Thursday 29 March 2018


Despite the cold and wet weather, apparently it's now Spring.  I'm not convinced...our heating is still on and I'm no way near ready to give up my winter boots yet! Elliot has now broken up for the Easter hols and we are looking forward to two weeks of fun. And some nice weather would be nice too!

Here's a selection of things (in no particular order!) that we are looking forward to:

This is the big one! I have a lovely group of Mum friends and our children have grown up together after we met at our under ones class back in 2013. We don't all live in the same area though so unfortunately some of Elliot's friends go to different schools. It's so hard to meet up in term time as we are all so busy at weekends so it's really nice in the school holidays to catch up.

If you read this blog regularly, or follow me on Twitter, you'll know that Elliot is a huge fan of Andy Day from CBeebies! Andy is bringing his dino raps show to Dorset on Easter weekend and we couldn't be more excited. Erin is going to my parents for the day so Elliot and I can have a day together which we don't do very often these days. He's got his Andy costume ready to wear and we might even pop in and say hello to Dippy while we're in the area!

Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park
The first day of the Easter holidays will be spent here, a favourite local attraction of Elliot's! We are looking forward to taking part in the new Octonauts Shark Mission which runs from March 30th til April 15th. We'll be able to follow the trail around the park and even meet Shellington - Elliot loves a character meet and greet!

This is a pretty new thing for us but we've really got the bug! I'm guessing it happens all over the UK but people paint rocks and hide them, and then people find them and post on Facebook. We found our first rock in February and have since then painted lots of our own to hide. It's quite exciting when you see one of your own creation pop up on Facebook!

Another Andy event (we're not stalking him I promise!!) - this time a visit to Bristol and tickets to see Andy and his band The Odd Socks. They are a great kids band and we always have a fab time at their shows. The CD is on in our car all the time and the songs are just so catchy!!

This combines two of my favourite things - Cadbury's chocolate and our local National Trust properties!! This has become a bit of a tradition for us and we always head over to Kingston Lacy which is a beautiful stately home set in stunning grounds.

We have some beautiful scenery here in Dorset and we're looking forward to visiting some of our favourite nature reserves. One of the prettiest is Arne and it has a lovely mix of beach, heathland and woods plus a pretty cool wooden playground! Will keep our fingers crossed for dry weather :)

We love a bit of crazy golf and Mighty Claws is one of the best we have been to. Featuring large scale animatronic dinosaurs, an erupting volcano and even a purple waterfall, it's a great place to visit if your children are as dinosaur obsessed as mine! Elliot is excited to visit again :)

What do you have planned over the school holidays? 

Monday 26 March 2018


With Easter just around the corner you might be looking to buy the usual chocolate eggs for your family and friends. I can't resist an Easter egg so I admit I do buy a few extra at this time of year that invariably get munched way before Good Friday! I have bought Elliot and Erin a chocolate egg this year (well, a chocolate dinosaur in Elliot's case) but I have been on the look out for a few non-edible gifts too. They're bound to get a few more eggs so it's nice to have a couple of gifts that don't require eating!!

If you're after some ideas, here's some lovely things I found along the way:

Bunny Jump by University Games (RRP £19.99) - Kids will love the element of surprise with this one! Collect the carrots but careful not to frighten the bunny - stay focused and be ready to catch him when he jumps in the air. Suitable for age 5+
Squeeze Poppers (RRP £7.99) - Elliot got one of these for his birthday last year and it was an instant hit. Load the foam ball into the creature's mouth, squeeze and fire - hours of fun! We have the dinosaur popper but I think we might have to add to the collection and get the unicorn one too!
The Tiddlytubbies book (£4.99) - Perfect for the younger children, this lovely hardback book features the adorable Tiddlytubbies in their very own story. Erin loves the Teletubbies and I have a feeling she would love this book!

Bunny Scissors and Desk Organiser - Red Candy (£23.50) - This is the cutest desk organiser I've ever seen! The scissors make up the ears, whilst the green paperclips create the carrot stalks. This little bunny is going to make a perfect Easter gift for my rabbit-mad sister but I'm a sucker for lovely stationary and I'm not sure I can bring myself to part with him yet ;)
Hey Duggee Talking Betty Toy ( £6.99) - Both my children are a bit obsessed with Hey Duggee at the moment and I know they would love one of the talking Squirrel gang. This one is called Betty and she's an octopus but you can buy the whole gang!

Ruby Rides and Elephant Book (£6.99) - For something a little different, this beautiful book would make an unusual Easter gift. Written by Ruby Lovell, it is inspired by the bedtime stories of her childhood and her visits back home to Sri Lanka. A lovely way to teach children about different cultures...and who doesn't love elephants!
Colour Changing Dino Lights (£12) - Elliot always sleeps with a nightlight and I know he'd love these dinosaur lights. With three in a pack, they can be positioned around your child's room and gently glow through a variety of shades. They are battery operated too so no need to worry plugging into a socket near your child's bed.
Andy & The Odd Socks CD - Who Invited this Lot? - This has been on repeat since the moment we got it and has been a massive hit with the small ones in my family. Featuring Andy Day from CBeebies and his band the Odd Socks, you will be unable to resist tapping your feet to these songs and I guarantee you'll be humming the Alien song for days!!

Wishing you all a happy Easter!

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Little Fins Kids Club - Dolphin Shopping Centre Poole

The Dolphin Shopping Centre in Poole has recently launched it's popular Little Fins Kids Club for 2018. The monthly event proved a big hit with little ones last Summer so it's back again to take the stress out of your shopping trip!

Little Fins takes place on the third Wednesday of each month between 9.30-11.30am and is totally free. Suitable for pre-schoolers,  there are lots of activities to take part in and each session will have a different theme. There are plenty of arts and crafts to keep the little ones busy plus mini soft play, ball pool, giant Lego, storytelling with comfy cushions and beanbags to relax on and even a slide! You might even be lucky enough to meet one of the guests character when they pop in for a meet and greet.

We were in town this morning doing a bit of shopping so we popped by to let Erin have a play and to stretch her legs - she's at that stage where she isn't quite walking by herself but isn't a fan of being strapped in her buggy!

I would say the activities are more suitable for older toddlers as she wasn't really interested in the arts and crafts, she wanted to eat the stickers rather than stick them!

 But she had a lovely time exploring the soft play, whizzing down the slide (and trying to climb up the wrong way...!), hanging out in the ball pool and climbing through tunnels. She also made a few attempts to escape - the only downside was that the little plastic fence didn't go all the way round so there was nothing to pen her in!

We spent a lovely half an hour playing and even bumped into Lily the Ladybird on our way out...I tried to take a photo but Erin wasn't too keen!!

This is a great little event and perfect for a short pitstop when you're out and about shopping. The ladies who run the event are from Crafty Arty World and were all really friendly and helpful with the children.

The arts and crafts will change each month depending on the theme as will the character visit. The next few events are as follows:

18th April – Galaxy
Get dotty with some solar system dot sticker art, have fun in our star crazy mirrors and don’t miss out on a conversation with Perry the Parrot
16th May – Safari
Use 3D embellishments to create safari animal shape, ape around with our monkey throwing game and don’t be afraid of Gary the Gorilla
20th June – Butterflies
Decorate a beautiful butterfly art piece, practice your aim with our flower throwing game and have a listen to some of Freddy the Frog’s story-telling.

For more info about this and future events, take a look at the Dolphin Shopping Centre's Facebook page

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!

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