Diggerland

Sometimes, you can visit somewhere and memories of that place will stay with you for a long time. We were so impressed with Diggerland; ‘impressed’ doesn’t even begin to describe how my 4 year old digger loving son, felt.

Harley has always loved diggers. It’s always been his ‘thing’! He now has quite a collection of diggers in his digger themed bedroom. So to kindly receive tickets to Diggerland for his birthday from a very generous friend, took his excitement to another level.

There are 4 sites in the UK to choose from, in Yorkshire, Kent, Devon and Durham. We visited Devon. We really didn’t know what to expect but it was fantastic.

Children and adults can ride and drive real diggers. How cool is that?!

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We thoroughly enjoyed digging up the dirt in a 6 ton digger. The controls are clearly explained by the staff manning each attraction:

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Here, you have to manoeuvre the ball attached to the end of the digger to knock down the skittles:

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We loved this roundabout made out of digger seats:

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One of the rides, ‘Spin Dizzy’ is not for the feint hearted. Riders sit in the seats that are built into the digger’s bucket and then raised into the air, tipped forwards and backwards and then spun around at a fair old speed. Most of the excited screams could be heard coming from this side of the park!

If you’re not afraid of heights, ‘Sky Shuttle’ raises you high up into the air, giving you a fantastic view over all of the park and the surrounding area:

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Harley and I rode the ‘Ground Shuttle’. There was me thinking “this looks nice and tame….” hmmm, I was wrong! The rows of seats are at the front of this digger and face outwards. You are lifted a little way off the ground and then travel over the bumpy ground at some speed but I found myself holding on tight when we turned each corner, thinking we were going to hit the boulders beneath us! This ride definitely feels more daring when you’re on it than when you’re watching it!

I loved watching Luke drive Harley around in a large JCB. Harley’s face was beaming. I should mention that there was a member of staff who stayed in the digger whilst Luke drove it around!

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What we really loved about Diggerland was that it is so family friendly. There are height restrictions of 90cm for some rides but there were so many different things that Harley could do independently from us. He loved driving this little car around the graveled track among the trees. He only had to keep his foot pressed down on the pedal but we were so impressed with his steering skills!

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He also loved driving these little pay-as-you-go cars. The miniature road was so life like with it’s road markings, traffic lights and road signs:

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There is also a fab Go Cart racetrack and again, it was lovely that Harley could drive it himself to race daddy. As you can see from the photo, daddy is no where to be seen; Harley well and truly won that one!

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There is also a super play area for when you are all diggered out! Slides, rope walls, bridges, even bumper cars can all be found here.

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When you are feeling peckish, you can head over to the cafe where hot food, snacks and drinks can be purchased. Children can enjoy playing in the ball pit and bouncy castle while parents can relax in one of the sofas after all of that dirt digging. Bliss.

We were lucky enough to receive a gift voucher for entry into the park but you can see the entry price and online booking prices if you click here.

I must admit that we visited the first weekend in September after the School Holidays. The park was lovely and quiet which meant that we didn’t have to queue for any of the rides which obviously added to our experience. If you visit on a wet day, I’d recommend wearing your wellies!

We drove tractors, diggers, cars and jeeps. It really was every digger loving child’s dream. At one point I didn’t know who was having more fun, daddy or Harley!

And I feel compelled to say that all the staff were the happiest staff I have ever met, anywhere. It must be such a fun place to work and that clearly showed by how happy and friendly all the staff were.

Thank you, Sarah and Colin for Harley’s fab birthday present and thank you Diggerland for such a brilliant family day out. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since we got home and we have most definitely promised a return visit.

Have you ever visited Diggerland? Did your children enjoy it and more importantly, were you brave enough to ride Spin Dizzy? I wasn’t!

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Alphabet Photography ~ T

T is  for … Tide

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I love this photo. It was taken exactly a year ago today.

Late September is still proving to be a month of lovely weather. We like to pick up some fish and chips for tea and take them down to the beach. At this time of day, we prefer to sit on the harbour side of the beach at Sandbanks. It catches the last bit of the evening sun and the tide is out such a long way. It’s quite stunning.

I love the silhouette of Harley holding onto daddy’s hand as they walk out to find the water. They had lots of fun, racing each other back to the sand.

In fact, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s sunny after work tonight so we can pop down!

Linking up with Charly’s Alphabet Project at podcastdove

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The Baby Changing Room Awards 2014

As a mum for the second time, something which is a real bug bear for me, is the lack of parent friendly baby changing rooms when I’m out and about. There have been times when I’ve been shopping or eating out and having to change Lola’s nappy has proved more than a task. Having breastfed both my children, the lack of sufficient facilities, if any, has always been apparent. At times I have even felt uncomfortable and I resent many a company who don’t value the importance of good baby changing room facilities. It’s no wonder that the latest stats reveal that 68% of parents now choose to shop online. The vast lack of sufficient changing rooms, must inevitably be accountable for some of these.

I’m delighted to say that a product I love, Sudocrem Care and Protect, have launched a campaign to encourage retailers and restaurants to improve what they have on offer and they’re asking you to vote for the best in the Baby Changing Room Awards.

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What makes a facility worthy of nomination?

John Lewis in Reading certainly know, as they won the title last year. Personally, I’m looking for it to be clean, comfortable and definitely spacious, (I’m sure you don’t need the more than common image of me trying to change a wriggling, rolling baby’s nappy whilst I’m squashed up against the toilet, next to a dirty, overflowing nappy bin!)

One of my personal favourites is Ikea in Southampton. The Baby Change Stations are roomy with a comfortable feeding chair. There are cute little pictures on the wall just to make the room a little more child friendly.

I’m living in hope that one day, I’ll find one with a TV… or is that being too ambitious?!

In one of our favourite children’s play areas The Treehouse in Bournemouth, I love the baby change mat that says ‘9 months ago, my mummy read 50 Shades of Grey’ it always makes me chuckle.

If you would like to help Sudocrem Care and Protect on their mission to find Britain’s best baby changing room, you can make your nomination by clicking here.

Everyone who nominates their favourite changing facilities will also be entered in to a prize draw. You could win yourself one of several prizes including a short break at the family friendly hotel, Knoll House. For a full list of terms and conditions, click here.

The closing date for entries is 31st of October and the winner will be announced on the 3rd of November. So come on, let’s support new and existing mums and dads by celebrating the best baby changing rooms around, in the hope that other companies will step up to the mark and  improve what they have on offer.

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If you missed it, you can also read my review of the fab, Sudocrem Care and Protect, by clicking here.

So have you got a baby changing room or company that you would like to nominate?

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Alphabet Photography ~ S

S is for … Swimming

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Because we live on the South Coast and spend so much of the Summer down the beach, swimming was always something that we wanted Harley to learn as soon as possible. We always took him to the local swimming pool which he loved but he was very dependent on his swim vest as a buoyancy aid and just wanted to play, rather than swim. We decided to enroll him in swimming lessons. He is so lucky to have 1 to 1 lessons and because it’s in a private pool, I’m able to take lots of fab photos. He has now had 10 sessions of 30 minutes. The progress  he has made is superb.

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He can now jump in from the side and bring himself back up to the surface unaided; he can dive down to pick up a toy from the bottom of the pool whilst holding his teacher’s hand; he can push off from the side and ‘swim’ 5 metres unaided. He’s now practising swimming on his back.

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But perhaps more importantly than all of that … he loves it! He is confident and is so proud of himself after every lesson and that, to me, is worth every penny pound!

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Linking up with Charly’s Alphabet project over at podcastdove

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My letter from Santa Claus

So, the new school academic year is thoroughly underway and the evenings are certainly getting darker much quicker; it makes me a little sad that I have to put the light on to read my children a bedtime story now. However, on social media today, I saw this:

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Blimey….is it really only 14 weeks until my favourite day of the year? Knowing how quickly time flies, someone had better start getting organised so that it’s not a mad rush in December.

Last year my eldest son Harley was 3 years old and he really started to understand Christmas and what it represented. It was the first year we took him to Santa’s grotto; he was a little apprehensive when we were in there with Santa and his elves but nonetheless it was truly magical. I remembered seeing personalised letters for children from Santa and decided that this year we would purchase one for him. I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out one of the personalised letters from My Letter from Santa Claus Continue reading

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Alphabet Photography ~ R

R is for … Roses

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Roses have to be one of my favourite flowers. They evoke a childhood memory of a beautiful rose bush which we had in the garden when I was growing up. The pale pink petals and the unmistakable scent take me right back to when I was young.

I designed my wedding bouquet to include cream avalanche roses with blue hydrangeas to match our colour scheme. My bridesmaids each carried a gorgeous posy of roses and even our wedding cake had a ring of roses in between each layer. Our table centrepieces were large rose balls in tall Martini glasses. I loved it. The room looked gorgeous.

Such a beautifully delicate flower.

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Linking up with Charley over at podcastdove

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Am I really that predictable? Common parenting phrases

I really think that when you become a parent, you become equipped with certain words and phrases that you will no doubt bring out as part of your daily routine; phrases that I can hear my mum and dad saying to my sister and I, when we were young. The following are the most common phrases that I find myself saying or asking, almost as many times a day as I imagine myself reaching for that chilled bottle of Rose in the fridge!

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Alphabet Photography ~ Q

Q is for… Queen

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My mum loves setting up and hosting Vintage Tea Parties. Last week, we had one to celebrate her birthday.

She has quite a collection of vintage cups, saucers, plates and cake stands. Cast your eye to the gold cup and saucer on the left hand side of the table.

The gold tea set that this particular cup came from, belonged to my Uncle’s Grandad. He had a factory which was grandly opened by the Queen when she was Princess Elizabeth. This tea set was laid out at the opening. The cup in the photo may well have the been the exact cup that the Queen drank from when she opened the factory. It’s definitely the exact tea set so I like to think that I’ve drank a quintessentially English cup of tea from a right royal cup!

Linking up with Charly over at podcastdove

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