A promise to my children

As the Summer holidays, draw to a close, the realisation that Harley will be returning to Pre-School for his final year and Lola will be starting with her child minder, makes me feel all rather blue. What shade of blue? I’m not sure, just not the happy, beaming yellow that I felt when this moment was in the far off distance and I had lots of time to enjoy them both.

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Perhaps it’s not that my children have to embark on the next stage of their lives that makes me feel blue, it’s more comprehensible to think that it’s my return to work and the effect that this has on our family, that makes me feel more than a little apprehensive. Continue reading

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Go on, have a laugh.

My favourite sound in the whole entire world, is hearing my children laugh.

Real deep down in the belly laugh.

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A laugh is infectious. When someone is in a fit of giggles, it makes me laugh along with them.

I love the laugh that makes my cheeks ache. And the laugh that makes me cry. And I really love the uncontrollable laugh that makes me gasp for air.

I’m not sure how scientific they are but studies have said that children laugh around 400 times a day while adults laugh less than 20 times a day. In truth, I’m sure there are some days when I don’t even reach that!!

For a free, easy, natural cure we really should take a leaf out of our children’s books and laugh more.

Here’s why:

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Remember… You are somebody’s reason to smile and in the words of Charlie Chaplin:

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So let’s have a laugh! What makes you laugh?

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My Bestest Toy

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Most children have a toy, teddy or comforter that they like to have at night or perhaps take everywhere with them. When Harley was a baby, he had ‘Snuggly’. A soft, blue blanket body attached to a rather spooky looking head which perhaps resembled a dog, but we are still unsure! He loved it and took it everywhere. When he started with his childminder, I remember saying he would need Snuggly whenever he had a nap…. and then, one day, the inevitable happened…Snuggly disappeared! Right on the stroke of bedtime, we realised. We turned the house upside down trying to find the bloomin’ blanket dog thing! To no avail. I honestly think I was more upset than Harley was. Anxious that he wouldn’t sleep a wink without it, we put a blue fluffy teddy next to him in his cot. He had been given this beautiful teddy as a gift when he was born but it had been placed on a shelf because he was such a gorgeous looking teddy.

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Alphabet Photography ~ P

P is for … Pastels

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Pastel coloured beach huts to be precise. Even our local beach huts complement the stunning shoreline that we have here. These huts overlook the most gorgeous stretch of beach and are right next to a lovely children’s play area. Perfecto.

I love living here.

Linking up with Charly’s Alphabet Photography Project over at podcastdove

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Slow down, Summer

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It’s funny that when the schools break up for a week off at half term, we are all happy and beaming with excitement that we have a week off work and school; a whole week to spend together, making family time memories. Yet despite there still being a week left of the Summer holidays, I somehow feel a little deflated. This time next week we will be getting ready to go back to work. Made even harder by the fact that Lola will be starting with her childminder and Harley will be in his last year at pre-school. Back to making packed lunches and that mad morning rush of us all getting out of the door on time!

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Our day at Cadbury World

 

 

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Last month the kiddies and I entered a fab competition hosted by Laura at Tired Mummy of Two. We had to get all creative with a scrummy bag, or 2, of Cadbury’s Marvellous Mix Ups. This was our entry and we won a fab, family day out at Cadbury World!

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Alphabet Photography ~ O

O is for… Obligatory

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Harley is always so vibrant and full of life. You may have read my Bus.Ferry.Beach post last week where he picked his ultimate day of fun. This photo depicts everything that is compulsory in Harley’s mind when we go to this specific beach.  Sand dune jumping is obligatory. So much fun for him and for us to watch.

I love action shots which capture his facial expressions mid air; either with a big beaming grin or a tongue sticking out in concentration or a grimace as he takes off for his biggest jump yet.

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Linking up with Charly, over at podcastdove

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Our Summer Fireworks Scrapbook

A new month brings a new Centre Parcs and Tots 100 blogger challenge and this time it’s to record one of the fun things that our family has been up to this Summer.

We were inspired by Centre Parcs’ Community Manager Steph Tilley’s tip of ‘creating a scrapbook by sticking in different mementos of our Summer’. So here is our digital scrapbook of special memories of our favourite night of the Summer holidays…so far.

‘Summer Breeze on the Quay’  runs every Thursday night for 6 weeks during July and August. It’s a fantastic evening of live music, street entertainment, family fun and a spectacular firework finale over the waters of Poole Quay.

We had toyed with the idea of taking Harley for a few weeks but weren’t sure whether he would be able to stay awake for it! We knew Lola would just sleep her way through it. But we decided to bite the proverbial bullet and make a night of it. I’m so pleased we did; it was fantastic.

Harley was so unbelievably excited as it started to get dark. The atmosphere walking down to the quay through the hive of people had already started building.

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My 3 day Juice Cleanse Diary

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For a long while I have wanted to do a Juice Cleanse. Healthy, fresh juices seem a great way to detox. But I knew it wasn’t advisable whilst Lola was being entirely breast fed. So now that she is well into her weaning (enjoying 3 meals a day) and she has moved on for the most part of taking a bottle, I grabbed the opportunity to purchase Soulmatefoods juice cleanse when I saw it on Groupon. I had done my research and Soulmatefoods has lots of high praise indeed, much from celebs and GB athletes, you can read their testimonials if you click here. Brought at full price, it is a little pricey and I wouldn’t have been able to afford it without saving up but they are very often on Groupon with a saving of £90, which gives 60% off. Continue reading

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Guest Post for Paultons Park ~ 3

I’m chuffed to bits that my 3rd guest post for Paultons Park has been published on their website.

It’s all about the fab photo opportunities in Peppa Pig World. We had some lovely photos taken and they are proudly sat on Harley’s shelf in his bedroom. Our favourite was Peppa’s Magic Photo Studio. Never did I think that I would see Harley and Lola in a space rocket with Daddy Pig and Peppa or that my lovely niece Mia would have a bath with George but with the fab green screen studio, anything is possible!

You can read my blog post on the Paulton’s website if you click here.

My thanks go to Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World for giving me the opportunity to write for them. The boys now love seeing themselves on the website!

If you missed my first guest post about our favourite memories at Paultons, you can click here or my second post about the world’s largest Peppa Pig Toy Shop can be found here.

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If you’re looking for a super family day out, we can’t recommend Paultons Park highly enough. One entry ticket will give you access to the whole of the park, Peppa Pig World and the splash park.

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Alphabet Photography ~ N

N is for … Niece and Nephew.

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My sister beat me to having a child first so I became an Aunty before I became a Mummy. When Bailey was born, I was so incredibly proud of him and being able to call him my nephew. He was the first baby to enter our immediate family, the first grandchild. I remember proudly taking photos of him into work to show off my new status as Aunty! He’s such a gorgeous, confident, articulate little 5 year old and a super big brother to his younger sister, Rosalie. My sister and brother-in-law, won’t mind me saying that Rosalie, now 1, certainly keeps them on their toes; into everything, grabbing everything within reach. She’s beautiful and her beaming smile makes me melt. There was a photo of them both at similar ages and you’d be forgiven for getting them muddled up, they looked so alike. I love this black and white photo of them; it encapsulates true, protective, big brotherly love.

What’s really lovely is that I also had a boy and then a girl. With only a few months between them, we have a feeling that they will all grow up to be so close. Cousins. Best friends.

Linking up with Charly, over at podcastdove.

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Can you describe your child in just 5 words?

I was recently reading the lovely blog Cuddles & Muddles & Muddy Puddles and enjoyed taking up the challenge of trying to describe my son in 5 words.

How hard can it be?

5 words….

Hmmm….

Well, it appears, very hard!

I know I’m biased, I’m bound to be but Harley is just the most adorable little boy.  He inevitably has his 3 year old moments and tests all of my nerves and strength at times but I’m so unbelievably proud of who he is and who he is growing up to be.

So here he is, in 5 words:

Inquisitive

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 Harley has always been curious; always wanting to know how something worked; why something worked or moved the way it did. I remember sitting in the car one day when Harley must have asked 20 questions in a row, this was the first time all of his questions started with the word ‘why?’ and it made me laugh. Even only today we had a conversation which consisted of him saying “why?” or “but why, Mummy?” or “Yes, Mummy but why?” It’s during these kind of conversations that I could flippantly shrug off his questions or pass him off by giving him an answer which I hope would stop the endless questioning but that I really don’t have the answers for. But why would I? I love hearing his questions. I love the curiosity he has of the world. There’s no way that I want to suppress his desire to learn or to know new things. So the next time we have a ‘why?’ conversation, you can laugh at me trying to find new ways to answer the same questions and I will keep doing this until he’s satisfied that I’ve done enough searching for answers!

Fearless

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Harley has no fear. At times, it frightens me and I have to reign him in. I honestly don’t think it’s because he is unaware of the dangers of heights, deep water, cycling down a hill and so on. I really believe he is fearless because he has such faith in himself and his own abilities. He is so determined with a desire to succeed, that the words ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ must have been written for him. His sense of adventure overrides any sense of apprehension. I remember watching him climb the ladder on the climbing frame at the park and as I walked round eagerly waiting to scoop him up from the bottom of the slide, the little monkey turned the other way and flung himself onto and down the fireman’s pole. My heart was in my mouth yet he was beaming in delight.  He’s always been physically advanced, walking and riding a bike so young. My bag of cotton wool is still full to the brim; he will never let me use it.

Deep

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 Harley’s lovely childminder always uses this word to describe him and it’s a great word for him. For a child that is so active, I often catch him stood still, watching. Pondering. I enjoy observing him, observing others. Often I think it can come across as slightly rude  if I see him just blatantly staring at people, I do tend to divert his attention. Sometimes, I can see the proverbial cogs turning in his mind as he contemplates. Today, my dad visited and was washing some bird’s mess off of his car. Harley helped fill up the bucket of water. He simply stood, watched and said nothing but I could tell he was deep in thought. After a while, he said  “Grandad, which Seagull was it that did this?” I was so amused by his question and the expectation he had that we knew exactly which bird made the mess and where that bird was now. Isn’t it lovely to have such a innocent view of the world?

Independent

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So incredibly independent. Diligent and persistent. He has to do everything himself. I think it is this personality trait that makes us feel that he didn’t seem like a baby for long. He didn’t want me to feed him, he wanted to do it himself. He didn’t want me to dress him, he wanted to do it himself. He didn’t want me to do up his seat belt, he wanted to do it himself. We often have ‘chats’ about what he actually cannot do and that we, as adults have to do for him. He really doesn’t like things being done for him. I think he is far too independent for his own good. He will go as far as to do things for us that are way beyond what a 3 year old should think of doing or even want to do. For example, he likes to take the bin out on bin day. He likes to wheel it back in. He likes to water the plants and rake the lawn. I do adore hearing his sweet little voice saying “Mummy, I’ll do that for you.” Hoovering, he loves hoovering. I’m sure he’ll make a wonderful husband one day, albeit perhaps a stubborn one!

Outdoorsy

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The ultimate adjective that encapsulates Harley. Come rain or shine he has shoes on, chomping at the bit to get outside. The park, the garden, the beach, the forest anywhere that he can run around and breathe fresh air is his option of choice. I truly hope that this will remain his preferred choice as he gets older and that the dreaded TV and computer games will stick firmly in his afterthoughts. Muddy footprints, grubby hands and rosy cheeks always follow him. I’m so proud to say that I don’t think I have ever had to say to him, “Come on, let’s go and get some fresh air.” If the truth be known, he’s the one saying it to me.

So there’s my 5 words. It was harder than I thought narrowing it down. I’m looking forward to doing the same challenge with my daughter when she approaches the momentous age of 1. Which words would you use to describe your child? Can you narrow it down to 5 words?

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Bus. Ferry. Beach.

Today we decided to let Harley choose his ultimate day of fun. We were preparing ourselves for a day that cost the Earth, but we were totally enthused by his modest choice of a bus ride.

We do travel everywhere by car unless we walk to the shops or over the Heath so he was jumping up and down with delight when we said he could go on the bus. It was so sweet. He wanted to go on a bus ride to the beach and have a picnic. Fine by us, son! Continue reading

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Sudocrem ~ Care and Protect

 

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Over the past few weeks, I have been trying out Sudocrem’s new Care and Protect on my 6 month old daughter. Essentially it is “a barrier ointment with a unique formula designed to offer triple action protection for skin prone to nappy rash.”

The key to this cream is that it is applied at every nappy change to create a protective barrier against rubbing. The Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 in the cream, help to keep the skin smooth and healthy. At first, I struggled to remember to use it at every nappy change, especially if I was changing her downstairs and the cream was upstairs or in the changing bag etc. However once I had made it part of the nappy changing routine, it was then that I saw it’s effects. Continue reading

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Chatterbox Walls ~ super personalised prints

 

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Scattered around our home, are many made-to-order personalised items. Pictures, photos, canvases, jewellery even cushions! I love anything that can be personalised. It’s one of the first gifts I think of when looking for a birthday or anniversary present. There is something so thoughtful and observing about receiving a personalised gift.

The only downside to purchasing a personalised item is that the ordering process can take quite a while. There’s the initial waiting to actually view the proof of your order and then the delivery time. If you are anything like me, I’m not always organised enough to get my orders in on time, if I’m wanting to give it as a gift. However, luckily for us, there is a company out there who understands the need for making the process of ordering and delivering as simple as quick as possible.

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Guest Post for Paultons Park ~ 2

You may remember me saying that I had the fantastic opportunity of writing for Paulton’s Park.

My second guest post is now live on the Paultons Park website so if you would like to hear all about the fab Peppa Pig’s Toy Shop, click here.

Harley loved the bag that his Uncle Brian kindly bought for him, it’s gone everywhere with his teddy in it since we got it home!

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We all had such an amazing day at Paultons. It is a family day out which never fails to produce endless smiles. This time around, Harley was just tall enough to go on some of the bigger rides and I will cherish forever the look on his face when he was on The Dragon Ride. I love these selfies that Luke managed to take during the ride. Harley’s face encapsulates sheer enjoyment and thrill.

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You can catch my first post for Paultons Park if you missed it, by clicking here where I share my most memorable parts of the day, including The Dragon Ride.

If you fancy a super, family day out, I can’t recommend Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World enough. It really does have something for everyone.

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