Tuesday, 19 November 2019

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas... There, I said it. The decorations and music are creeping in and the schools have started rehearsing for their nativity plays. I am not a massive fan of the consumer side of Christmas, but what I do love are useful, practical gifts that can be used year round! 

Honey and Ace love bath time, there's something about water that can diffuse any situation and bring harmony to even the most fraught evening. We have used Child's Farm products since Honey was tiny and have been brand ambassadors for them for around 5 years. We are particular fans of their rhubarb and custard 2 in 1 hair and the latest, seasonal addition to the Child's Farm collection, their delicious smelling satsuma hair and body wash. The packaging is gorgeous and it would make an awesome stocking filler, something fun yet functional that won't be lost or broken by 1st January.
Child's Farm products are formulated to be gentle on eczema prone skin and are approved by dermatologists. Child's Farm source the highest quality, naturally derived ingredients and essential oils, to produce a range of bath and shower products for the whole familyHere are a few of our favourite bath time activities which can all be enhanced by using your favourite Child's Farm products! 

Ice block rescue mission - Freeze plastic animals or dinosaurs in blocks of ice (I use empty, washed out takeaway tubs as containers). Run a nice bubbly bath and give the ice blocks to your little ones so they can 'rescue' the trapped creatures.
Coloured ice cubes - Use a drop of food colouring to turn water your desired colour/s. Pour the water into ice cube trays and freeze. Run a foamy bath then give the ice cubes to your tiddlers to drop in the water. As the cubes melt, the water will change colour. Older children might like to explore colour mixing using cups or jugs to melt different coloured ice cubes together. I hardly used any bubble bath for this one so the colours would be more visible.
Pouring - So simple, yet so much fun for children! Pop a range of containers in the 
bath at bath time and watch them create bubble ice creams (satsuma flavoured, naturally), make bath time soup and more than likely, pour water over each other!
Dinosaur bath time/car wash - Tell your child to choose some of their plastic animals, dinosaurs or toy cars to take into the bath with them. Give them a sponge or flannel to clean their toys.

Bath Flutes - Ace was given a set of bath flutes when he was a baby and they have been used regularly ever since. You fill them up to different levels and each one can then be used to play a different note. There's lots of fun to be had trying to play nursery rhymes or favourite pop songs! 

As Honey gets older, she is becoming more independent and often has showers instead of a bath. The Child's Farm bottles are easy for her to open and squeeze onto her hands or sponge by herself, without wasting loads, plus they don't sting her eyes. 
If you'd like to try the new scent, you're in luck! Child's Farm have offered to send one lucky reader their own bottle of festive satsuma bubble bath. To be in with a chance of winning, head over to Instagram (@stephloveshoney) and look for the photo below on our grid. Comment with your answer to the following question: What's your favourite thing about Christmas? 
*All thoughts and opinions within this blog are my own. I won our satsuma bubble bath in a Child's Farm giveaway. I am a brand ambassador for Child's Farm but do not gain commission from sales of any of their products. The 2 in 1 hair pictured was purchased by myself from Boots.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

While baby sleeps...

Originally posted on Cheltenham Maman's Blog, I am reposting here so my words are not lost once her site closes next month. Wishing you the best of luck for the future Kate, thank you for the memories! 

22nd January 2018

As many of us know, when you have a second child, managing your first-born becomes a whole different ball game! Rare are the days of sleep while the baby sleeps, as their older sibling needs and deserves your time and attention. Honey has always been good at occupying herself, but while I was pregnant, we encouraged her to engage with more independent activities so she’d be prepared when I was flying solo and needed to turn my attention to feeding and nappy changing instead of concentrating on her full time. 

In the early days after Ace was born, I was a huge fan of pre-prepared craft activities, even better if the activities had a purpose such as a card for someone’s birthday or a thank you picture (love a bit of multi-tasking)! I made up or bought little packs for Honey to create cards and pictures with and set up an easy access craft cupboard so she could go and get them by herself if a feed was taking a particularly long time.  

Colouring in and activity books were and continue to be so useful, especially ones that are small enough to pop in the changing bag with a small pack of crayons, that way, they’re ready to whip out if you need to make a pit stop to feed baby while you’re out in town. We also keep our library card in the changing bag, the library is a great place to take a toddler while your baby is napping in the sling or buggy, as it’s such a quiet, calm environment! 

Stickers are the one. Oh my goodness, the many, many, many hours that Honey has spent ‘stickering’ cannot be counted. It started when I was pregnant with Ace and had really bad morning (all day) sickness for months. We bought Honey a wedding sticker book to help prepare her for an upcoming family wedding and also to buy me some lying on the sofa time! Since then, she’s had just about the whole range of Usborne sticker dolly books, which have kept her occupied for a cumulative total of 9732 hours. They have also been great for her fine motor skills and have broadened her general knowledge thanks to the wide range of subjects they cover. 

Whether we like it or not, our children are growing up in a digital age (that’s a whole other blog post) and personally, I choose to see it as a blessing that there are channels and apps that have been purpose built to reinforce our children’s play. If I need to get on with something, Honey loves using the CBeebies Storytime app to help her read stories to her class full of toys and imaginary pupils, the Bee-Bot app to make treasure maps for her pirate Lottie doll and loves playing the Go Jetters game on the CBeebies website.  

Once Ace began to have longer naps, Honey and I found bigger chunks of time to spend together. Although we love to play, sometimes there are also things that need doing during those precious hours when your youngest is asleep. This is where you can multi task, by getting your toddler to help you with chores, youre getting to spend time learning and chatting together while getting some jobs out of the way. Honey is a dab hand at emptying the dishwasher, washing up and transferring the washing from the washing machine to the tumble drier and once that’s all done, there’s usually plenty of time left for a spot of Play Doh or Bug Bingo!

We have always kept downstairs books and toys in an easy to access storage unit and Honey often spends the few minutes it takes to put Ace down for his nap upstairs, tidying up then settling herself down with her chosen toys or activity. During the post Christmas sort out, I also realised that there were so many toys up in the kids bedroom that rarely saw the light of day because we’d forget they were there, so Honey and I created a toy menu. If she wants to play with something from upstairs, she can choose from the list and comes up to get it when I go up with Ace.

Now that Honey has started school, she loves any opportunity to show off her writing skills so we capitalize on this by using some nap times to plan adventures together. Honey uses her sounds to write lists of things she would like to do, this can range from wanting to light a candle or making a list of baking ingredients, to planning a camping trip and everything in between. 

Sometimes, Honey has homework or reading to do, which she loves and she often creates her own extension activities, which usually unfold on the floor while the baby sleeps! This can be giant story maps (a great use for the totally excessive Amazon packaging paper) based on a book she’s been reading or using magnetic letters to spell tricky words on the fridge. She also adores cutting up old magazines and catalogues to make scrapbooks and collages. 

As well as spending time with Honey and getting plenty of chores out of the way, I sometimes use the time to work with Honey to set something up ready for after Ace’s naptime. It can be something simple like dragging out the road mat or building a cool train track but occasionally, we do something crazy like put a box in the garden and throw in the finger paints (the smiles and giggles totally cancel out the extreme mess on this one).

Speaking of the garden, don’t forget about it, even in winter as it can be a really valuable space. While we don’t tiptoe around while Ace is asleep, he undoubtedly sleeps for longer when he has a bit of peace and quiet! This is where the garden comes in, we can draw on the outdoor blackboard, have a tea party in the playhouse or use the time to practice the skill of moment which might be scooting, hula hooping or bike riding depending on your child’s stage. 

Fiddly toys that aren’t baby friendly can come out during naptime without fear of anybody choking. Hama beads are a favourite here, it can take a whole nap to place the tiny beads on those boards and boy do we have some funny and random conversations while we ‘work’. 

I could go on all day, the possibilities really are endless but instead, I’ve put together a Pinterest board linking to some of activities mention (and a few more) incase you fancy trying anything outI’d also love to hear what you guys get up to while the baby sleeps, so please do comment on the post or get in touch via social media!

A Guest Blog from Steph Gore
About Steph

Steph lives in Cheltenham with her wonderful, paramedic husband and two gorgeous children. She is a primary school teacher and also loves to blog about the places and products that her family enjoy.  She adores organising and fully believes that you should never put off anything until tomorrow that could be done today! If you want to say Hi, Steph would love you to follow her on FacebookInstagramTwitter or over on her blog, which has recently been nominated for the Cotswold Blogger Awards

All about that space...

Originally posted on Cheltenham Maman's Blog, I am reposting here so my words are not lost once her site closes next month. Wishing you the best of luck for the future Kate, thank you for the memories! 

25th August 2017

When I was pregnant with Honey, we wondered if we’d be able to fit a baby in our two-bedroom end of terrace and set about purging and reconfiguring the spare room so it could accommodate nursery furniture. Then Honey came along and as she grew, we slowly but surely changed everything about our house in order to create a calm, stress free environment for us all to live in. 

We had sold our house while I was pregnant with Ace but after two different houses we had offers accepted on fell through, we lost our buyer and with only weeks to go before a new member of the team arrived, I was too pregnant to carry on tidying up and deserting the house for viewings!

Don’t get me wrong, we are lucky, VERY lucky. I know people cope with far less space than we do, but I am really proud of how we make our space work for us. When friends visit us for the first time, they usually comment on one or more of our space saving ideas (maybe just to be polite) and that’s what gave me the idea for this post. 
I am in total agreement with William Morris who said ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to beautiful’ and also feel that it’s invaluable for our children to be able to access our home without us constantly having to move things out of reach and ask them not to touch things. Our home isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect for us. So here is a whistle-stop tour of some of my favourite storage ideas and space saving options.

In the kitchen, we hang the frame for our travel system on the wall. I had the idea and my very clever husband made it happen (this is usually how we work). There’s no room to keep it up all the time (oo er) and we haven’t got a garage or playroom to keep it in. It has worked brilliantly for us; just make sure whoever is doing the DIY uses extra strong screws and rawl plugs! We also have a random space by our fridge. We considered a built in unit here, but as we were thinking about selling the house at the time, we didn’t want to spend loads so settled for a set of shelves and some Really Useful Boxes (our house is practically sponsored by these). In the boiler cupboard, we store the buggy seat, steam mop and lunch bags. A great way to scrap messy noticeboards is to use blackboard paint to cover cupboard doors. We use ours to note down shopping lists, cooking instructions and meal plans.
The lounge is our only downstairs living space, so we like it to be child friendly but easy to turn back into a grown up space once the kids are in bed. Ikea is our best friend here. We use high, wall-mounted storage for DVD’s, Wii games etc and these also help to childproof the room! When Ace was little, we saved space by using items that would fit under the sofa and in the ottoman; our top picks were the Space Saver Jumperoo and the Poddle Pod. We also have a basket stowed under the armchair containing nappy changing supplies. Recently, I have mounted a couple of the kids’ toys on the wall, this not only saves space but the toys are played with much more often than when they were lying around! Finally for this room, having two children, I find my tumble drier invaluable and absolutely HAD to find a way to fit it into the house. Handy Hubby strikes again to drill a massive hole in the side of the house to create a vent so we could have it in the awkwardly shaped cupboard under the stairs!
Last Christmas, we asked Honey and Ace’s grandparents to help us buy them a playhouse for the garden. Their playhouse now contains their wooden kitchen, a small table and chairs and a selection of books, leaving space for other things indoors. Everything in the playhouse is accessible and easy to get out and crucially, put away.

Our bedroom is mostly taken up with a Super Kingsized bed, it’s brilliant and has totally come into its own since having children. The rest of our furniture had to be carefully thought out to maximise the use of the space we had left once the bed was in. Instead of bedside tables, we have wall-mounted units with a small shelf underneath. This leaves us with space underneath which came in handy when there was a crib next to the bed and now means one less thing for Ace to try and pull over on himself! Once again, Ikea provided us with the inspiration for our clothing storage and we have a wardrobe with sliding doors (traditional doors wouldn’t have room to open due to the gigantic bed) and a tall, spacious chest of drawers.
When we realised we were staying put, the main area of concern for us was where the new baby would sleep. As previously mentioned, a crib fitted nicely by our bed, but when we felt it was time for Ace to move to a larger cot, it became a bit of a squeeze in the other bedroom. With some rearranging, a cot was added and Honey still had her own little area but I was unhappy with the toy storage situation and couldn’t wait to have a bunk bed in place! This has now happened and has revolutionised the kids’ room. It’s been redecorated to suit both of them now and they can play with and tidy up their books and toys independently as the reclaimed space means that everything has an easy access place instead of being shoved under a bed or cot. Wardrobe organisation has also helped Honey to be independent. Coloured hangers and Really Useful boxes let her know where she needs to look for her things or where to grab Ace’s spare clothes from in case of poonami or vomnado!

Lastly, the bathroom. My husband spent last summer completely gutting this room, removing around 1 million white tiles and reclaiming valuable extra centimetres of space by installing a new toilet with a concealed cistern, a slightly narrower bath and a foldaway shower screen. In line with the rest of the house, all the children’s stuff is accessible and easy to tidy up. Ikea to the rescue once again for bath toy storage (with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage) and an under sink cupboard houses Honey’s Child’s Farm collection so she can sort out her own bubble bath and hair products!

Overall, the biggest thing that makes it easy to live in a smaller home, is regular and ruthless decluttering. It’s tempting to stick things in the loft out of sight and out of mind but if something isn’t used or has been outgrown here, it gets passed on, donated to charity or sold on Facebook. Mail is sorted at the point of opening so paper doesn’t mount up and as previously mentioned, the kids shoes, coats and toys are organised so that they’re super easy for Honey and Ace to put away themselves or for one of us to quickly scoop up at the end of the day.

When we bought our house, we were a pair. Since we moved in, we have been engaged, got married, my husband has retrained and begun a whole new career and we have had two children. We used our wedding money to buy new windows and doors, have completely changed every stick of furniture we previously owned and have decorated and renovated so almost the whole place is totally to our taste. There are a lot of memories here and I love it but when the time comes, I’ll be ready to say goodbye and turn another house into our perfect home.

A Guest Blog from Steph Gore
About Steph

Steph is wife, mummy, blogger and primary school teacher who looks on the bright side of life. She lives in Cheltenham with her paramedic husband and their two children Honey (4) and Ace (1). Steph loves organising and adores being out and about with her tribe. She is currently working out how to make a life-sized replica of Honey so that Ace won’t miss her too much when she starts school in September! Come and say hi to Steph over on her BlogInstagramFacebook or Twitter.

Photo Credit Oobaloos Photography

Swings and Roundabouts...

Originally posted on Cheltenham Maman's Blog, I am reposting here so my words are not lost once her site closes next month. Wishing you the best of luck for the future Kate, thank you for the memories! 

4th July 2016

Me while Pitville Park was under construction: (sharing every Facebook update from Cheltenham Borough Council) How exciting, this looks amazing, can’t wait to go!

Me on opening day: I won’t tell Honey the park is finished, it’ll be rammed on a sunny day like this…..

Me after seeing Facebook posts and photos from friends who had been: Wow! It’s still rammed, we’ll just wait until after half term.

Me after visiting, a week after it opened: What am I doing here? Why is it still so rammed?

It turns out that all the schools in Tewkesbury were closed due to a burst water main on the day we visited the new park and guess where everyone gravitated to? So, it wasn’t quite the calm(ish) quiet(ish) experience I’d imagined but that being said, the zoned layout of the park encourages people to spread out and Honey was able to try out quite a few of the new toys.

There are benches scattered about the place, meaning that older children can run off and play but still have a place to check in with their parents and conversely, where parents can recover from energetic swing pushing, have a chat or drink coffee. On the subject of refreshments, the addition of a small ice cream kiosk is a welcome one. although I can see myself having to ‘forget’ my purse fairly often to avoid having a toddler with a permanent sugar rush!

The designers have clearly thought about their young, yet wide ranging demographic and have catered accordingly. There’s a super cute toddler area with loads of low, easily accessible activities and a ridiculously awesome and MASSIVE tree house inspired climbing frame which is aimed at older children and has sections that can only be accessed by climbing a vertical wall (eek!) For those who prefer something a little more subdued, there’s even a music area where your child can practise those all important scales and arpeggios!

There are however, a couple of things I’ve been wondering about:

  1. The sand pit. Kids love sand, that’s true…. But who is going to keep it clean(ish), who’s going to pick out the inevitable cigarette butts (and worse, as the latest, disgusting reports have detailed). My child eats sand and the thought of this sand pit in a few months makes me feel a little queasy!
  2. The tree house. It’s high, really high. Don’t get me wrong, I’d have been the first one to the top when I was a child and I’d never discourage anyone from giving it a go…… But it is high….
  3. The tunnel through the hill is, at some point, going to have something really disgusting hidden in it. These tunnels always do and in my experience, they usually continue to be minging for absolutely ages because whatever has been left, is left and left and left….
  4. My children are likely to learn a whole new lexicon of questionable language. People can’t let things be nice and the inevitable scribbled messily (because it’d be much more acceptable if it was neat) on the side of the climbing frame is sure to be a talking point for my phonics obsessed pre-schooler!

Overall, the new park is incredible and something to feel proud of and thankful for. My main hope, is that people of Cheltenham (and beyond) look after it and protect its awesomeness! It has at least tripled in size and has been finished to a really high standard. It has largely been well thought out, has been built using sturdy materials and is finished in bright, engaging colours. The addition of a water play area is fantastic and I just know that every summer time play date we have, will end up being at Pitville Park, so we’ll probably see you there!
Honey wears…. Strawberry sun hat by H&M 

About Steph
Steph escaped to Cheltenham in her early 20’s after growing up in the small Cotswold town of Moreton in Marsh and lured her then boyfriend (now husband) away shortly after. She is Maman to 3 year old Honey and her baby brother Ace and her blog follows their adventures including groups, classes and days out in and around Cheltenham. Steph is also a supporter of local businesses and loves to review products and services, many of which are created or owned by her fellow Mamans de Cheltenham. Visit Steph’s blog or follow her on Instagram.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Hidden Cheltenham...

With school runs a distant memory, 9:30am felt early to be meeting up with friends in town, but it forced us to be up and at ‘em and was the start of a free, fun filled day! 

We spent a happy hour at Cheltenham Children's Library (with baby bounce and rhyme going on in the background) choosing books for the summer reading challenge, reading and doing some of their activities. After returning the old books and borrowing the new, we all headed across the way to The Wilson for a play in the World of Wonders Gallery. Dressing up, colouring in and making music were the favourite activities, and again we spent a cheerful hour having fun.

Next up, we had decided to follow the Hidden Cheltenham trail, having picked up the map last week. We waved goodbye to our friends, then headed out.

The first clue is in the reception area at The Wilson and they advise you to take a photo of it so you don’t forget the instructions. This turned out to be great advice all the way round, as some of the clues are multi step and it’s good to be able to check what you need to look for or do.

The trail is around 2 miles and I thought scooters would be a good move, so I could pull Ace along on his if he got tired. Between clues, the scooters were a godsend, but I didn’t realise that you actually had to go inside some of the shops, so they were a bit of a pain at times (especially in Tiger as we missed the clue on our first circuit, so had to negotiate the narrow aisles twice).

Everywhere we went, we were met cheerfully and some of the stops even had activities or treats for any children taking part in the trail. Shout out to Middletons for their colouring station and free sweet bowl and also to Lakeland for their lovely gift of an icing bee making kit (another free activity for tomorrow).

The trail itself was very interesting and I definitely learnt some new Cheltenham facts on the way round. It also made me visit parts of town I hardly ever venture into. The route was a little haphazard at times, we were frustrated with having to go back on ourselves at times and Ace didn’t like going past green spots with the ‘wrong’ numbers on, only to come back to them a while later. I will add that this was sometimes due to me wanting to take a safer scooting route, away from main roads.

Including a picnic lunch and a few pit stops for snacks and water, the trail took us around 3 hours. If your children are older, you may need less time, but equally the trail could last all day if you stop to browse in the shops it takes you to or further explore the areas you are led to. We liked the distance updates dotted around some of the stops, Honey was especially motivated by these.

Our last stop was back at The Wilson to swap our trail sheet for goody bags. The kids were excited to find bubbles, balloons and glow sticks in the bags. If you have more than one child, just be aware that the contents of the bags may vary, for example Ace had a beach ball in his, while Honey had a WarHammer figure instead. This initially caused a little friction, but after a quick chat, both were happy with their lot!

As we went round, Honey and Ace also managed to collect another few stickers on their 'No child left behind' summer challenge sheets, so don’t forget to take yours too if you head off on the Hidden Cheltenham trail!

My only suggestion for the Hidden Cheltenham trail, would be to have the option of following the it digitally. Our map and answer sheet were rather tatty by the end and nearly blew away a couple of times when I dropped them due to hand holding or scooter wrangling (having now visited the website, the map is available to download if you sign up for the trail online). It would have been great to have had the option to follow the trail via QR codes and an app where you could also record your answers and unlock the clues, especially as I had to have my phone out to keep track of all the photos of the clues anyway. 

All in all, I would recommend the trail to anyone living in or visiting Cheltenham. It's a great way to see the town and a fun, free way to spend a day. 

Honey wears... Dress by Mini Boded (preloved)
Ace wears... Cargo shorts by frugi

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Pick your own...

When we arrived at Primrose Vale this morning, it wasn't looking good for strawberries. The weather over the last few days meant that the crop had taken a battering. Thankfully we managed to find enough survivors to fill a punnet, but they're now taking a little break to replenish their stocks. Don't worry though, as raspberries, loganberries, blackberries and more were all available in abundance and there's a blackboard on the front of the building letting you know what's available, along with prices and picking tips.

The picking areas are vast and really well organised. They are all labelled and there are plenty of staff members on hand to answer any questions you may have.

There is free parking on site and enough to keep you occupied for a couple of hours in my opinion. Honey absolutely loved the new play area, especially the clamber stack at the end of the wooden trim trail, but she was also pleased to see that her old favourites (the vintage tractor and the drainpipe slide) were still there!

There's plenty of space for you to bring your own picnics to eat on site, or alternatively there are plenty of delicious goodies available to buy in the farm shop. The ice cream menu looked amazing too, so we will definitely be heading back to sample it soon!

Honey wears... Pink shorts from Tu at Sainsbury's 

Saturday, 27 July 2019

A Squash and a Squeeze...

The summer holidays are officially in full swing here. We have a list of summer ideas as long as your arm, some home based, some local adventures and some days out. Most are free, some will only cost us the petrol it takes to get there and lots will help us 'use up' activity and craft packs Honey has collected over the years.

This morning we went to the cinema to watch Toy Story 4 (which was awesome, but definitely was not free) and this afternoon we made our own play dough. I found a recipe online which promised I'd only need things from my store cupboard, and excited to find out how to make play dough from a tub of out of date Angel Delight and some ice cream cones from last summer, we began.

Obviously, the Angel Delight and ice cream cones are still in the cupboard, but using plain flour, salt, vegetable oil and water, we were able to make ourselves some cloudy soft lumps of dough, adding food colouring to create different colours.

8 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp table salt
60ml warm water
Food colouring
1 tbsp vegetable oil

There is a detailed explanation on the BBC Good Food web page, but we basically combined everything then kneaded it on a flour covered chopping board until smooth.

Honey did all the measuring and mixing, then Ace got involved when the time came for kneading. They both enjoyed the making process, but definitely loved playing with it even more! We all loved the vibrant colours, although unsurprisingly they aren't quite as vibrant now they've been slightly mushed together to make triple scoop ice creams and monster trucks! I've reused some bags that Honey's school uniform came in to create airtight packages, so hopefully we will get a few more play sessions out of this lot.

Honey wears... Apron by Emma Bridgewater
Ace wears... Apron by Daphne and Margot

Friday, 17 May 2019

Pack your bags...

Honey has an app that counts down to exciting, upcoming events. The next event on her radar is a week away, camping down in Cornwall. When we go camping, everything is really relaxed and chilled out. Ace has a nap whenever and wherever he falls asleep, most meals are picnics and bedtime is whenever someone asks to go to bed. At home, we encourage our children to be as independent as possible, while being on hand to help if required and when we are away, we try to carry on in the same vein. A great place to start with this is packing.

If your children are involved in packing, they will be aware of what's available to them while you're away and what's not. They will be able to help you find and fetch things you need while you're away because they know you packed the colander in the Paw Patrol bag for life and that their wellies are inside your wellies...

Here are just a few things we use to make packing easy and ensure that everything can be found in an instant when we reach our destination!

1. Packing Cubes
These were all over Instagram last summer, I love anything to do with tidying and organising to I invested £4.29 in a set from Ebay. Almost as soon as they arrived, I packed Honey's holiday clothing and loved being able to group items according to different criteria (e.g. underwear, socks) as well as being able to roll whole outfits up together, making it easy for me to ask Honey to put on activity appropriate outfits each day. After packing Honey's things, I ordered two more sets of cubes for Ace and myself. I love them!

2. Tiddlers and Nippers Swimming Bag
You can read our full review of this super product here, but in a nutshell, this bag and the Tiddlers and Nippers microfibre towel save us space in the car, mean that we can put all our stuff in one locker at the pool and mean that the kids can pack, carry and unpack their own swimming kits.

3. Tiddlers and Nippers Wash Bag
This little gem has a carry handle so little ones can take responsibility for carrying their own bags to the shower block. There are 3 open top pockets, perfect for toothbrush, toothpaste and and small bottle of hair and body wash, then there's a mesh pocket which is great for their sponge/facecloth and a small pocket which is the perfect size for hairbands, packets of teetha granules or even earrings for older children. When open, the bag has a hook that means it can be hung over a shower door or tent pocket. We adore Tiddlers and Nippers products and you can use our discount code HONEY10 if you decide to order anything from their website.

4. Wheeled Suitcase
Honey used to have a Trunki which was super fun for riding through airports and hotels but not very practical in terms of shape or size. With a cabin sized wheeled suitcase, the packing cubes allow you to make the most of the space available inside the case. You can use the space around the cubes to pack last minute extras like slippers and cuddly toys. I bought Honey and Ace a case with 4 wheels on the bottom, they're really easy for both adults and children to pull along and great for packing into the car, Tetris style! Buying a cabin sized case also takes care of future proofing, hopefully they will still be using them when they're teenagers!

5. Small Backpack 
One of the last things I pack, is a small backpack of toys/activities for each child. They are involved in deciding what to put into their packs and I add in a couple of surprises (usually birthday or Christmas books/toys that they haven't got round to using yet). This means that if it rains or we decide to have a relaxed morning in the tent, they both have things to play with that interest them.

Whether your next trip away is camping, hosteling or going all inclusive, I hope these ideas have helped you get into your packing zone. Happy holidays everyone!

*Some of the Tiddlers and Nippers items pictured have been kindly gifted to us for the purpose of testing and writing honest reviews. All opinions expressed within this blog are my own.

Honey wears... Swimming Bag by Tiddlers and Nippers

It's all about you...

I was kindly gifted these books in exchange for an honest review. When Wonderbly got in touch to see if I would be interested in choo...