Monday, 24 July 2017

They're always happy when it rains..

I'd promised Honey and Ace a trip to the park on Saturday and they weren't letting me forget it. Despite the grey skies, Honey was busy getting our things ready and Ace was shouting 'wing 'wing on repeat. Alfred Wainwright once said "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing" and boy do my kids agree with that! 

Honey kindly reminded me that we all had waterproof trousers, raincoats and wellies so we would be absolutely fine if the heavens opened. Although it took me most of the walk to the park to summon up even half the enthusiasm she had for the outing, by the time it actually started to rain (and it did really start to rain), I was feeling really glad to be out in the fresh air and happy that Honey and Ace were happy.

The ducks were really pleased to see us and happily gobbled down a pot of sweetcorn (we had run out of peas), half of Ace's snack and they even gave a good nibble to some sticks Honey threw in when all the corn was gone.

Once they got bored of feeding the ducks (aka bored of Mummy sheltering under the trees), Honey and Ace had a whale of a time dicing with death on the slippy playground equipment, splashing in puddles and running around squealing at each other.

After lunch, they were straight back out in the garden tipping buckets over each other and Ace also perfected the art of slurping rainwater out of the grooves in the decking (ewwww).

So it looks like, come rain or shine, we will be out and about this summer and I for one, can't wait!

Honey wears... Raincoat by Hatley
Ace wears... Raincoat by Tu @ Sainsbury's























Pink Pear Bear

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Paint your own...

Our invite to Paint it Yourself Pottery's 15th Birthday celebrations couldn't have come at a better time. Located on Winchcombe Street, we often pass it on our walks to and from town and recently, Honey has been taking an interest in the brightly coloured sign and inviting interior and had told me that she would like to make some Christmas decorations there soon (always planning ahead that girl).
 
We didn't make any festive decorations on Saturday, but from the moment Honey took her coat off, to the moment we left, she was busy creating her very own masterpiece! On arrival, I took in the space with multiple tables set up, each containing everything one needs to create a piece of pottery perfection and with plenty of high chairs and a Bumbo readily available if required.

The staff are really friendly and approachable and explained the process to both Honey and I (Ace had already set to work making sure all the resources ended up on the floor) then left us to get on but remained visible so we could call upon their expertise at any time (and we did - lots)!

Honey chose plates for herself and Ace then got on with her paper plan. There were flowers, spots and even a T-Rex thrown in for good measure! She then transferred it onto a plate using felt tipped pens and finally painted over the pen to complete her design.
 
A mere 4 days later, we were invited to collect our plates and they look great! The colours have really popped and the sheen brings out every detail.

I would absolutely recommend Paint it Yourself Pottery to anyone with children who enjoy craft and painting. If you have a baby, I would suggest leaving the buggy at home if at all possible as we kept having to squeeze past them or move them out of the way but, as previously mentioned, there are plenty of high chairs so you will have somewhere to pop baby while you sort yourself out or paint your own piece.
 
It terms of time, I thought that the hour and a half set aside for our session sounded like a long time but the time flew by and I ended up having to help Honey finish off her painting as she'd spent so long engrossed in the design phase! Drinks and snacks are also available to purchase, so allow extra time if you plan on taking advantage of this. There are also books and toys to keep little ones entertained while you eat, drink or paint.
 
Thank you so much for inviting us to join you for your birthday celebrations, we will definitely be back! If you'd like to Paint Your Own Pottery, click the links to find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
 
Honey wears... Denim dress by Zara
Ace wears... T-Shirt by The Royal Shakespeare Company
 



 

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Towering above...

Having grown up in The Cotswolds, I've been to Broadway Tower a time or two but never as an adult and never in charge of children! It wasn't busy when we arrived so we parked up on the side of the road, but there's a large Pay and Display car park on site and fees are refundable when you spend £5 in the cafe or shop. 

We took a leisurely stroll up to the tower, taking in the amazing views and waving to Honey's friend (who totally couldn't see us but who lives nearby so...) This time, we didn't go inside as Honey was feeling tired and therefore wasn't in the best mood, so we wanted to make the most of being outdoors. You can buy tickets to go inside and children under 6 are free. We wandered a very short way along The Cotswold Way and did some wildlife spotting, Honey had an I-Spy book to fill in and Ace just chased a load of sheep!

The terrain was gentle enough for Ace to come out of the sling and have a good run around, followed by a short, downhill hike, although I've no idea how he resisted picking up all the sheep poo! 

When we'd had enough wandering, we headed to the cafe and indulged in (very reasonably priced) cakes and gingerbread men. There are tables inside and outside, I only spotted one high chair but there may have been more hidden away. Other attractions included a Pooch Playground for those of you with canine friends and a nuclear bunker dating back to the Cold War, so I'd say there's definitely enough to keep everyone occupied for a couple of hours or more if you take a longer walk down The Cotswold Way!

Honey wears... Flamingo t-shirt by JoJo Mamas Bebe
Ace wears... Red shorts by Frugi








Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Thanks a bundle...

Just a quick post to let you know that we have been chosen as Bundle Bean Brand Ambassadors! We can't wait to receive our parcel and get started and we will also have a discount code to share with you very soon! 


Monday, 19 June 2017

Just to appdate you...

Honey is still at the age where a turn on Mummy's iPad is a real treat. She absolutely loves iPlayer Kids and is a pro at exploring CBeebies Playtime Island, so when KidoLand got in touch to offer her a 6 month subscription, her answer was a resounding (and very polite) WOW, YES PLEASE! 

I downloaded the app and sorted out the settings (3-4 age group selected,repetitive background music = OFF) then handed the iPad to Honey. She immediately started to navigate her way around the user friendly interface, exploring different sections and excitedly showing us what she had found. There are countless nursery rhymes and educational songs, games to help little ones practise their colours, shapes, letter formation and more, as well as stories which the children can either read to themselves or hear read aloud by a narrator.

Mummy likes...
  • Age appropriate content for 1-5 years. Content can be narrowed down for younger children.
  • Well organised content, making it easy for children to navigate between games, stories and songs independently. 
  • No ads so I don't hear "please get this off Mummy" every 5 minutes. 
  • Playlist creator to keep all Honey's favourites together.
  • Downloadable content for car journeys, camping trips or other non wifi situations (no wifi, whoooo?) 

Mummy says...
  • The music over the top off the 'read to me' stories is a bit loud. Having said that, this didn't bother Honey.
  • This is an American app so some of the vocabulary and the accent used reflects this.
The app itself is free, but you can choose from a menu of subscriptions which gives you access to the full content. Download the app from the Apple, Google or Amazon app stores and get in touch if you'd like Honey to give you a tutorial!

* Although we were kindly gifted a 6 month KidoLand subscription for the purposes of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Honey wears... Flamingo jumpsuit by Next






Saturday, 20 May 2017

Brummy Mummy...

If you were a teen in the 1990's, chances are you went to The Clothes Show Live at least once. It was the best! Cheap clothes, crazy fashion shows and loads of opportunities to take selfies with pop stars and models, way before selfies were a thing! Fast forward to 2017 and The Clothes Show's target audience is now mid-late thirties and a large proportion have started families and haven't got time to browse 342 colours of hair mascara and try out 25 different kinds of hair straighteners! 

What Mums do have time for however, is baby stuff. Buggies, carriers and cots. Baby clothes, car seats and bibs. Weaning equipment, bubble bath and toys. All this and much, much more can be found under one roof at The Baby Show held at The NEC in Birmingham. Well played NEC, well played!

You still get fashion shows, though the models are now pushing buggies and rocking the latest in maternity wear rather than roller skating down the catwalk in hot pants (that was a good year). There are still plenty of famous faces to see on stage but these days, they're telling their birth stories and giving weaning advice rather than taking part in dance mat and karaoke competitions (also a great year). Perhaps most importantly, you can still shop! We spotted some great offers from some brilliant brands and picked up everything on our list and inevitably, more! 

One of the highlights for us was getting to see Cheltenham's very own Suzanne there with her fabulous brand Nom Nom Kids. I felt like Biggie (Trolls) and wanted to shout out "I KNOW HER!" The stand looked amazing and the Nom Nom ladies fitted right in amongst some huge brands and easily held their own.

Another highlight were the amazing feeding and changing areas sponsored by Aldi. When Ace needed changing, I headed over to the changing village where I was swiftly asked what size nappy I needed then showed to a fully stocked changing table. There was no rush and there was even a nappy bin and a sink for why you'd finished! The feeding area was equally as fantastic, with a range of free baby food and drink (including snacks) and plenty of seating for big and little people. Ace also loved the V-Tech play area and had a good boogie to all the toy sounds!

If you're thinking of going along, the last day is tomorrow so you need to act fast! My top tips would be:
- If you book tickets online, you will either need to print them at home or head to the ticket office to have them printed when you arrive (you may have to queue).
- If you just fancy popping along for the end of the day, you can get in for £5 after 3pm.
- Wear your baby if you can as some areas got very crowded and therefore buggies had difficulty getting through.
- If you're planning a big purchase, consider using the Emma's Diary shop and drop service.
- Take advantage of the free changing area. It's so clean and the tables are the perfect height. There are loads of tables so you won't have to queue for long, if at all!
- Head to the Tesco area for a free goody bag containing fab items for baby and you. There was a queue each time they were on offer, but the contents are worth waiting a few minutes for if you're not in a rush!
- Parking is expensive but there is a free shuttle bus to and from the car park and you can either pay on the day or book your parking online if you book before midnight tonight.     
- If you're looking to try different types of bottles but don't want to spend a fortune, both Mam and Nuby are offering a free bottle and dummy if you sign up to their mailing list.

Ace and I had a lovely day and I'd definitely go again, even though I didn't get my photo taken with any pop stars!

Ace wears... Pink top by Make Your Marque





Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Melody Mamas...

I love Glee, High School Musical, Pitch Perfect, Smash, in fact any programme or film with singing and dancing has me hooked. I also love karaoke, I LOVE it! I'm a huge fan of belting out a pop song in a pub over a dodgy backing track, it's just the best thing ever! What I didn't expect to do though, was to join a choir. Other people singing with me? No microphone? Really? 

I should say at this point that I can hold a tune but I am by no means 'a singer' but having been assured that it didn't matter, I decided to go along and see what Melody Mamas was all about.


Held on a Monday afternoon at St Paul's Church in Cheltenham, Melody Mamas is run as part of Miniature Music, by Frankie who has two children of her own and wanted to offer other mums the chance to sing together without having to worry about childcare.

So far, we've learnt a few warm ups and begun to tackle a range of different songs, even including some harmonies and if I do say so myself, we sound pretty good! We have even had some press coverage!

The children have been amazing so far, the age range spans from a few weeks old up to pre school age and they have played together brilliantly. Mums are nearby to supply snacks, drinks and cuddles as required and can rest assured that nobody will mind if their child is a bit noisy or needs changing/feeding in the middle of a song.

You can find out more about Melody Mamas by visiting the Miniature Music Facebook page. See you at regionals!

Honey wears... Biker boots by Clarks Shoes