Welcome to 30 Days Wild… Our Way!

It’s the 1st June and that can only mean one thing… today is the start of 30 Days Wild! For those who don’t know, this is a challenge to carry out a ‘random act of wildness’ everyday (or as many as you can!) throughout June, to encourage people to get closer to nature – wherever we happen to live and work.

What is a random act of wildness?

The website states ‘a Random Act of Wildness is any thing that you can do in an average working day to bring a little nature into your life. They can take a few seconds, a few minutes, or if you lose yourself completely, a few hours!’

So in other words, it can be anything that helps you connect with nature! There are tonnes of ideas on their website and you can also download their app, so you never need to be stuck for inspiration!

You can also check out my previous 30 Days Wild posts for ideas and inspiration too! You can find a whole section dedicated to it under the nature tab on my menu, or click here.

30 Days Wild logo

The Wildlife Trusts

The challenge is an annual event throughout June, run by The Wildlife Trusts. I am sure most of you will have heard of them, but incase you haven’t (where have you been?!) they describe themselves as ‘a grassroots movement that believes we need nature and it needs us.‘ I couldn’t agree more! Find more information on The Wildlife Trusts website and check out your local branch.

Living Life Wild

This is the third year of 30 Days Wild for us personally. For the previous two years I have signed up to their blogger challenge; the first year I took part I got shortlisted as a finalist. Then last year I was highly commended as the final runner up in my category. So I am pretty pleased with those achievements to say the least!

This year however, due to the level of my other commitments at present, I have sadly taken the (difficult) decision not to officially take part in the challenge this year. However, I will of course still very much be supporting the idea behind the challenge, and participating in a more low key way! Just less heavy on the actual blogging!!!

30 Days Wild… Our Way

As the name of my blog suggests, we do like to do things in our own way sometimes! So this year, I will be throwing myself (gently) into the challenge by creating an a – z of my previous years highlights, along with a few new activities, and a selection of guest posts too! So there will still be plenty on the 30 Days Wild theme appearing on my blog throughout the month – just not quite in the usual 30 Days Wild format!

So do stay tuned! More coming soon…

Last but not least, would you like to be featured in one of my posts?

If you would like to feature in one of my guest posts this month, you can do so by completing my google form here or email me at livinglifeourway@outlook.com

I would love to hear from you!

30 Days Wild text with Forest of Dean faded image background

Happy 30 Days Wild xx

Costa Rica: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Have you ever considered visiting Costa Rica? This Central American eco country is famous for its rainforests and biodiversity, so is an absolute dream for nature lovers. It has been described as “the most biologically intense place on Earth” by National Geographic because it crams 2.5% of the planet’s biodiversity into just 0.001% of its surface area. And with roughly a quarter of the country made up of protected national parks and areas, which are home to over 840 species of birds, around 2000 plants and hundreds of mammals too, it is an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Costa Rica even aims to be the first country to eliminate all single- use plastics; it takes environmental issues very seriously!

It is also a great place to travel generally. As explained in this article by The Telegraph, it is a cool country to visit for loads of very good reasons. For example, in 2016, it was named the happiest place in the world by the Happy Planet Index; that is pretty awesome to say the least! Who wouldn’t want to visit?!

Title Costa Rica: Nature Lovers Paradise on faded background image of Costa Rica coastline.

Where To Stay

Enjoy a spot of luxury in one of these beautiful Costa Rica rentals. Or you could spend time travelling around different parts to fully appreciate the diversity of this fabulous country. Honest advice suggests that perhaps the capital, San Jose, is not the best place to stay and it is probably a good idea to plan as little time there as possible. However, the rest of Costa Rica sounds absolutely amazing and there are lots of fantastic location choices.

The west (Pacific side) tends to be hotter and is the more touristy side, especially with American visitors, so this might be considered easier with kids. Manuel Antonio National Park, for example, is situated right in the centre of the west coast, and is a great place for seeing an abundance of wildlife.

Costa Rica National Parks map

Source: Go Visit Costa Rica

Places To Visit

As I have said, Costa Rica is all about the stunning scenery along with an incredibly vast range of plants and wildlife. These can best be found at the numerous national parks and nature reserves, and each one has its own unique qualities. I have already mentioned a couple of places briefly, but here is some further information about a selection of the must-see, must-do nature spots…

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Puntarenas Province

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve sounds like a truly spectacular place where you can not only see an amazing array of wildlife, but you can also walk across a hanging bridge to view the forest canopy from magnificent heights. You can even zip wire over the forest!

Monteverde Cloud Forest hanging bridge above the forest canopy.

Monteverde, Costa Rica by Haakon S. Krohn (Source: Wikimedia)

There are other cool things to do at Monteverde as well; such as eat in a quirky treehouse restaurant, exciting horse riding treks or visit Don Juan’s Coffee Farm. Costa Rica Experts detail this tour on their website: “This tour gives you a closer look of the production of Don Juan’s coffee. After learning the drying and roasting process of the beans, explore other food staples of Costa Rica. Embark on a culinary journey. Discover the history of cocoa pods and make your own chocolate using traditional Costa Rican recipes. Yes, you will get to try your creations! This sweet experience continues to the “El Trapiche” (a mill made of wooden rollers), which is used as a tool to extract sugarcane juice and make tasty sweets and much more. This visit wouldn’t be complete without the chance to buy an authentic cup of Costa Rican coffee at the souvenir shop.”

Tortuguero National Park

This is home to nesting sea turtles, and respect for their needs is to be priority if visiting this park. For this reason, the area is out of bounds after 6pm unless you are with an official tour guide. During these night tours, you will see most likely see adult turtles coming onto the beach to lay their eggs. However, if you are lucky, you might even spot a newly hatched turtle heading toward the water!

As well as turtles, there are plenty of birds, fish, monkeys and other wildlife to see at this National Park. A good way to do this is by taking a boat ride along the canal. Or you can hire a canoe and paddle down.

La Fortuna, Alajuela

This is perhaps one of the best known tourist spots, because it is situated at the centre of several wonders. Top of that is Arenal Volcano, an active volcano that regularly erupts. There are also hot springs to bathe in, heated naturally by the thermal activity from Arenal. Then there is the most stunning waterfall too. Plus there are day and night tours at nearby Ecocentro Danaus, a private ecology reserve, for wildlife watching. With such breath-taking scenery and experiences, it is hardly surprising that it is a popular choice. For this reason though, I am told it can get very busy! Check out quieter times to visit if you prefer to avoid the crowds.

La Fortuna waterfall, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park has a wealth of wildlife to discover. You can explore independently or get a tour guide. As A Strong Coffee To Go explains, even just sitting on the beach you will see animals such as sloths, monkeys and iguanas without going to any effort. But if you are keen to spot more hidden creatures, as well as gain greater insight and knowledge, then you might find a tour guide beneficial. They carry telescopes and know where and what to look for, which gives a somewhat huge advantage over an inexperienced traveller with their naked eye. Of course, you don’t need a telescope, or an expert, simply to bask in the beautiful surroundings though!

One of the beautiful birds that can be spotted in Costa Rica rainforests.

Obviously these are just a small handful of the wonderful places to visit in Costa Rica. But wherever you choose, and whether you cram in as much as you can or take things at a more leisurely pace, it is bound to be an unforgettable experience! It truly does sound like a nature lover’s paradise.

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

The Best Places to Find Birds on a Rainy Day

Here in Britain, we’re well accustomed to the rain and wet weather; and sometimes it takes a  little bit of extra work to find wildlife on a drizzly day. Despite this, with a keen eye and a touch of willpower, you’ll be able to spot some of the fantastic wildlife our country has to offer!

If you’re keen to spot a few birds on your next winter walk, the bird enthusiasts over at Kennedy Wild Bird Food are here to help! They’ve generously offered their top tips on where to find birds on a rainy day, to help you make the most of your next wildlife adventure. Read on to discover their helpful hints…

Take a look in nearby trees and bushes

Two birds sat in a tree full of red berries.

Birds are designed to withstand a range of different weather conditions, which is part of what makes them so brilliant! However, sometimes they need a helping hand to protect themselves from the cold temperatures when it rains.

In wet weather, you’re more likely to find smaller bird species nestled in the branches of trees. Small birds lose body heat more quickly, and therefore they have a higher risk of catching hypothermia. Staying tucked away in bushes and trees allows them to hold on to as much body heat as possible when it’s raining.

Check your bird feeder

A small bird next to a large hanging bird feeder.

When looking for birds in wet weather, they may be closer to home than you think! No matter what the conditions are like outdoors, birds need to eat regularly to give them enough energy to survive.

Unfortunately, this means that many birds will have to endure getting a little bit wet whilst feeding, but their bodies have some clever adaptations that make them highly water resistant!

Their feathers are made of a protein that makes them both flexible and resistant to water. As well as this, birds have an oil gland at the bottom of their tail. This is used to put a water resistant coating over their feathers, so the water glides right off in the rain – amazing, right!

Keep an eye on the sky

If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see a few birds flying from branch to branch when it’s raining! This is more tricky because birds usually only fly very short distances when it’s raining.

In heavy rain, the downpour may make it more difficult for birds to fly, therefore it’s safer for them to stay sheltered in trees and bushes. However, should they need to fly from A to B, their oil-coated feathers can protect them from the wet weather conditions.

A picture of a bird on a thorny branch with the title 'The Best Places To Spot Birds On A Rainy Day' and blog address.

It’s important not to be deterred by Britain’s rainy weather, as you’ll miss out on some of the best wildlife! If you’re taking the time to do some bird spotting this winter, don’t forget to log your sightings in the Kennedy Wild Bird Food BirdSpotter map!

*This is a sponsored post.

How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder: Protecting Birds in Winter

As it is starting to draw closer to winter and food for wildlife is becoming more scarce, I thought it would be a good time to share this simple, fun activity we did at home recently.

bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder

You Will Need…

  • Apple
  • Twigs – Thick enough to be a perch but thin enough to fit through an apple.
  • String or raffia
  • Peanut butter
  • Seeds

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step by Step Instructions

    Step 1

    Core the apple.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 2

    Carefully push the sticks through the apple. You might need to use a knife to help make a hole first.

    Step 3

    Tie the string through the apple. Use it to also hold the sticks in place if possible.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 4

    Use the peanut butter as ‘glue’ to stick the seeds on.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 5

    Hang it onto a tree branch. Then just sit back and observe the birds enjoying their treat!

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Do you feed the birds in winter? What type of feeder do you have?

    Fungi Facts – #30DaysWild

    I received an email from Grow Wild (Kew Gardens) recently all about fungi. There are free downloads on their website with lots of interesting information and even a fun(gi) quiz to do too! So I decided my challenge for today would be to do a mini project on fungi, then share with you some of the fascinating facts I learned!

    So here are 5 cool things you might not have known about fungi…

    • Fungi is closer to a creature than a plant.
    • Fungi can be found in space!
    • We depend on fungi to survive.
    • Fungi has been around for millions of years; it preceeds dinosaurs.
    • Chocolate, amongst other food and drink, contains fungus!

    Fungi, The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature, wildlife, home education, freedom to learn, natural environment, outdoors, get outside, go explore, Living Life Our Way

      Here is an ode to fungi too…

        #LivingLifeWild – Growing Food and Latest News

        This week our potatoes from the GYOP project arrived, so we are looking forward to growing these very soon. We also signed up for the RHS School Gardening Campaign too; Squiggle was actually talking really recently about how she wants to grow some of her own herbs, so it was the perfect timing for us to then come across this campaign! 

        #livinglifewild, nature, wildlife, outdoor adventures, childhood unplugged, grow your own food

        I have decided that going forward I will run this linky monthly. It will open the first day of each month and remain open until the last day of the month. You can therefore link up anytime throughout the month, and you are also welcome to link up as many relevant posts as you wish (old or new). This linky will run until the end of this month now so please do join in and let other people know about it too! 

        All I ask is that everyone takes some time to look at other posts that have linked up and comment on some too. I would also appreciate it if you link back to my post in yours. Thank you! 

        My favourite instagram photos this week are:

        This is the girl who refuses to sit down in the bath!

        A post shared by Cat @ Mama Cat + Baby Bee (@mamacatandbabybee) on

        I love this one because it is so cute and reminds me of Squiggle when she was that age – I have a very similar photo myself!

        The next one is this gorgeous snow picture.

        Remember this linky will now be open until the end of February and you can link up more than one post. I look forward to reading, thank you! Stay Wild!!!

        An InLinkz Link-up

        Squiggle’s Guide to Protecting Our Environment (#LivingLifeWild Linky)

        Thanks to Views From An Urban Lake and Agent 54 for sharing their beautiful photo posts, and to Mamma’s School for sharing her island adventures.

        My IG pick this week is this adorable photo by The Penny Three. Do check out the hashtag #LivingLifeWild on instagram yourselves though, there are lots of really lovely outdoors photos!

        #LivingLifeWild, nature, outdoors, wildlife, green living, natural environment, sustainability, home education, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged

        This week, Squiggle would also like to share her top tips for green living:

        Pick up rubbish when you see it🚯🚮♻

        Use recycled pacaging insted of rubbish ♻or better still none♻

        Using Straws&cups made with *natrle meterils 🍹or reusable ones

        Use organic cottens or hemp or Bamboo for cloths👕

        Try not to make too much food waste and put eny in the food waste bin ♻🍎🍉🍑🍒🍓🍇

         *(natural materials)


        Do you have any other green living ideas to share? Comment below!


        Stay wild and green, see you next week!

        #LivingLifeWild Linky

        Thank you to everyone who linked up last week. There have been some lovely outdoor adenture posts, such as Squished Blueberries sharing their experience of watching the sun rise on the beach. Mummahub did a wonderful job of reminding us how great getting outdoors is for our stress levels and restoring peace, and over on instagram Mammas School has some fantastic unique ideas so do pop over and check her out for inspiration!

        I have chosen two instagram pictures to share this week…

        This is a stunning photo by Dermot Cosgrove. Read about his adventures in an interview with Phonetic Planet here. I love the quote too!

        The second one, I simply love the way the photo captures the sunlight…

        Please do link up your posts below, old or new, and use the hastag #LivingLifeWild  For more information, read here.

        #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, nature, wildlife, green living, outdoors, environment, linky, blogging, hashtag, instagram, community

        Happy wild adventures!


        RSPB #BigGardenBirdWatch 

        We took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch organised by RSPB last weekend, which is a huge nationwide survey carried out by roughly half a million people across the country to help gather a picture of garden wildlife in the UK. Carrying out a citizen science project is not only a really valuable form of research to take part in, it is also a really fun real-life educational opportunity too! 

        So Squiggle and I had already prepared our garden for winter, and ensured it is welcoming, with a bird feeder. So we simply added some fresh sunflower seeds and peanuts right before we begun our bird watching then made ourselves comfortable by the patio door.

        Rspb, big garden birdwatch, #BigGardenBirdWatch, birdwatching, wildlife, nature, citizen science, home education, living life our way

        It didn’t take long for a couple of birds to fly over and land in our little tree. 

        Rspb, big garden birdwatch, #BigGardenBirdWatch, birdwatching, wildlife, nature, citizen science, home education, living life our way

        Over the course of an hour, various types of birds landed in our garden. We were pleasantly surprised how many we actually spotted in that relatively short time frame.

        Squiggle used the RSPB sheet to help her figure out the difference between great tits and blue tits, which we both found really fascinating, and were excited to spot both types in the garden during our birdwatching! We also discussed the difference between crows and blackbirds because Squiggle was abit confused. We also saw pidgeons and magpies too, which Squiggle was able to recognise immediately.

        Rspb, big garden birdwatch, #BigGardenBirdWatch, birdwatching, wildlife, nature, citizen science, home education, living life our way

        We then analysed our data by discussing how many different types of birds we saw, how many of each type, which was most common etc… Then we submitted our results to RSPB and looked at the visual results chart too.

        Rspb, big garden birdwatch, #BigGardenBirdWatch, birdwatching, wildlife, nature, citizen science, home education, living life our way

        Squiggle would like to thank the RSPB for organising this and sending us the pack! 

        Rspb, big garden birdwatch, #BigGardenBirdWatch, birdwatching, wildlife, nature, citizen science, home education, living life our way

        #BigGardenBirdWatch

        #LivingLifeWild – RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 

        I loved reading everyone’s posts from last week, and seeing your pictures too. Thank you all so much for taking part! Even when it’s cold and you feel reluctant to venture outdoors, it can turn out to be lots of fun, can’t it Eps and Amy?! lol! (Check out the blog post to see what I mean!) 

        I have chosen the following instagram photo to share by Mammas School but it was a tough choice! I particularly loved this photo because I never would have thought to do pond dipping at this time of year, but it’s a great idea! 

        All of the photos are fab though, I really loved seeing all of your adventures and look forward to seeing more this week! Don’t forget to use the hastag #livinglifewild and also tag me too so I don’t miss it!

        #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, linky, hashtag, nature, wildlife, environment, outdoors, green living, Living Life Our Way

        This week we are preparing to do some citizen science for the Big Garden Birdwatch with RSPB. We have got our pack and made sure our garden is inviting and bird friendly! The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place this weekend from 28th-30th January. If you want to take part you can apply for your pack and download it here.

        Big Garden Birdwatch, RSPB, #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, Living Life Our Way, citizen science, nature, wildlife, environment, outdoors, green living, home education

        Big Garden Birdwatch, RSPB, #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, Living Life Our Way, citizen science, nature, wildlife, environment, outdoors, green living, home education

        Share your posts (old or new) via the linky below. If you need further information about #livinglifewild hashtag and linky please check out the introduction, or contact me if you have any questions. Lastly, apologies again about the badge (teething issues!) – I am trying to work out how to resolve it, but have removed it temporarily until it is sorted. Please feel free to text link to my blog instead if possible, thanks. 

        Have a fantastic wild week everybody!!!