Monday, 29 August 2016

Leave it to fete...

There's nothing better than a country fete on a hot summer's day and there's nowhere more suited to a country fete, than Lower Slaughter! As a child, I used to paddle in the river there and have happy memories of country walks and being treated to ice cream, which is pretty much how our day went today!

I'd had a conversation with Honey about how much money she could have and what she might be able to spend it on but when she won the boat race early on, that went out of the window! She spent her winnings on cake, face painting, bouncy castle jumping, a sticker book and even a pony ride, although she did save the rest for her money box!

Honey had a picnic lunch by the river, while the grown ups frequented the barbecue stand and enjoyed some delicious, locally sourced beef burgers. The weather really made this the most perfect, British summer day, well that and the Antiques Roadshow theme tune pumping out over the PA system...

Honey wears... Floral top by Next

Thursday, 25 August 2016

I've got the Quay...

On a recent trip to Gloucester Quays, it struck me how much Honey has grown up since Ace arrived. She is so independent at home and occupies herself happily while I feed, bathe and put Ace to bed, as well as numerous other times throughout the day. She also loves to help me prepare her meals and has her own cupboard which she chooses her cups, plates, bowls and even snacks from! 

While we were at the Quays, she fell in love with a little handbag in Next, it was only £1 so I told her she could have it if she went and bought it herself. She happily trotted off and conducted the whole transaction with me watching from the sidelines, the young man behind the counter was fantastic with her and she came away very proud of herself.

She also loved having her feet measured in Clarks, again the sales assistant there was brilliant and communicated directly with Honey, asking her name and age and giving her clear instructions. Unfortunately, we didn't find any shoes in store that day but Honey loved looking for 'number 8 shoes' wherever we went after that!

As shopping experiences go, Gloucester Quays was pretty toddler friendly. Honey enjoyed having her photo taken on the Rugby scrum sculpture, doing a spot of drawing at White Stuff and snacking on toasted tea cakes at Costa. Gloucester Docks are just outside, so next time we head that way, we will make sure we have time to have a look at the boats as well.

Honey wears... Denim shorts by Next

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

If you go down to the woods...

I am very lucky to have some very kind hearted and talented friends, one of whom gave up some time during the summer holidays to provide some Forest School fun for Honey and some of her friends. Anyone who knows Honey, knows that she loves to pick up sticks, stones, leaves and just about anything else that's a bit grubby so she was in her element here!

By far her favourite activity though, was the rope swing! She loved taking turns with the other children to push and be pushed and mentioned several times on the way home that she'd like a swing like that in her garden!

From a professional point of view, it was great to see how many learning opportunities can be gleaned from the most simple of outdoor spaces and from a parental point of view, it was amazing to watch Honey co operate with and communicate with the other children. 

Honey wears... Cardigan by F&F

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

At the river...

We are really spoilt with the all new Pitville Park so don't really need to roam far from home to have a whole host of fun, but when some friends of ours were staying at a Caravan Club site in Broadway, we wanted to try somewhere closer to them.

Abbey Park in Evesham, is right next to the river where there is plenty of space to spread out on the grass so you can set up a base and either supervise from afar or tag team supervision (depending on the age of your children and whether or not you have an 11 year old super nanny on hand). We took our own snacks and drinks down with us, but town is only a very short walk away so it's not the end of the world if you stay longer than expected and need to refuel!

Having visited during winter, I knew that the play equipment would easily occupy an 11 year old and a 3 year old but the summertime addition of the splash park was fantastic and really made the day special! 

Parking in the conveniently located Riverside Shopping centre car park is just £1 for the whole day but be sure to arrive early as by 11:30am on the day we went, all the spaces were taken and we had to find alternative parking (Aldi car park is just a short walk away and you can claim back your parking fee if you do some shopping in store before you leave).

Honey wears... Peppa Pig playsuit by F&F

Friday, 19 August 2016

In the valley...

There's something for everyone at The Valley just outside Evesham. Grown ups can enjoy the shipping outlets (including Fat Face, Mountain Warehouse and The Works) and children can ride the miniature railway or play on the wooden fort (or both - why not?) 

There's a fab farm shop on site, as well as a choice of child friendly eateries. Honey also enjoyed a game of outdoor snakes and ladders and on dry days, children can take a spin on the pedal tractors. 

Honey wears... Bunny coat by Hatley

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Getting rid of the evidence...

So it's going well with the cloth nappies, we tend to use all 5 nappies from the starter pack in one day, then wash them in with a normal load and hang them out to dry for some sunshine stain removal. I still don't know how i'll get them clean when the sun disappears but i'll cross that bridge when I get to it! 

I said I wasn't ready for reusable wipes, but when the opportunity to try Cheeky Wipes at a bargain price came up, I couldn't say no! You get two boxes, one for clean wipes and one for mucky wipes, a stack of wipes (like mini face cloths) and two bottles of essential oils. After clearing a space for the boxes and filling them up as instructed, I waited. About half an hour later, Ace cried because he had a wet nappy. I used a wipe from the clean box and put it in the dirty box and guess what? Nothing. Yup,  Ace was fine, I was fine and the world didn't end! Again and again I used them, for wiping Honey's mucky hands after lunch, cleaning the table after painting sessions and removing sick, dribble and other bodily fluids from the laminate floor and every time, nothing happened! 

It took me a while to use them for poo but after one of Ace's poonami's there were no disposable wipes left in the packet so I had no choice and yup, you guessed it... Nothing happened!

I'm not quite sure what I expected, but they're fine! You need to make sure you stick the mucky ones in the wash and refresh the water and essential oil every couple of days, otherwise it starts to smell a bit when you open the lid, but apart from that, they're easy to use and just as effective as disposable wipes.

Once again, we are taking a mix and match approach. The kit also included a set of special travel bags for clean and mucky wipes but they are currently sitting in the cupboard and probably won't make it into the changing bag, disposable wipes are just so convenient and well... disposable!

Ace wears... Easy fit nappy by Tots Bots

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