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

Mini Boden Inspired By Wind In The WIllows Wishlist

I have done a wishlist for Boden previously (find it here , I always love their children ranges and always choose a few of my favourite pieces but am always lusting after more. I have to say I have never really bought much for myself from there, I can't say I have even looked but then show me a mum who buys much for themselves anyway!!!

They have a new range; Hop in a motorcar and zoom across our new-season styles, which draw inspiration from the extraordinary world of Kenneth Grahame's classic tale The Wind In The Willows and the famous illustrations of E.H. Shepard (Source: Boden).

First up for Daisy:

Mini Boden Inspired By Wind In The WIllows Wishlist
And Alex (who is still in the baby range):

Boden Discount Code

Hayley x

This is not a sponsored post, I just love to share my finds! 

CBeebies Land Hotel Review

Recently we were lucky enough to visit the brand new CBeebies Land Hotel as part of a press trip with Konfidence. I thought I would share with you our experience and what we thought of our stay.

CBeebies Land Hotel

We stayed in A Something Special room, which is a Mr Tumble themed room. There are a few options to choose from including just generic CBeebies Bug rooms. They all look pretty spectacular when you look at other peoples reviews and photos to be honest, so i wouldn't have minded which we got put in.

CBeebies Land Hotel Review

When we first walked into the hotel Daisy was so excited and if I am really honest, so was I. There was so much going on. It was really bright, colourful and noisy! There was like a mini village decorating the walls with shops, doorbells etc to interact with. Our favourite touch was the toddler sized tunnel entrance to the gift store! Our kids played in it for quite some time!!!

Every part of the hotel took into account that it was there for accommodating children, even down to the check in desk which had steps up to it so they could help check us in too! I saw an article in the Telegraph describing the place as Vegas for Kids, and they're not far from the truth! You really do need to lead any snobbery you may have or judgement of this kid of place in your car, you will have to go with the flow of it all be left a little over/ under whelmed, which ever way you want to look at it!

Our room was well kitted out. It had a travel cot, mini fridge, bottle warmer, 3 beds for children (including one that pulled out under the bunks in case you had any wobbly toddlers who may fall out of bed like us!), a step for the toilet, a toilet seat built in etc. The list goes on.  As you walk in to the bedroom, you have the kids area to the left in its own separate part of the room to the master bed. Which is refreshing!

The hotel is pricey, there is no denying that and no hiding it either. Would I pay the hefty price tag to go again? I am undecided. I thought it was brilliant, Daisy loved it and so did Alex. The hotel was fab and I think as time goes on and the staff settle into their roles etc and the parks all integrate with one another a little more then it will be seamless. But it is a lot of money at the end of the day and you could do a lot with just shy of £300 for one night!!

There is ongoing entertainment for the kids with live shows, characters walking about, an Ubercorn disco to name a few so you will never be bored. We were busy in the water park and the theme park (see post here for Cbbeebies Land) so didn't see to much of it but Daisy was pleased to meet Bing one morning and dance with Ubercorn at the disco for a while.

The Windmill Restaurant is where you would eat within the hotel. It was styled bright and colourful again, plenty to look at and one nice thing is that they don’t have a separate kids’ menu, each dish just comes in different sizes. For example you could all choose the same dish, have a small person size, adult size or a family sharing platter. Some of them have 10 different vegetables hidden in them. But if I am completely honest I was a little underwhelmed with the food, and I don't think we were alone. It was just a bit bland, I am all for being healthy but I do still think it could be tastier. Especially for what you pay. But we were not there for the food so I can overlook that.

I have pulled together a video of our time at the park. You can find it here...

Hayley x

Dear Alex, 14 Months Old Update

My boy. You're 13 months old, almost 14 actually. And this last month I've noticed the biggest changes in you since you were teeny.

Firstly let's just put it out there, you sleep. You've slept a good 11/12 hours every night for the past two weeks or so. I'm actually writing this sat cuddling you back to sleep at 4am but this is the first time in weeks and I'm savouring the cuddles. I don't get too many anymore so I have to make them count when I do! I hope this is just a blip for you, although you're just lay twiddling my hair and breathing peacefully. Gone are the days (for now at least) where you'd throw yourself about in rage in the middle of the night.

I'm actually tempted to snuggle you back off into my bed but we've not done that in a really long time and I don't want to start something that I shouldn't. For a while you were associating our bed with having a feed and without it you would go mad, I couldn't take you back with me to bed without you getting really upset if there was no bottle on offer.

You have two good naps a day now and when you're ready we just pop you into bed with your lamb and off you go for an hour or so. It does mean you aren't going to bed until around 8pm most evenings but if it means you don't wake until 7/8am then who am I to complain?

You now run about, climb, scale anything in site, hide, play boo, wave hiya and goodbye, blow kisses and you're really starting to say more and more.

Recently you've started saying no more when you've had enough of something or when you're telling the dog, Bobby off! And then when you want some more of something you shout more more!

You still eat really well and aren't fussy at all. You're starting to know what foods you prefer and which you'd rather not have much of but overall you're a good little eater and relatively easy to please. Your absolute favourites are raspberries, you could eat a while punnet if I let you! When you see them in the shops or or the kitchen table you start shouting at the top of your voice MORE MORE! or growling in anger if none get passed in your direction!

You have settled well into nursery and seem to enjoy going. I've been such a lucky muma that both you and Daisy have taken to it so well, it makes working so much easier knowing that you'll be happy.

You absolutely love your daddy. The minute he walks in from work you follow him around with a face full of smiles. Daddy is guaranteed to make you smile if you're feeling a bit sad, which isn't very often thankfully.

You now have your bottom two teeth, one full top front one as strangely two of your incisors. I wonder if you'll ever get your second front one!! They don't seem to bother you too much and if you do look a little annoyed by them we just pop you to bed and that seems to make it go away for you.

Your hair has not stopped growing and it is so fair. With your beautiful tanned skin it looks really blonde. We actually went for a haircut yesterday in town for the first time. Aunty Sue has tidied you up before but this was the first time you've been into he barbers! You didn't seem too fussed! As usual.

Your eyes are still a dark sapphire blue and I really hope they stay like this. I keep documenting them because I can never remember when Daisy's started to turn into a dark green. It seemed to happen over night.

Please don't grow too fast, I am enjoying watching you grow and change but I really don't want it to happen too fast. You are supposed to be my baby, not my big boy.

We have an exciting month coming up, with holidays in Cyprus and lots of exciting trips! I can't wait to see you enjoying the summer.

Love you lots Baby Chunk,

Muma xxx

Ski Holidays With Babies SOS*

I have talked before about taking the kiddies skiing but if I am honest for the past six months or so I have just forgotten all about it and focused on warmer climates. We have quite a few trips booked in (and been on a couple this year already) and so the annual leave allowance is being stretched.

HOWEVER, we have no winter holiday booked in. And well a nice cold, winter holiday would finish the year off perfectly. And my 2017 travel bucket list would be well and truly be ticked off for the year!

Get me to the alps ski holiday with kids

Get me to the alps ski holiday with kids

I have always thought that ski holidays are expensive but having looked into it a little they're actually not much more than I would hope to pay for a summer week in the sun abroad. Companies such as www.getmetothealps.com make it look much easier and if I was to book a holiday I would certainly be looking for a company like this to do the hard work for me, I have no idea where is the most suitable spot for children, type of location etc. 

Travelling with young children can seem a daunting prospect, but we have always discovered that it is 100% worth it and to see them play int he snow would be a memory I really want to keep. Of course there is lots to consider such as weather conditions to childcare, and these obviously need to be taken into account to make sure that every member of the family is happy and safe on their ski holiday. I like to think of myself as a bit of a pro with the sun, but the snow I need all the help I can get.

Can you help me out if you know any specific area that you feel is especially suitable for kiddies? I would like all the advice I can get!

Hayley x

*PR collaboration

Ever Heard of a Yoomi Bottle? | Is a Yoomi Worth The Money?

No, neither had I! Until I stumbled across one in Toys R'us one day. I actually stumbled across it when I had not long had Daisy and was trying desperately for her to take a bottle and wean her off the boob!

When I opened the Yoomi bottle in the box I was intrigued, it's a stumpy very round bottle that looks super modern and slightly unusual with it's bright yellow neck. I popped it away as it was only a small size and thought I might get to use it one day but Daisy tends to have slightly bigger bottles now and to be honest we've got enough kicking around.But when she did get around to using it I loved it and then went a bought a larger sized one, which has lasted so well that we now use it for Alex too.

Source: Yoomi
Source: Yoomi

Although I was intrigued by the Yoomi and that is what made me purchase it, to be honest (as ever) I put off getting it out of the box and setting it up for a little while as it looked like it needed some concentration to get it working, and I really couldn't be bothered. But actually it was pretty simple really, I should have just done it sooner.

Instructions are simple, pop the heating element into it's pod case and microwave, shake, microwave again, shake again and ta daaa!! The timings are quite specific but you can read that on the box easily enough. You then put the element bit under the neck of the teat and screw the bottle on, it fits quite easily. Then you just press the little red button through the teat and it will start to heat nicely, then when the milk is drawn through it when baby is drinking it heats it nicely, to breast milk temperature according to the packaging.

I did think at first it was a bit gimmicky but when you are and about its so easy!

10/10 for me!!!

Hayey x

Is CBeebies Land Worth The Money? | Is Cbeebies Land Suitable For Babies?

I should start by saying I have not been paid to go to Cbeebies land although the lovely people at Konfidence did treat us to this lovely break as part of their Swimologist programme. That being said, I as always will be completely honest with you and tell you what I really thought of our experience there.

Firstly we went on what we thought would be a quiet day, out of the school holidays, mid week. It was still busy so I absolutely dread to think what it would be like on say a bank holiday or a really sunny day in the school holidays. I say busy but we didn't really have to que for longer than 10 minutes for anything, although we did use our early entry passes to maximise the ride opportunities so that could be why. Oh and it chucked it down the first day so who else would really want to be getting drenched whilst listening to In The Night Garden for hours?? SO my top tip would be plan your visit wisely, off peak if you can.

Is CBeebies Land Worth The Money? | Is Cbeebies Land Good For Toddlers?

Is CBeebies Land Worth The Money? | Is Cbeebies Land Good For Toddlers?

CBeebies land is at the start of the Park located on the right hand side as you enter, so as long as you haven't parked miles away you should be fine with a buggy etc.  This area of the Alton Tower’s theme park is perfect for the little ones, even Alex (1 year old) had a great time as there is just so much going on there, music, bubbles, actors walking about, characters etc, all very stimulating. So I would honestly say it is as much for one year olds as three/ four year olds. The optimum age would probably be 3 so they are big enough for all of the rides in there but young enough for all of the experiences but there is so much to do that you would fill the day for any age.

Daisy absolutely loved it. She ventured on the majority of the rides, with the new Octonaut roller coaster being one of them. I went with her on this one and my goodness IT IS FAST! I wasn't expecting it to be honest and was a little surprised! But she enjoyed it none the less, even if she did look a little terrified when it first whizzed around and then started for a second time!

Is CBeebies Land Worth The Money? | Is Cbeebies Land Good For Toddlers?

If you can take your own food then I suggest you do. There is loads of space for picnics and the food wasn't all that wonderful in the Cbeebies part itself and as you can imagine it was over priced, of course it was. It always is in these places. Daisy and Alex had cheese rolls and fruit from one of the lunch box cafes there and it was okay, they weren't disappointed but for the money we spent they could have had a great picnic.

There is no denying that is a pricey day out. Ticket Prices are fairly steep and sadly there is no CBeebies Land only ticket although I can see why as that would be pretty difficult to manage. So it’s a full Alton Towers ticket. Although under 3s are free!

Is CBeebies Land Worth The Money? | Is Cbeebies Land Good For Toddlers?

My last tip would be Do not think about leaving the buggy/buggy board at home or in the car to save the hassle of parking it in the buggy parks. You will need it! The car park is a fair walk away and Alton Towers is a vast place.There are loads of places to keep your buggy there so I honestly wouldn't worry.

Hope this helps a little,

Hayley x

Kid's Flight Bag Essentials

We go on holiday in a couple of weeks to Cyprus and the thought of packing and preparing the children's flight bags has inspired me to share with you what I would usually put in them.

Alex's bits and bobs will go in to my bag and perhaps I will share that on video on my channel at a later point. I will share what Daisy has in hers though now as she has had her own travel case for a while now.

She has a case a little like this one which has wheels so she can pull it along as well as backpack straps to put it our backs if needed. And let's face it, it is usually me or her dad carrying about!! Much to his delight, a nice pink bag with an owl on!
Kid's Flight Bag Essentials

So what she has in her bag:

  • Snacks - Lots of them! I try to think about the mess, the less mess the better. So if she has biscuits I buy individually wrapped ones so she can have a couple at a time without getting too many crumbs everywhere. I try to avoid chocolate if I can put pop in crackers, crisps, fruit, that kind of thing. Fruit pouches are great, as are small sports cap drinks (which you would obviously need to get from departures as you won't be able to take them through security). 
  • Change of underwear and a spare top. You just never know with toddlers!
  • Mini Dolls - Daisy will play with her little dolls and characters for hours. Her imagination is amazing and it fills the time nicely when she gets into it. I will often buy a couple of new ones that she has never seen before and that will definitely entertain her for a little longer than usual. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, the Pound Shop or Wilkos do this kind of thing!
  • Books - Who doesn't love a good read on the plane
  • Tablet - loaded with a few films or a series of a TV show that she is into at the moment. I don't tend to push this on her but it is there as a last resort should we need some "quiet" time. 
  • A blanket - a small blanket to cuddle into if it gets chilly on the plain or if she gets sleepy
  • A magazine - Again one she has not had before so it is all new and that she can work her way through with some crayons etc if she chooses to. 
  • Something I will also be taking this time, recommended by the lovely Mrs Meldrum is window stickers! Daisy always nabs the window seat and these non mess stickers will keep her entertained for a while too! 
Anything I have missed?

Hayley x

Toddler Bedroom Inspiration

Daisy has had her bedroom decorated since way back before she was born. It is like a very natural, peaceful green with touches of girly pink in it. Of course with all her toys and things it makes it really girly. The accessories and prints are all based around owls.

For a while though I have wanted to update it into something a little less nursery. I have in mind a dusky pink, greys and golds with the odd bits of white and silver thrown in there for good measure.

I thought I would share a few bits we have bought ahead of decorating to give you a little sneak peak into what we are going for in her room.

A big thing for me was the bed canopy, how princess! And this one we got from Amazon is just such a good price. It is a relatively small investment for something that will make the room look so different.

The most gorgeous Pink, grey and cold cotton ball garland to put, well I am not sure yet! From Etsy.

I am a big fan of wall stickers. You can change them up easily, they make no mess and they make a room look totally different. So we are painting Daisy's walls grey because I wanted something that can grow with her, she would have perhaps chosen all pink but I thought she may grown out of it quickly. I am going to section of a part and paint that pink to add to the room but otherwise I am going to put gold and pink spots on her walls to girly it up. We got these ones here.

I will share more as we do it, but how gorgeous are those prints!

Hayley xx

*May contain affiliate links

The Golden Bucket Sand Art Competition 2017 | Konfidence Ambassadors

As part of sharing our swimming journey with you this year alongside Konfidence I wanted to share this competition with you, I am no in way sponsored/ paid to do this but the prizes are fab and well the competition is great fun too!

Konfidence Golden Bucket

Konfidence, along with the sponsors are encouraging youngsters under 8 to show off their sand art talents at the beach with the 2017 Golden Bucket Sand Art Competition.

So a little from the Konfidence website:

This fun summer-long competition offers a great chance to spark your child's imagination and create some exciting beach-themed sand art designs. It's also a great opportunity for kids to get their big brother, dad or grandad involved, too – for art purposes, of course!

There's also the incentive of being able to win a bucketful of prizes!

Not only will the overall winner of the best sand art design win the coveted "Golden" Bucket and Spade trophy,* but they will also receive a selection of top prizes from Konfidence and our friends at Mark Warner and Trunki.

Two runners-up will win Silver and Bronze Bucket and Spade trophies.* All entrants will feature in our Golden Bucket gallery, plus – new for 2017 – ALL entrants who send us their names and addresses will receive a limited edition Golden Bucket Sand Art exhibitors metal badge.

If you can go to their website you can see some of the fab prizes on offer which include holiday vouchers, vouchers to use on Konfidence products and loads more! And just to make it even better Konfidence will also be donating money from sales of The Original Konfidence Jacket to Cornwall Air Ambulance.

Sandcastle competition

Sandcastle competition

It couldn't be easier to enter the Golden Bucket Sand Art Competition – simply take a photo of your sand art and upload it to the Konfidence Facebook page at KonfidenceUK, along with a title (be creative!) and the hashtag #goldenbucket. Entries open on 1st July 2017 and close on 30th September 2017.