst the wild flowers soaking up the sunshine. One of the bears just about managed to lift their head for me to snap this photo of them before falling back to sleep.

When heading back to the car we had realised that we missed out on seeing quite a lot of animals as we either missed them out completely or they were hidden away in their houses sleeping. The zoo also has Wolves, a Jaguar, Cheetah, lynx, Tapirs, Monkeys, Various exotic birds, reptiles and so much more. Dartmoor Zoo really is a special place and if you are ever in the area I would recommend that you stop for a visit.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Through my child's eyes #14

Hello and welcome back to Through my child's eyes, the link up for mini photographers and artists. The link up was started when my eldest son Alfie started to show an interest in photography. He wanted me to put his photos on my blog and also he wanted to see if other children like to take photos too. The Linky will run from Thursday to Saturday, so plenty of time to link up your posts. 

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This weeks set of photos for Through my child's eyes comes from our lovely father's day sunday which we spent with family. All the photos taken that day were by Alfie including a beautiful shot of my dad with his new grandson and his youngest daughter which you can see on my Instagram here. I didn't feel comfortable with posting their faces on my blog without their permission but I wanted to show you four of the photos that I am in love with. Alfie took them while playing with his Aunty and Brother around the gorgeous gardens of Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall and I am amazed at how great these photos are for an eight year old. 

Mount Edgcumbe

The Linky 

  • Please add my badge to your posts 
  • Link up your children's artwork or photos, with or without words is fine
  • It will run from Thursday 12am till Saturday
  • Can be old or new and as many as you like
  • When you add your link, please make sure they lead to your posts and not your blog's homepage. It may be difficult for me to find. 
  • Share your link up on twitter using #throughmychildeyes and tag me @gemma_stevens so I know to retweet and comment on your post. 
  • Try and comment on other posts in the link up. 
  • Feel free to link your Instagram photos too
  • Enjoy working together

I look forward to seeing the photos and artwork your children have created recently. Please help me make #throughmychildseyes a success by sharing the link up across your social media and by adding my badge to your posts.
Through my child's eyes


Monday, 22 June 2015

Living Arrows 25/52 Photos from our weekend

This weeks portraits for Living arrows were taken during our very busy weekend. We managed to get through so many different experiences some of which I haven't included in this post but I really wanted to share some of my favourite captures of the children. 

“You are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth" Kahlil Gibran

dartmoor zoo, bears, childhood, fun, lol, living arrows, photo, blogger, plymouth bloggers,
pepsi, coke, drink, ice, cold, dartmoor zoo, fun, bears, plymouth, living arrows, 25/52
lion, male lion, dartmoor zoo, dartmoor, zoo, devon, plymouth blogger, plymouth bloggers, cornwall, day out, days out,

We spent the first part of saturday at Dartmoor Zoo in Devon. The weather was gorgeous and for a change, the animals were all awake and active, well expect for the lion above. Thomas tried to stop his brother from waking him up. 

living arrows
smile, cheese, game of thrones, lancelot, knight, game, sword, childhood, photo blog, tots 100, gemma, family, parent blogger,
Thomas, photography, plymouth, living arrows

On Sunday it was fathers day and so we arranged to meet all the family in the beautiful grounds of Mount Edgcumbe park to celebrate. 

Linking up to Living arrows. 
Living Arrows


Sunday, 21 June 2015

My Sunday Photo

dartmoor zoo, lion, zoo, male,
Tired, yawn, zoo, dartmoor zoo
dartmoor zoo, shy, exhausted, bored, yawn, cat, big cat, zoo, lion, male lion, fluffy, hiding,



Friday, 19 June 2015

My favourite websites and apps I use for blogging

When I sit down and work on my blog I will use both my phone and laptop, sometimes at the same time, for keeping up to date with social media and for writing up a new blog post. I love using my mobile the most though as its useful as a tool for inspiration, note taking, editing photos, social sharing and commenting on other blogs. The laptop is only really used for the more complicated blog posts that are photo heavy and require a lot of editing.
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I have been blogging for a while now and I have managed to fill an A4 piece of paper of all the best sites and apps to use to help me along the way. There are so many amazing sites out there to make life a little easier. Here are the main ones I use daily:

Social media

Iconsquare: This site allows you to follow your Instagram statistics such as how many people followed you, unfollowed, comments/likes received etc. Great for bloggers who like to keep up to date with their progress. - I have only just discovered this amazing site. I regularly post links to my newly posted instagram photos onto twitter but I find it annoying that there is no photo preview showing up on my twitter page. is perfect because it will share your instagram photo and link together to twitter.

Onlypult- Onlypult will schedule your instagram photos to be posted onto your feed at a time of your choosing. Perfect if you feel like you will be too busy that day to post anything or would like to post while you are sleeping.

Buffer - This site allows you to schedule statuses and shared links to facebook and twitter for when you are just too busy in the day. It will also shorten the links down which can be very  helpful.

Triberr- Triberr is great if you want to share posts from all your favourite bloggers and have them share yours as well.

Photo editing

Afterlight - If you like filters with a creamier tone, this app has some amazing filters to play around with. It also has a pretty good toolbar for cropping, frames, sizing and other adjustments.

Flickr - Flickr has always been a favourite of mine but I don't use it as much as I should do. If you are on blogger like me, then I fully recommend uploading your photos from here rather than through blogger itself as the photos will appear a more clearer. It is also a great tool to store your photos if your memory card is getting a little full.

BeFunky- Allows you to add filters, adjust brightness, crop re size and add fun stickers/frames. This site has everything you could possibly need to make your photos stand out on your blog.

Instafullsize - If your photo that you are trying to upload to Instagram just doesn't fit into that square or the square cuts out some important features then this app is for you. Insta full size allows you to post full size photos to Instagram and makes your feed look beautiful with the white boarders.

Writing This is another new discovery for me and one that I will definitely start using. It is a site that highlights any spelling, punctuation or grammar errors in your blog post. It is much better than spellchecker and such a useful tool to have.

Portent Title Maker- Enter a subject into the portent tool, and you'll get a sample blogpost title, complete with helpful breakdowns of why the title might make for a good read.

Blog topics generator- This is similar to Portent but with this you can simply write three keywords and the site will give you a five titles to work with.

Evernote- This is great for collecting ideas. You can drop everything into Evernote- notes, snippets, photos, web pages and more. I prefer to this rather than keeping a paper note book, its so much easier.

Focus booster - Do you get distracted easily when writing up a blog post? Focus booster is super handy if you have a short attention span. You can stop yourself from Internet shopping, refreshing your social media accounts, watching cat videos on you-tube and reading up on the latest celebrity gossip. The time limits can be up to 25 minutes so you can really focus on getting the more important tasks completed.

There are so many more useful tools out there but these are some of the sites that I have personally used for blogging. Are there any that I have missed out that I need to know about? Let me know in the comments.
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