Sunday, 11 March 2018

Brightening Up Our Bedroom for Spring

Winter seems to have rolled on long enough now and with the reappearance of some sunshine this week after all that snow, I am feeling the need to brighten up our home in time for the warmer weather. We live in a lovely bungalow but it is rented so we are a bit tied when it comes to decorating and changing things up. Our bedroom is has a feature wall which initially took some time for me to like but I love it now - the wallpaper features turquoise and grey flowers and the colours look really nice when the sun is shining through the patio doors.

Because most of our bedding was bought when we lived in our previous house, none of it really matches the wallpaper and can look a bit messy. I decided that upgrading our bedding would be an easy, inexpensive way to brighten things up and a chance to finally have a room that matched!

I began looking online and I was immediately drawn to the bedding section of JD Williams. I have previously bought clothing from them but didn't actually realise they had such a big homeware section so this was a nice surprise.

I had a rough idea in my mind of what I was looking for and the website made it very easy for me to narrow down my choices, searching for different colours, design or even thread count. I eventually decided on a crisp white duvet cover set which had a lovely patterned quilting effect across the middle. I loved the colours and I knew they would be a good match for our wallpaper.

I also got a matching teal throw which features the same geometric pattern and is made of a soft matt satin fabric. This combined with the patterned duvet cover has made a big difference to the bedroom. I love the colours, the quality is outstanding and they do indeed go really well with the feature wall.

I would also like to get some matching cushions to go with the duvet set and I did spot some when I browsing on the JD Williams site. They are the perfect colour so I think I'll definitely be getting these - the hard part will be keeping the cushions on the bed with the kids around though!!
The next thing on my list for the bedroom is to declutter which I'm sure will make a big difference to brightening the room up. My wardrobe is crying out for a sort out and I'm sure half of the toy box has made it's way into the nooks and crannies of the room! 

Once that's done, I'll be moving onto the children's rooms and seeing how I can brighten things up. Erin's room is part nursery/part office so I'll definitely be looking at some new pictures for the wall and maybe some bunting so make it a bit girlier for her. And Elliot's room needs a bit of an overhaul so that isn't a small job. In the next few weeks we'll be making a trip to Ikea to pick up some decent storage for his room and I can't wait to update things! 

Note the very bare walls!

*Disclaimer - We were sent these bedding items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts are my own and I'm now aware that I should probably iron my bedsheets!! 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Erin Update - Life at 13 months!

I know I always say this but just how fast has the time gone - Erin turned one back in January and that just makes my head hurt, where did the time go! I appear to have blinked and she's changed from a newborn into a crawling, cheeky toddler. Slow down please!

It's been a few months since her last update on here so thought it would be a perfect time to do one, now she has reached her first birthday. So here we go...

Weight / Size

 I haven't had her weighed for a little while but she was 24lb the last time I went to the baby clinic. She's up there in the 90th percentile which is exactly where Elliot was and I know she has a very healthy appetite so no concerns from me. I've also noticed how tall she has gotten recently - she's definitely catching her little toddler friends up!

She's now in 12-18 months clothes bar a few sleepsuits which I always find way too long so they are always the last items of clothing to be moved up a size! She has so many lovely clothes including some lovely little dresses that my mum bought her - she mostly wears leggings and tops though as these are very practical when shes climbing everything in sight.


She's a great eater and scoffs most things put in front of her. Her current favourite lunch is the little skinless sausages and spaghetti hoops - just like her brother! She will eat fruit like theres no tomorrow, epecially blueberries and strawberries. She's also started to enjoy apples although it takes her ages to eat it - but its quite handy when I need her to be occupied for a bit ;)

We found the switch from formula to cows milk really easy and she just has one bottle of blue top milk at bedtime. I haven't attempted to ditch the bottles just yet, I know the health visitors advise you to at one but it took us months to find a cup that Elliot would drink from when he was the same age so I'm not fussed if she has a bottle for a while longer.


Erin will have her bottle around 7ish and she'll either fall asleep on me or I'll have a cuddle with her in her bedroom til she's asleep. Generally she isn't a bad sleeper although the dreaded teething did put a spanner in the works for a few weeks. If she does wake up, it usually tends to be between 2-4am and the easiest thing I find is to pop her in with us and put her back once shes asleep. Doesn't work for everyone, I know some parents are totally against letting their children sleep in their beds but I'd rather do that and we actually get some more sleep rather than me spending hours trying to get her back to sleep in her room!

Naptimes are getting easier, she sleeps for longer these days. She normally has 1 or 2 naps a day.  The only issue we have in the afternoon is the school run! I either have to get her to sleep in the buggy before we go or try when we get back. But I hate letting her sleep much past 4pm because I know she will be a little monkey at bedtime!!


Well she is so so close to walking now - she has been shuffling along the sofa and pulling herself up for ages but in the last week or so she has got more confident holding onto one of our hands and walking. She loves her walkers too - she'll go up and down the lounge,  bulldozing everything out of the way! 

She's also learnt to climb in the last few weeks - I keep catching her on top of her toy box! We have three steps in our lounge that lead up to the kitchen and she can get up them so fast. Think I need to get the stair gate out of the garage!

Looking rather pleased with herself!!

She's a right little chatterbox at the moment and just in the last few days she's started to say "Mummy" rather than mumma. Which is lovely but not when shes shouting it at the top of her voice and holding out her hand for food!! 

I think we have around 10 teeth with a couple more on their way through. She's not suffered too badly with teething but has had some awful nappies!! 

What do we get up to?

I have to admit we haven't been to half as many baby classes as we did with Elliot but life is just that much busier with two - my day seems to revolve around the school run and fitting it all those other jobs I need to do. We do go to a lovely music class every Monday called Moo Music which Erin loves - we even booked the lady to entertain at Erin's 1st birthday party and all the children had such a lovely time :) 

Lovely Libby from Moo Music Poole

We still do our swimming lessons every week with Turtle Tots and Erin loves this - we swim in a really lovely little pool too and it's like getting into a hot bath. It's lovely to see how she is progressing. 

Elliot and Erin

These two get on so well - wherever Elliot goes, Erin is never far behind! I quite often wake up and hear the pair of them over the monitor - Elliot will get into her cot and play with her when she wakes up. He's not so keen on her going in his bedroom though - especially when she trashes the place!

What Erin likes at 13 Months

Hey Duggee (they can't get enough of the stick song!)
toasted teacakes and hot cross buns
Books, especially the ones that have buttons and make a noise
Cruising along with her walker
Getting every single toy out of the toy box
Escaping up the stairs into the kitchen
Bathtime, especially with Elliot (me, not so much....I usually need to change my clothes after!)
Anything remotely musical
The remote controls
Looking at photos and picking out the faces she knows
chips...she's a bit of a potato fiend!

What Erin Dislikes at 13 Months

Being cooped up in her highchair for too long
Running out of food
People not sharing food
Having to lie still for nappy changes
Being told no!
Getting her face wiped
Being strapped into the buggy too long

I love these kitty jeans!

Sunday, 25 February 2018


If you've ever visited the Natural History Museum, you've more than likely seen Dippy the Diplodocus. Residing there from 1905 to 2017 he was almost part of the furniture!

This year Dippy was carefully dismantled and has travelled down to Dorset for the first leg of his countrywide tour. Here in Dorset we are very proud of our Jurassic Coastline and dinosaur history so it seems perfect for him to begin his tour here!

As you might have guessed from previous posts, Elliot is dinosaur crazy so I was really excited that he would get to see Dippy close up. The tickets were released last year and I made sure I had the date saved in my calender so we wouldn't miss out!

Last Saturday we made our way over to the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester and queued up with lots of other excitable children. Lots of the businesses in Dorchester are flying Dippy flags outside their premises so there's been a real buzz about his arrival. You can also follow Dippy sized footprints from Brewery Square. We arrived abit late to do this but will definitely be looking out for the footprints on our next trip to Dorchester!

not sure why he felt the need to have his mint hanging out of his mouth!!
Once inside the museum, you have the option of just seeing Dippy (which your free tickets cover) or paying to see the rest of the museum too. We decided to pay to see the rest of the museum too, we've never been before and it seemed a shame not to as we were there! I think it only cost £16 for 2 adults and one child (under 5s are free) so it's very affordable.

Because the tickets are done in hour slots (ours was 10am), we found there was a massive rush to see Dippy on the hour. One of the members of staff gave us a really good tip and told us to go and explore the rest of the museum for a bit and come back in half an hour when the crowds had dispersed. This was really useful and I'd highly recommend others doing this!

We headed up to the top floor of the museum which is where all the dinosaur displays are - Elliot was in his element! It was really interesting to learn all about the Weymouth Bay Pliosaur - the largest marine reptile that ever lived. A fossilised pliosaur skull was discovered on the nearby Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and it's one of the best preserved fossils of its kind ever found. It's certainly impressive, his mouth is humungous!!

After tearing Elliot away from the fossil displays we headed back downstairs to finally see Dippy where he is currently hanging out in the gorgeous Victorian Hall. Measuring 21.3m he literally takes up the entire length of the hall, any bigger and I think they'd need an extension!!

As we walked the length of the hall, there were lots of plaques to read giving us facts about Dippy. Elliot's favourite one which he told to everyone he has met since is, Dippy's tail is longer than his neck!

When we got to the far end of the hall we reached Dippy's head. There was a large glass panel which made it really easy to take a pic with Dippy - the kids loved it!

We spent a bit more time in the Victorian Hall and it was great to see Dippy from different angles.

We went to investigate the rest of the museum and we found some really interesting displays such as the Ancient Dorset one which focused on the Romans, Saxons and Vikings who lived on the South Dorset Ridgeway. It was fascinating to read about all the items such as pots and jewellery that had been discovered over the years.

Our final stop was the craft area downstairs which had lots for Elliot to do. There was colouring, lego and special Dippy hats to make and decorate.

Elliot was also beside himself with excitement when he spotted a grandfather clock just like the one in Andy's Dinosaur Adventures!!

Finishing off with a visit to the brilliantly stocked little giftshop (and coming home with a £20 triceratops!) it was time for us to head home. We had an excellent morning at the museum and I'm really pleased we got to see Dippy while he is visiting Dorset.

For more information regarding tickets, head over to the Dorset County Museum website


Saturday, 3 February 2018

The Highway Rat Trail - Moors Valley Country Park Dorset

I don't know about you but January seemed to stretch on forever! The weather was cold and gloomy and we've all had various germs at some point or another, it really did feel like the longest month. Last Sunday we decided to get our coats and wellies on and get out for some much needed fresh air - and as luck would have it, the sun was actually peeking through the clouds!

We decided to head over to Moors Valley Country Park which is a lovely woodland area not far from our house. It's somewhere we visit a few times a year and last time we went we were Gruffalo spotting!  This time however we were there to try out the brand new Highway Rat trail which is running from 20th January right through to November. We love Julia Donaldson and ever since we watched the Highway Rat at Christmas, Elliot has loved the story even more!

The trail takes you through the forest where children can spot the characters from the story and complete fun activities along the way. For additional rat fun, you can pick up an activity pack from the Visitor's Centre for £3 which includes stickers, activity pack, crayon and most excitingly, a Highway Rat mask! of course we had to get one ;)

Saying Hello to his old friend, The Gruffalo's Child

The trail is 2km long so perfect for little legs but very muddy in places - not ideal if you're pushing a buggy. Although perfect if you're 5 and just want to squelch in the mud!

The trail took us through the forest and much like last year's Gruffalo trail, it took a different route to what we'd normally take. This is great as we got to see parts of the forest we wouldn't normally walk through and kept things interesting.

 Elliot really enjoyed spotting the rat-themed panels along the route and he had lots of fun doing some rubbings with the crayon and sheet that was in the activity pack.

The trail finished up by the play trails so we were able to detour across and let Elliot have a climb after he'd posed for his mugshot!

After a quick picnic we had a walk down towards the trains and had a quick play in the adventure play ground but the weather had turned and the rain had started so we thought it might be a good time to head home.

We had a wonderful day out and it definitely did help to banish those January blues!

To find out more about the Highway Rat trail, head over to the Moors Valley website
Country Kids

Monday, 8 January 2018


I love looking back at all that we've done - I'm always surprised by how much we have squeezed in and this past year was no exception. New babies, days out, holidays, theatre trips...the list goes on! Here's our highlights of 2017..


The absolute highlight of January, and actually the whole year was welcoming baby Erin into the world! 9lb on the dot and the spitting image of her big brother, my planned c-section went very smoothly and we were soon home getting used to being a family of 4. She slotted right in and it was hard to remember life without her - and we've been very lucky as she was such a good baby!

It's mad looking back at these photos from when she was a newborn, you do forget how small they are! Elliot has taken to big brother duties like a duck to water - he loves making her laugh and they have a lovely little bond. She's going to be walking soon I think so I might have trouble on my hands once they get up to mischief together!


We have had some lovely days out over the year including Gruffalo hunting at our local country park, spotting dinosaur bones on the Isle of Wight, taking in some fantastic scenery here in Dorset, pretending to be knights at Corfe Castle, dinosaur crazy golf, stomping round model villages pretending to be giants, paddling in the sea, climbing trees and so much more.

We are so lucky to live here in Dorset because there is so much to see and do!


I've always loved going to live shows and concerts and it's brilliant that Elliot enjoys this too, Erin has also demonstrated a love for music and dancing so I'm sure she will be coming along with us in the future!

This year we have been really fortunate to see lots of family friendly shows and these are definitely some of our top moments of 2017. We had the pleasure of seeing Andy Day and his band The Odd Socks twice this year. The first time was at Camp Bestival which despite the mud was a brilliant day out! It was also our first time seeing Andy the Odd Socks live - we've had the songs on repeat for ages now so it was great to experience them live.

Our second live Odd Socks show was in Richmond and was one of two special gigs to launch their album. We managed to nab seats right in the front row so we felt very special and Elliot absolutely loved the show. The highlight for him though was afterwards when we met the band, Andy remembered him and knew him by name and the band said they'd seen him on YouTube!!

Another highlight for Elliot was going to see Justin Fletcher's live show in Southampton. We've seen him before a few times and always had a great time, this was even better though as we had such good seats right near the front. Justin came down to the audience and Elliot was over the moon when he said hello to him! We also got to see Mister Maker in Bournemouth which was another fab show - and who doesn't love dancing to the shape song :)


We had a big holiday this year and the four of us flew to Orlando for two weeks. I was slightly apprehensive about travelling such a long way with a 5 month old baby and at certain points I did wonder if I was crazy but I needn't have worried! Erin was absolutely fine on the 10 hour flight and she had a lovely time throughout the two weeks. Florida is one of our favourite holiday destinations, there is just so much to do, even if you don't visit the theme parks. We just did Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure which are our favourite parks. Elliot was chuffed because he was tall enough for lots of the rides (he was too short last time) and he became a bit of a daredevil!

Florida Memories
We also visited Clearwater Beach which holds fond memories for us - last we went there we didn't have kids so it was abit different this time round! We had a lovely evening strolling along the beach, watching the sunset. We also managed to see a launch at Kennedy Space Center which was a brilliant experience! There's still so much we want to experience in Florida so no doubt we'll visit again soon.

As well as our long haul holiday we also had a mini break to the Isle of Wight which was a bit of a spontaneous last minute idea. Well, as spontaneous as you can get with two children under 5! We only stayed for 2 days but managed to squeeze lots in including the highlight of the trip which was fossil hunting on the beach. Elliot was in his element and we even managed to find the famous dinosaur footprints which was amazing!


We are very fortunate to have a lovely big group of close friends here where we live. Us Mums met at our local Under One's group when the babies were small and we have all stayed good friends since. Nowadays there are alot more of us with lots of siblings so it's always a crazy time if we all get together!

We've had some fantastic times together this year including the many birthday parties we've hosted. We also put on a mini sports day for the kids in the Summer Holidays which was fun - although it didn't quite go to plan when the weather wasn't on our side! Fortunately we were able to hire a local hall that very morning so we held it inside, everyone took part.....even the mums ;)

There is so much more that I didn't have room to include but needless to say, 2017 was a great one for us and I can't wait to see what 2018 holds!

What was your highlight of 2017?

The PramshedRun Jump Scrap
Mudpie Fridays

Tuesday, 2 January 2018


Elliot broke up from school on the 15th December so Christmas holidays felt like quite a long two weeks stretching ahead of us. I wanted to make sure we squeezed lots of exciting things in and spent some quality family time together - we're all so busy these days! The dreaded sickness bug hit 3/4 of us at different points over the festive period but fortunately Christmas Day was germ free :)

Here's what we got up to:

Fresh air and Freedom

Despite the freezing weather we wrapped up warm and headed out to one of our favourite local attractions, Farmer Palmers Farm Park. It's a brilliant place to visit with the kids and we have annual passes so we visit alot. We met up with some friends and had a brilliant morning - and as you can see from the photos, it's never too chilly for a bit of fun outside!

We also visited another favourite of ours, Kingston Lacey which is a beautiful National Trust property nearby. The gardens were all illuminated for the festive period so we had a magical walk around just as it started to get dark.

The days between boxing day and New Years Eve were a bit of a blur and each day rolled into one, I didn't really have a clue what day it was! We did venture out for some fresh air though - much needed fresh air!

We met up with some friends and visited Arne, which is a local RSPB nature reserve - it was abit muddy in places but the kids had a great time jumping in icy puddles and ticking things off their nature checklists.

Meeting Father Christmas

We ended up meeting Santa three times in the days leading up to Christmas Day - turns out Erin was not a fan!!! She didn't scream the place down on the 3rd and final meeting so there's hope for next year ;)

Family Time

I'm not at all religious so Christmas for me means more about spending time with family and friends than anything else. We've not seen as much of them as we'd normally do due to the sickness bug thats flying around but we still had some fun times!

Happy New Year!

We spent the last day of 2017 having a nice lunch out and then onto the pantomime in Poole which was excellent. I never thought I'd be someone who enjoys pantos but having kids changes you!! 

Elliot is back to school tomorrow so I'm looking forward to getting back to normality and getting the house back to a tidy state - I have washing and toys coming out of my ears!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas - Wishing you all a Happy New Year xx

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Have you ever wanted to step through the wardrobe and find yourself in Narnia? Well now's your chance! An award winning immersive Christmas event has recently opened at Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth, in partnership with the South's leading radio station Wave 105 and entertainment specialists Secrets Beneath.

Based on the beloved classic series The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, visitors will be able to step through the wardrobe into the magical world of Narnia and journey through the snow on their quest to find Father Christmas.

The beloved characters of the Narnia series will entertain and delight as they usher guests through the magical world to the Enchanted Garden - then it’s on to meet with Father Christmas himself!

Enchanted Narnia uses stunning scenery, special effects, a host of enchanting characters and a
sprinkle of magic to create an immersive experience that will delight all who enter. Snow Business
International, who have supplied winter effects on all films within the Harry Potter series and The
Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe movies are also being brought in, to bring the Enchanted Forest

Tickets have been selling fast but if you fancy the chance to experience the magic yourself, we have one family ticket to giveaway - 2 adults and 2 children will be able to visit Enchanted Narnia from 27th - 31st December, time slot subject to availability.

Please follow the Rafflecopter details below to enter - closing date 20th December 2017.

For more information on Enchanted Narnia, check out the Facebook page or the website 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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