Monday, 1 September 2014

AUGUST FAVOURITES


Johnson's Baby Bedtime Bath // This brings the memories of Ava as a teeny tiny baby flooding back.  I just love the smell which is why I bought it and I might have it in my baths all the time because...why not?  I have loved having this in my relaxing baths this month.

Coconut & Almond Leave-In-Conditioner // I bought this for holiday and wondered if it would be any good considering it is quite a bit cheaper than the Aussie one, and I have to say I am and was impressed.  I really like the smell and it has really helped keep my hair and Ava's conditioned, especially when we were on holiday and swimming every day.  Ava also likes it being sprayed on her hair, it makes her feel fancy.

Silk Box set // Jonny bought me this as a surprise and I was so excited.  I loved watching this on the tv and unfortunately didn't get to see all the last series so I can't wait to see how it ended.  But of course we are watching it from the beginning because you have to...

Great British Bake Off // Another television favourite.  Don't know if my enjoyment of this makes me old beyond my years or just cool.  I like to think the latter.  I just love escaping into this happy little programme and drooling as I see their creations.

Reusable Straw Cup // I got mine from Waitrose but you can find similar here and here.  This has been my favourite glass this month as somehow when I use it I drink so much more water.  As I have been trying to drink more water for ages, I am glad that I finally found something that helps.  Also it has a lid which is always useful when you have a "helpful" toddler around.


And they are my August favourites.  What have you been loving this last month, I would be intrigued to know.

Friday, 29 August 2014

TRAVELLING WITH A TODDLER

I know it has been quite a while since we came back from Malta, but I thought I would just write down my thoughts of travelling with a toddler with a few tips of what I found useful just in case anyone wanted to know...which they probably don't but hey ho!

So if you don't like these sorts of posts I would stop reading now: hope you have a happy weekend and see you on Monday.  And for those who want to carry on...Yey!  It isn't just me reading this.

So on to what I learnt:

-- Armbands and non-slip shoes are the best things ever for baby pools.  It meant Ava got a little more freedom and we could relax a little rather than having her slipping over a fair few times.  Also the shoes avoid little feet getting burnt on hot tiles around the pool, if only I had been so considerate of my own feet.

-- My Mum bought a cheap plastic tea set and shoved it in her case for Ava.  This kept Ava entertained for hours as she could make people tea...who doesn't love a cup of swimming pool water. Also it was easily cleaned and came in its own little bag so was easy to tidy away and cheap enough that we could have just thrown it away.  Ava was way too attached to it by the end of the holiday to let us do that though, and now we have cups of bath water...yummy!

-- As we were in the pool every day I thought Ava would probably need some conditioner and the easiest thing was leave in conditioner.  It was one of the best things and so much easier than having to rinse anything out.  It also made my hair silky smooth.

-- I mentioned in my holidaying with a baby video about taking a baby listener with you and we found this so useful.  My parents' room was right next door so it meant we could use the baby listener and use their room while Ava settled down for her naps.

--We took with us a wrist link {apparently that is what it is called} which was so useful as Ava wanted to walk quite a lot of the time.  Also a major perk of the wrist link over the back pack leads {we also have one of these and love it} was that it just fits in your handbag no problem.

-- My Mum {it seems my Mum basically came up with all the good ideas} also brought a child's cutlery set with for Ava at meal times.  This made Ava feel really special and also meant she could feed herself so we could eat our meals at the same time which is much more enjoyable.

-- A mini fan helped keep Ava cool if we were out and about in the midday sun.  Also she just loved that thing as a toy.  Sadly it no longer works, we need new batteries, that is how much she loved it.

-- We took a number of hats on holiday with us for Ava, but one by one they were just chucked into the pool by Ava.  Oh the joy of a child.  In the end we used a clean man's handkerchief.  Ok so it would not win any style awards, but Ava didn't notice she was wearing it which meant no burnt toddler scalps...so win win.

-- The travel wash stuff.  This was a life saver as although we had quite a few bibs and things it is amazing how quickly you go through them.  Also it meant when Ava spilt tomato sauce down her dress we could get the worst out so there was no staining...hurrah!

-- Finally my last tip is about making naps work for you.  At home I have a flexible routine but to be honest bedtime is about the same time every day.  I don't sweat over it being ten minutes later or whatever but by 7.30pm I like Ava to be in her bed.  

On holiday we decided this was totally unrealistic and just tried to make the naps work for us...hello 5.30pm nap that would never be allowed at home.  This meant we could all eat together and enjoy the evening together.  Ava went to bed about 10pm and slept until 8.30am/9.00am.  It was like a dream.  If Jonny didn't wake me up at 6.30am all week I might have tried to keep this schedule hahahah.

My tip is just try and be flexible and do what works for you.  A new routine can be figured out which means everyone wins rather than trying to keep to the home routine.


All in all these are probably really obvious, but I hope there is something useful in there, somewhere.  In my experience sometimes the thought of travelling with a toddler is a lot more stressful than the reality.  Just go for it!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

TAKING STOCK: AUGUST

Awkward:

- Picking up the biggest pack of toilet rolls you ever did see and walking home with them.  I felt everyone was looking at me like "Woah!  You obviously have some tummy problems."

- Ava wanting to show people her tummy by lifting up her shirt.  Did I mention this is when we are out about and said people are strangers.

- I was just reaching to get something off the shelf in the supermarket at the same time as someone else, and our hands touched...awkward!

- I was in a situation when I couldn't be honest and say what I truly thought, and then I didn't rearrange my facial expression quick enough.

Awesome:

- Bank holiday weekends.  We should have more of them especially ones when Jonny takes the Friday off too to make them even longer.

- Meal planning and it actually working.  Normally I forget a day or two, but this time I actually remembered them all.

- Ava's new room.  Getting her big girl bed and rearranging her things to make her room extra special...well it made me feel pretty awesome.  As did her reaction of "Wow!".

- It being "candle weather".

- Ava holding hands with Will and Max.  It has to be one of the cutest things ever.

- Getting a strike at bowling.  I am one of the worst bowlers ever but I got a strike...oh yeah!


What about your highlights?



*totally inspired by Sydney from The Daybook

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A LONG WEEKEND AT CENTRE PARCS

We spent the bank holiday weekend at Centre Parcs with some of Jonny's family.  Jonny took the Friday off too just to make the long bank holiday weekend that little bit longer.

We were staying at the new Woburn Forest village, where there were trees, a great swimming pool place--Ava loved it--and probably lots of other activities you could do.

The best parts about it though:

-- was the time our little family of three got to spend together.  Ava loves her Daddy so much that she just wants to be with him every minute so seeing them together, well it melts my heart every time.

-- was catching up with good friends.  Don't you love it when some family members are like really good friends too.  I love it when that happens because lets be honest a lot of the time family can be a little difficult and rather trying.

-- three little people holding hands and loving spending time together.  It was one of the cutest things ever.
I know the final photo is blurry but it was Ava's attempt at a selfie, which suddenly means it ranks on a whole other level.

I didn't really take many photos, so these are it I am afraid.

As I had never been to Centre Parcs before I thought I would just throw my opinion out there for anyone thinking of going.  

Centre Parcs seems like a dream place for children with the swimming pools and lots of activities going on.  It is so family orientated and the fact that you can rent lodges makes it so much easier if you have children as it means that when they are asleep for the night you still have a lounge to hang out in, or a pool room if you get one of the bigger lodges.  There are also babysitters you can hire if you want an adult only meal.

If you don't like children, and like to explore places off the beaten track then this place is not for you but then you probably already knew that.  It can get quite busy and it is probably a good idea to book things you really want to do in advance.  Also at Woburn Forest some of the activities are 'coming soon' as it is a new village so you might want to take that into consideration when picking which resort to go to.  

All in all we had a good time and I would recommend it especially if a group of you are going with young children.  But make sure you book lodges close to each other, or that everyone who has little children that have an early bedtime are all in the same lodge as this will make your evenings much easier and remove the dreaded moving and resettling of a little one.
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