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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

How Do You Choose A Holiday For Your Family?

There used to a time when you could just stick a pin in a world map, chuck some belongings in a case and head to anywhere your heart desired. Once you have a young family your choice of holiday destination will depend on various factors such as how far you can travel without having a meltdown (you or the kids!), how hot or cold it will be, entertainment options, food choices etc. The list goes on. You are in no way stopped going to anywhere you wish but you do have to think about it a little more and I guess you need to think that it may not quite be the same as it may have been pre-children.

The below points to think about will lead you to decide on what type of holiday may be best for you; self-catering, all inclusive, villa etc. For me it would completely depend on where you were going and the amenities available. They all have their pros and cons; will you want to do any cooking? Will you need the extra space that usually comes with self-catering?

The Weather
Before you make your destination choose look up the weather for that time of year. Will it be too hot for young children? Too cold? You want to be able to enjoy your holiday without panicking 24/7 if your baby is going to overheat. If you have your heart on a country then look up the best time of year to go that will suit your family’s needs.

The Travel
Children are actually pretty resilient when it comes to flying, they don’t tend to have the annoyance and fear that some of us grown-ups can be instilled with. More often than not they will cope with the journey and surprise you with their patience. However you have to think if you struggle on say a 4 hour flight then think about how a child may feel being contained in a small space with a short attention span. If you feel you can entertain them then be brave and go for it.

We have flown a few times with our young children from as young as 3 months old and never had any issues, we just go armed with lots of snacks and new things to look at – books, toys etc.

Food Choices
Sadly all the exciting stuff that drew us to a country like exotic foods, challenging the local lingo etc. has to be considered. Will you be able to offer your toddler foods that they will be happy with? Babies are obviously fairly easy if they are either being breastfed or bottle fed as long as there is equipment such as kettles available. You can get some simple sterilising bags now of any gear you need to take, so easy and cheap.

Personally we have stuck to Europe with our little ones just because we know what to expect when it comes to all of the above. We always travel either early or late summer mainly due to cost but also the temperatures are low enough to make the most out of the days and not worry about the children too much when it comes to sun protection.

There will be a time in the future when we can become more adventurous and spontaneous with our destinations but we have just accepted that for now we need to plan a little more!

Hayley x

The Nightmare That is Potty Training

One day last month I found myself in the depths of potty training as lead by Daisy. I always said I would try and follow her lead and although I had taken a few hints from her and tried a few times previously it had never lead to much, other than tears. But this time was a little different. She wouldn't put on a nappy (it was even more of a wrestle than her usual toddler paddies) and if we did succeed in wrestling it on to her then it would be off again in no time as she just flung it off, pull up style or not.

 Baby annabel

So it looked like we were heading into the depths of puddles of wee without much notice.

It looked very much like this in the first week "Daisy do you want to put this nappy on?" in which she would glare at you as if you had just asked her to chop of her leg and then grunt back "No, Yuck (yes, she talks like Peppa Pig) Daisy has knickers".

But the the following happened.

Day 1: 4 Accidents! 2 successes! Nasty Surprise on the floor! I mean how much wee can one tiny little girl hold?

Day 2: 2 Accidents

Day 3: 2 Accidents but we have a break through as she woke up and asked for potty - to do her business! Lots of successes! HOORAY! Maybe it has clicked?

Day 4- Accidents central! I can't even begin to tell you how the house smelt! 

Day 5- We had a little rest from it all (again taken by her lead and well maybe a mistake on my side by letting her) but we did have one success when prompted before bath time.

Day 6- 3 Successes

Day 7 - I lost count. A mix of success and accident much like the rest of the week.

As you can see she was pretty happy to do the wearing the pretty knickers with princesses part but not all that adhering when it came to where she did her business. I began to wonder if it really was the right time or if I was taking the wrong signals from her.

But we persevered.

A few chocolate coins, lots of clapping and cheering and singing and cleaning up puddles later and we seem to have just about got there. About 4 weeks later. It has been a messy transition. But hopefully one that has clicked with her and she is happy with. We are still having the odd accident when she is really distracted but in general it is down to one in every 5 or so days, so much better.

One thing I did find helpful was having a doll that used the potty too. We had a Baby Born doll that wees, poos and cries (although I have to admit I hid the food from Daisy that makes it poo as I wasn't quite ready for that mess!) and comes with lots of lovely accessories. She has mainly been on and off the potty and been Daisy's little companion for those visits. 

I will update in a few weeks with any tips, advice or watch outs but for now please cross your fingers that my days of cleaning up puddles is almost over!

Hayley xx

*PR Collaboration 

Dear Daisy, You're Two and a Half and Full of Trouble

You are my best friend.

You tell me this every single day, it could change a few hours later when you tell me Daddy is your best friend and not me. How you learn these little phrases and ways is beyond me but it is so cute and a day doesn't pass that you don't make me laugh.

Your personality is certainly in full swing now and you really know your own mind. You know exactly what you want and how you want to get it, god forbid anyone that tries to get in your way.

In terms of development you are a girl on a mission now, running, climbing, dancing and gymnastics are just a few of your favourite things. Basically you are a big ball of energy, that is until you flop in the afternoon just before tea. You don't nap anymore because it was getting to a point where no matter how little you slept you were pushing bed time further and further back. A nice early bed time of around 6.30pm after your tea and bath seems to suit you nicely, you sleep all night and wake up around 7.30am ish. Some days you ask to go to bed in the day and on the odd occasion you do go but I try to distract you from it when I can, mean mummy but really it means you are in your routine and happy!

Your eating has improved. What I mean by improved is that you eat more and you eat more structured meals. Sadly it is still very much beige and seriously lacks in the vegetable department. Thankfully you still love fruit and also you still enjoy a pouch for a snack at times which I ensure have vegetables in! This last few months you actually decided you quite like pasta which makes meal times slightly more varied. I just wish you would eat a nice home cooked meal!! Maybe in time hey, you keep telling me you will eat things when you are "bigger, bigger!".

We hear the sing "Baa Baa Black Sheep" about 20 times a day at the moment, I'm not convinced that you know what you are actually singing but you seem to know all of the lyrics and definitely the tune.

There is never a quiet moment when you are around. If you are not talking our heads off then you're busy chatting away to your dolls and toys, giving a running commentary of what you are up to if not getting stuck into role play. I absolutely love listening to you chatter away, it makes me smile when I hear you repeating phrases we say that we didn't even realise you had heard. The way you look after your babies is my favourite thing to watch, it is like watching a mini version of myself with baby Alex, all be it a tad rougher, louder version!

You have taken to your sister duties well and we don't have to tell you to be careful quite as much as we did in the first few months. You love him very much and give him lots of squeezes and kisses. When he starts to moan or cry you jump up and stand in front of him and sing to him, like you are putting a little show on for him. And of course his face lights up and he smiles away at you! You are his favourite.

You still absolutely love swimming and I take you to the gym swimming and to lessons which you really enjoy. You can pretty much swim now with little help and are super confident in the water. All those lessons as a baby paid off. Once a week I try to take you on my own and leave Alex with Daddy, it gives us an hour on our own where you have my full attention which I think is nice to be able to give you from time to time. You seem to really soak it up too and natter away, and maybe not surprisingly but you behave so well. And well when I think about it is because you aren't trying to fight for attention (which you really don't need to do little lady) and well there are little frustrations because you have all the help you may need and the time for us to understand everything you are trying to say.

You are such a lovely little girl and are growing up so fast, I am going to try and keep you tiny for as long as I possibly can. I want to remember the cute Daisy-isms that you come up with and the times we laugh our heads off with you and somehow brush the slightly more tricky days away and forget them as best as we can. After all you are a toddler and that is what you do right, make things tricky at times!

Lots of love,

Muma xx

Daisy's Winter Wishlist A/W 2016

It is no secret that I absolutely love shopping for my children, especially Daisy! Which is why she walks around looking gorgeous at all times and I am rocking Primark! (Not that there is anything wrong with that, I am a big fan!)

Here are a few of my favourite pieces for this winter that are going straight onto Daisy's Christmas list. As usual I have been digging through the sales online as I do love a baragin, especially when they grow out of their clothes so quickly at this age.

These are all Ted Baker, I just love how they're designer and trendy but still girly and cute.


And the below are all Boden, again I found some real bargains at Lovethesales.


I am loving all of the autumnal oranges for this season, as you can see above! There are some absolutly stunning pieces available.

*Via Lovethesales

Searching for the Perfect Baby Photos*

My biggest passions outside of my blog are travel and photography. Of course these go hand in hand with my blog and well my hobby for photography has come as a result of my blog. I love experimenting with my (husbands!) DSLR and seeing what results I can get. I am lucky in that Ben is a keen budding photographer too, he has been on a few courses and gets some beautiful photos of our family and our adventures.

Baby Photography

Although I am lucky to be able to get some really nice photos of our family I sometimes think it is nice to get an outside perspective and well something a little different to what we usually would take.

I came across Bidvine online which allows you to search for local photographers (amongst lots of other services) and thought I would see what I could find on there and maybe if I could find a photographer who was local to me, within my budget and had a style that would fit blog and personal taste then I would try them out.

Thankfully Bidvine is really simple to use. You simply choose the type of photography you require (I chose baby photography to get some baby photos of Alex), enter your postcode and then answer a few basic questions such as your budget.



The next stage is that you get an email saying when you will receive your quotes. When I submitted my request it said I would have my quotes by the end of the week, which was good because I wanted it booked and sorted ASAP. Babies grow too fast and I had already left it a bit late to get the newborn squishiness!

I soon received a quote from a few professional Photographers and it was great to see the options I had available and I was really pleased when the quotes came in within the price range I had set. I actually had two replies within a few hours of sending off the request which I thought was super speedy! Although I must say that all quotes came at the top point of my budget specification so that is something to bear in mind and I guess you could always negotiate if you felt you needed to once you had chosen a photographer.

I was pleasantly surprised with the service at Bidvine and found the website really simple and easy. I would certainly recommend it to others and will be sure to use it again in the future I am sure.

*PR Collaboration

Do Holidays Really Change When You become Parents?

Of course the answer to that is yes.

For starters you have extra bodies to accommodate and well that changes a lot of things; how much it costs, where you want to go, the needs you have when you are there, how you tolerate the weather, the flight time etc.

Pre Daisy and Alex we would simply scroll through the internet and find a holiday, book it and go. Now we have to think a little more about it. And when we are there we have to think about them, are they cool enough, eaten enough, drinking enough water, are they bored? Where as before I guess we were a little more care free and just went with the flow a little.

But I am not saying holidays have changed for the worst. They are just different now. We have different memories from our family holidays so far, things we may not have done pre-babies.

Some of my new favourite past times:

  • Building Sandcastles and burying toys and feet endless times on the beach
  • Chasing Daisy around the beach and in the sea (or the other way around!)
  • Watching Daisy mix with other children around the pool and beach
  • Ice creams on the beach become a lengthy past time, not a simple snack! And they are messy activities too!
  • Finding caves and rock pools (Cornwall is great for this!) and seeing what we can find in them, or in Daisy's case swimming! 
  • Writing in the sand and drawing pictures
  • Photography - Before I had children I didn't have much of an interest in this but since I love seeing what I can capture. The same goes for videography

Hayley x

West Midlands Safari Park

The Safari Park is a relatively close day out for us and so we took a day out for Daisy's 2nd Birthday back in April. When you visit you get a return visit complimentary (for the same car reg) within so many months and so we decided to take another trip there this week before it expired.

It was quiet as all the children are back in school now and I guess it is the end of their season but that suits us as Daisy could roam around freely to some extent and there was no bustling about to see anything or queuing for rides. It would be nice to visit when it was nice and warm but  the woolly hats and winter coats were welcome this time too.

The Safari park isn't massive but enough for a days visit. It was a little sad to find no type of monkey either as they're always entertaining aren't they and I'm sure Daisy would have loved to see some but then the Hippos made up for it! They were absolutely massive!

Daisy enjoyed the rides this time too, it is amazing how much they change and what they enjoy just six months later. The only trouble was she wanted to go on everything and well she is only tiny still and her choices were limited.

Hayley x