Category Archives: Travel

Hitchin Lavender Farm

I have wanted to go to Hitchin Lavender Farm for a few weeks since I saw lots of beautiful family photos amongst the lavender rows on Instagram but as the weather has been so awful we hand’t got to go. So on Sunday as the Sun was shining we decided to make the 30 minute journey. I packed my new Olympus Pen 8 and tripod and off we went.


Hitchin Lavender is a lavender farm attraction close to both London and Cambridge and they have 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick your own fresh flowers from. When we arrived we parked up and paid only £11 for the four of us to get in and we got given a bag and scissors to pick and collect our own Lavender. Adults are £5.00 (picking included), Under 14’s are £1 and Under 5’s are free. You can buy additional bags to fill for £4.


The farm is open from 10am until 5pm every day throughout the season which runs from mid June until early September.


As soon as we got to the field, the smell was amazing! I love the smell of Lavender. The boys enjoyed picking their lavender and filling up their brown bags and we took so many great photos. You can also pay £50 for a professional photo shoot but if you have a good camera and a tripod you can get some great pictures.


We had a great morning, captured lots of great photos and it was a really cheap and fun family day out. We will be going back next Summer and making our family photo in the lavender rows an annual thing!

 

Our Holiday To The Sensatori Resort In Ibiza

Sensatori Ibiza

When I started looking for our Summer holiday a few months ago as Archie is two and a half and won’t sit still we thought it was a better option to pick somewhere with a shorter flight like we did last year. I went onto the Thomson website and as we have stayed at two of their 5* Sensatori resorts before in Crete and Tenerife I thought the Sensatori Ibiza one would be great location wise and the only thing that worried me was the size of the rooms in the photos. The rooms/suites we had before at the Tenerife and Crete hotels were lovely, spacious and what a proper 5* room should be like. I rang the Thomson help line and they reassured me that a double/family room would be big enough.

So on Saturday the 8th of July, the day after Oscar broke up from school we flew from Luton to Ibiza. Prior to our flights I had booked the Luton Priority Lane which I couldn’t recommended higher especially if you are travelling with children. For only £3 per person you can use the Priority Lane dedicated to getting you to Security and into Departures faster. It literally took us five minutes to go through with no queues at all. I will be using this every time we fly from Luton from now on without a doubt! You don’t have to pre book you can pay £5 per person on the day to use the priority lane.

Our flight was at 7am so we arrived at the Sensatori Ibiza resort at about midday. The transfer from the airport was only 20 minutes which was great! Our rooms weren’t ready until 3pm so I grabbed the swimming stuff out of one of the cases and we headed to the main buffet restaurant for lunch. As it is an all-inclusive resort you can eat and drink as much as you want and there are a couple of extra payable restaurants on the resort if you wanted to book. There are also …. other restaurants that are included in your package which you can book at the kiosk in reception. We went to the main pool and had a swim and some drinks and then walked down to the beach to see what it was like.


One thing we picked up on immediately is that there are hills everywhere! Anywhere you want to walk to on the resort involves walking up a hill. When we got to the beach it is beautiful, the sea is crystal clear, you can hire jet skis and book water sports and there are some lovely restaurants in the cliffs and on the beach.


Once our room was ready we headed to our room which was in block 9 furthest from everything except the retreat which was only up the hill which we used for the whole holiday instead of the main pool anyway. More about that in a minute. There are also no lifts in the blocks, luckily we had a ground floor room so everyone with rooms upstairs had to leave their pushchairs outside the blocks.

So we got to our room and I was genuinely shocked at how small it was and then on further inspection how filthy it was. I complained at reception and asked to change rooms but as it is peak season they had no rooms to move us too. A few days into the holiday we were offered a family room with a sliding door for an extra 800 euros, we went to look at the room at it was no bigger just configured differently with a sliding door so the boys would be separate. How they can justify asking 800 euros for literally a sliding partition door is a joke and we turned it down. To be honest after a few days we got used to it but as Oscar is at private school we can get our holidays cheaper as its outside of state school holidays and when I did a comparison and it would have been almost £6000 for the identical holiday in August I would not have been happy with the room at all if we had paid that sort of money. Even for us paying a bit less than that is too much in my opinion for the standard of the hotel compared to Tenerife and Crete!

Now on a positive note just up the hill is the retreat. You can also get a free shuttle bus from reception if you don’t want to walk anymore hills. The retreat is fantastic! It has two normal swimming pools, a children’s splash pool, tennis courts, archery, football pitch, kids playgrounds and a spa. Also at the retreat is a buffet restaurant so if your there all day you can get lunch there too. The lunch is the same most days so if you want to change it up a bit you can go to the main buffet which has loads of choice. Also by the children’s splash pool is a big freezer full of ice creams and the kids can just help themselves (obviously after asking us first) to an ice cream. The retreat also do water orb sessions that you can book on to and we also booked the tennis courts for an hour as well which is all included. The prestige spa is amazing and I had a Swedish massage and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Massages are around 90 euros.


They have a nursery and kids club on site but I can’t give you a review as we didn’t use them. There is also a kids sleepover club once a week and a movie club in the evenings. If you children like kids club then there were a lot of activities on offer.


Opposite the retreat is a supermarket that sells inflatable toys, gifts, clothes, snacks and drinks which is great and about half a mile down the road is a pharmacy if you need it. There is also a doctor on site that is 90 euros a visit, I got an ear infection after diving in the pool and you can claim the money back once your home on your travel insurance.

In the evenings there is a play house live show which is indoors for the younger children but Oscar who is 7 didn’t want to go as it was a bit young for him. The evening show then didn’t start until 9.45pm and really they could do with putting on a little show/disco for children aged 5 upwards to enjoy as there is nothing really to entertain that age group in the evening without putting them into a club. The main shows in the evening are hit and miss, when they bring in tribute acts; we had Robbie Williams and Jesse J they were great but the Sensatori shows weren’t great. We often left half way through. ​


We booked one of the extra restaurants included in our package, the Trattoria La Torre restaurant which is an Italian, the food was lovely. The food in the main buffet and the retreat was always good and tons of choice in the main restaurant as well. Other restaurants on the resort are the Sunset Mediterranean restaurant, the Pan-American restaurant which in total are the four restaurants included in the all-inclusive package and at an extra cost you can book the T-Beach restaurant and the Le Souk restaurant. You can look on the Thomson website as to what restaurant serves what type of food.


On one evening we booked the Cotton Club restaurant which is on the cliff by the beach. It is a beautiful restaurant and is famous for having the best sunset on the Island. The food was amazing and the sunset was fantastic. If you go to the reception in the hotel they will book it for you. It is a bit on the expensive side for a family of four with no alcohol it was around 200 euros. It was a lovely treat!

On three occasions after dinner we got a taxi from reception to Ibiza town which is 80 euros there and back and takes 25 minutes to get to, but well worth the trip. There is a beautiful port with some fantastic super yachts docked in it. There is also a beautiful square in the town with lovely shops and places to get a coffee. On all three occasions we went and sat outside of the Cafe Montesol Ibiza where we had ice cream and coffees. It’s a beautiful hotel! On the way back the taxi driver showed us a few of the gigantic night clubs that we drove past. We couldn’t get over the size of the club called privilege that can hold over 10,000 people at any one time! Crazy!


Overall we had a lovely holiday and the boys loved the water slides at the retreat and spent all day long in the pool. The hotel rooms in my opinion were not up to scratch and I am surprised that they claim they are a 5* hotel. The food was great, the staff were lovely especially in the restaurants, they were so friendly. The cleanliness of the rooms is awful, in fact after a few days we only let the maid change the sheets and towels and we cleaned the floor with floor wipes (the floors were black with dirt) and cleaned the rest of the room ourselves. Location wise it was good and the beach is beautiful. I would defiantly go back to Ibiza as the island is beautiful and we loved the town but I wouldn’t stay at the Sensatori resort again unfortunately. Next time when I book a Sensatori holiday I will do more research on the rooms etc as after going to the other resorts in Crete and Tenerife we expected the same level of luxury and room size which Ibiza doesn’t offer.

The Boys Summer Wardrobes From AlexAndAlexa.com

With only a couple of weeks until we go away to Ibiza, over the last month I have been putting together the boys swimwear, day and evening outfits and making sure I have everything I need for them whilst we are away. So I wanted to show you The Boys Summer Wardrobes From AlexAndAlexa.com.

I have always brought a lot of Oscar and Archie’s clothes from AlexAndAlexa.com as I like buying higher end clothing for them and the service when buying from Alex And Alexa has always been second to none! The boys also both modelled for a collaboration with Stokke and Alex and Alexa a few months ago and the array of boys and girls clothes there for the children to wear were gorgeous!


They sell a huge range of top designer brands such as Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana, Kenzo, Fendi, Hugo Boss and loads more. They also have an amazing sale running at the moment and for a limited time only you can get an extra 15%off the sale using the code AA15!

From the clothes I am about to show you some of them I have brought myself and Alex and Alexa also kindly sent me a few bits for each of the boys as well.

A pair of shorts that Oscar has had for awhile is these lovely blue camouflage ones from Stella McCartney. They go with a lovely crisp white tee or a nice shirt in the evening and are a great pair of shorts to have in his wardrobe as I can team it up with various tops and Oscar will get lots of wear out of them in the evenings on holiday. They are currently reduced from £55 to £41.30 and then don’t forget you can use the extra 15% off code too!


Another pair of shorts that are great to have are a beige pair of chino shorts. There are lots to chose from but my favourite were the Burberry Taupe Chino shorts as they have a great fit and go well with  a smart tee or a lovely shirt, especially a plain linen one. They are reduced from £80 to £64. I’ve put it with the Burberry Blue check pocket tee which I have for both of the boys as I like some of their clothes to be matching. Again it is reduced, from £50 to £40.


I brought a couple of pair of swimming shorts for Oscar as he asked for some ‘big boy’ ones like Daddy and I got the Burberry Bright Blue Check Swim Shorts which you can get in a few different colours and the Hugo Boss BOSS Blue Swim Shorts which again come in other colours too. Both of these are in the sale at the moment and the Burberry ones are £55.30 and the BOSS ones are £36.


For one of Archie’s evening outfits I picked the Burberry Navy Classic Check Shorts which are £56 reduced from £70 and again will go with shirts and tees and he can wear them on a few evenings whilst on holiday with different tops. One of the tees I have got it the Burberry ‘White Use Your Head Beefeater Print Junior Tee’ which I think is really cute. Burberry have some lovely tees this season with fun graphics on them like Thomas the bear and the Full English breakfast Summer tee which are great fun!


I like the boys to match on a few occasions when we are away and having a 5 year age gap between them can often prove difficult to find nice matching items on the high street. With designer clothing this is never really an issue as they have the same pieces in loads of different sizes. I wanted to find a nice evening shirt for them both and absolutely love the Burberry Pale Blue Check Short Sleeve Shirt. There is a range of different colours in this design but I picked the blue as it will go well with the taupe chino shorts that they have. The shirt was £70 and is now reduced to £56. As you can probably tell I am really loving the boys Burberry clothing this season.



I also got a Hugo Boss tee for Archie which is worn a few times already and can be worn in the day or with his chino shorts in the evening. I love the stripes in the bright green and blue and think it is a really great item for his Summer wardrobe which can be put with lots of different shorts or trousers.


As well as the boys having a pair of Havaianas for holiday and some Tom’s Canvas shoes I wanted to get them each a pair of smart trainers for the evening and they will last for the whole Summer into Winter. The Burberry Heacham velcro trainers are to die for and I got a pair of the black ones for Oscar which were £135. They also do them in a gorgeous baby blue colour which I will get for Archie. I did pick Archie up some BOSS jelly sandals last year in the Summer sale and they finally fit him now.



Last but not least, Oscar loves his new baseball caps from Mini Rodini. He has the Light Green Lion Embroidered Cap and the Off White Music cap which are both £26. Then to keep their little eyes protected from the Sun the boys each have a pair of Zoobug Sunglasses which are really funky. Oscar has the Blue Camouflage Round Sunglasses which were £60 and are now reduced to £42 and Archie has the Black and White Clubmaster Baby Sunglasses which were also £60 and are now reduced to £48.



As you can probably guess I absolutely love the AlexandAlexa.com website and wouldn’t shop anywhere else when picking up the boys some designer clothes! I have also had a sneak preview of their Autumn/Winter 2017 collection and it is all totally amazing, so watch out for that going on their website very soon!



 

Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System Review

As you will have seen before for the last few months we have been a Generation Graco Ambassador. Within this time we have reviewed the Nimble Nook Travel Cot and the Milestone car seat. When we were at the Generation Graco event at London Zoo in September we were given a glimpse of the Modes 3 Lite and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!


The Modes 3 Lite is a new travel system from Graco that is suitable from birth to 15kg and has seven ways to ride. When it arrived I couldn’t believe how much was in the box, inside there is the main chassis, the Graco SnugRide first stage infant car seat, baby carry cot, toddler seat, rain cover and foot muff. Literally everything you will need from birth until three or 15kg is in the box. I love that just like the Milestone car seat the stroller will last for the whole time you will need a pushchair and grow with your child.

As I mentioned there are seven ways to ride in the Modes 3 Lite using the ClickConnect technology which is absolutely fantastic and makes it so easy and quick to use the travel system. You can attach the infant car seat which can face you or face away from you, or attach the carry cot which again can face you or away from you, attach the infant car seat whilst the toddler seat is on which is great for when your little one is to big for the carrycot but can still fit in the car seat, or the toddler seat can face you or away from you. There are so many possibilities to suit everyone!

Obviously Archie was to big to try out the SnugRide first stage infant car seat and the carry cot as he is now almost two but our closest friends are having a baby next year so I will do another review next year on those. Although I can say that the SnugRide first stage infant car seat is without a doubt the lightest infant car seat I have come across. I wish I had one after I had both of the boys as I had a caesarean with both and carrying the car seat afterwards was quite difficult to start with. It also has a Sun shade hood that can be attached to the carry handle. It is attached into your car using a seat belt and has a three point harness. The carrycot is also really light and has a carry handle conveniently placed on the hood making it easy to carry around. Archie actually climbed into the carrycot and it is massive.

Setting the travel system up was fairly easy and the instructions were clear and easy to follow.

Once I had put the Modes 3 Lite together the first thing I noticed was just how massive the basket underneath is. It is absolutely huge which is great for me as I have Oscar’s school bag, handbag and shopping which fits under easily. It’s that big I am pretty sure I could fit in it! 🙂 I also noticed how sturdy the system is it feels well made and I like that the handle is slightly higher up as I found it comfortable to push and with Greg being 6ft it was high enough for him too. The only thing that would be better was if it was adjustable but it wasn’t a problem for us.

The toddler seat is lovely and wide and Archie looks lovely and comfortable in it. It has a five point harness. The fabrics are luxurious and plush and can easily be moved and are machine washable which is great as I love to keep my pushchair nice and clean. The footplate is also nice and big on the toddler seat and can just be wiped over to clean off the muddy footprints.

The best feature without a doubt is the fast action fold. I actually couldn’t believe just how fast the travel system folded when we were given a demo at the event. It literally takes a second to fold and you can even fold it with the toddler seat still attached. Once folded the travel system is so flat and would fit in any boot, big or small.
I also liked the cup holder so Archie can put his bottle or beaker in whilst were out and about, he also stuffs his dummy and comforter in there too just like he does on the Milestone car seat. It would have been great to have one on the handle too for my drink.

The Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System is without a shadow of a doubt absolutely amazing value. The complete package has an RRP of £389.99!! Yes only £389.99 you did read that right! Considering everything that is included it is incredible. I know that with other brands you would have to purchase the infant car seat separately, the car seat adaptors, drink holder, footmuff and sometimes the carrycot separately too. Sometimes this can cost in the thousands!

I really think the Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System is as great as I expected from when I saw the demo. If you are looking for a complete travel system with all the extras that is sturdy and well made, easy and quick to use and won’t break the bank then this really is the one for you! I love it!

Disclaimer: We were sent the Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System for the purpose of this review however all opinions are honest and my own.

 

Graco Milestone All-In-One Car Seat Review

Since Oscar was a baby and now with Archie we have had a fair few car seats. Some in my car and duplicates in Greg’s. Car seats cost a fortune and changing them when your child reaches different age or weight limit can be expensive. When we went to the Graco ambassador event a few months ago I saw their Milestone All-In-One Car Seat for the very first time. I was shocked when I learnt that the car seat is the only car seat you will ever need to own! This car seat will grow with your child from birth up to 36kg (12 years!) making it one of the only car seats you will ever need which is great.

I love the name of the seat ‘Milestone’ as as a parent you count so many milestones with you children and with these milestones often comes expense… bigger sized clothes and shoes, new toys and of course new car seats, now with the Milestone car seat you can take that off of your ever growing shopping list.

Archie is 23 months old now and was 21 months when we started using our new Milestone car seat. The car seat is easy to fit, it took me about three minutes to fit securely into the car. The convertible car seat has three different modes: transitioning from rear-facing infant car seat (birth to 13kg) to forward-facing 5-point harness seat (9-18kg) to high-back booster (15-36kg). For the best and most comfortable fit for your child, the no re-thread harness system and 10-position headrest allows you to adjust harness and headrest together with just one hand.

Side impact protection provides the best head protection at every stage and features a steel reinforced frame giving you peace of mind that your little one is always safe. The safety features on this car seat are outstanding, we were talked through all the key points and Graco don’t mess around, they have done so much research into making the safest car seat for your precious little bundle.

Another fantastic feature is you don’t have to fiddle around and re-thread the straps as your little one grows, the car seat really does grow with your child in one pull of a button. The headrest has 10 positions for optimum comfort and also has 2 reclining positions so when Archie is tired I can recline it back so he is more comfortable. The seat is so plush and comfortable and has a durable, steel reinforced frame built into the seat provides peace of mind and added safety for your child. It also has side impact protection in the headrest as well. The seat cover comes off easily and can be machine washed and you don’t have to take out the harness to get the cover off it just simply slips over the top. The cup holder is great too, at the moment Archie puts his comforter and dummy in there but as he gets older he can keep his drink bottle in it.

Graco Milestone All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

To sum up I think this is a great car seat and great value too and you can’t beat a product that will grow with your child, save your money and keep your little one nice and safe in the car! It has an RRP of £179.99 but amazon currently has it at an then amazing price of £114.99!

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Milestone car seat for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own and this is truly a great car seat!

 

Graco Nimble Nook Travel Cot Review

Two weeks ago we went away for the week to Wales. We stayed in a lovely lodge and I took our new Nimble Nook travel cot for Archie to sleep in. I always use my own travel cot whenever we go away even if there is one available to use, I always prefer to use my own. I saw the Nimble Nook in the flesh when we were at the Generation Graco event last month at London Zoo and couldn’t believe how many features it had.

The Nimble Nook is a compact travel cot that grows with your baby. When you travel with your newborn you can use the cot in bassinet mode which is higher up so is easy for you not to have to bend right into the travel cot to get your little baby out to feed during the night and also if your in bed you can keep the cot right next to you and lean over and get your baby out. The bassinet also has a two speed vibration unit to help your baby relax and drift off to sleep. You simply plug the unit in and pick the speed. There is also a mobile bar that goes across the bassinet with two detachable grey stars on it. I also love the pattern on the outside of the cot, it makes it look very smart.

Obviously as you can see we used the travel cot in ‘cot’ mode as Archie is 21 months old. The cot was really easy to pop up and literally took about 30 seconds to put up and put the padded cot base in. I then added some sheets and Archie’s bed looked comfy and warm. When bedtime came I put him into the cot and went off to sleep quite quickly. The cot dimensions are slightly smaller than a normal travel cot (69cm x 68cm) which was great as it fits through door frames which we needed to do in the middle of the night as Archie kept waking Oscar up. Archie is an awful sleeper! I also noticed the height of the cot is really good. The sides weren’t to high that it was hard for me to bend into and high enough that Archie couldn’t climb out.

After five days we were off home and I folded up the Nimble Nook easily using the Signature Graco® push-button fold that makes closing the travel cot quick and hassle-free. Also the instructions are so easy to follow. The cot slips easily into the carry bag and when folded takes up minimal space in the car boot, (69cm x 20cm). Obviously being so compact and light weight it would make it easy to take on holiday abroad too.

I absolutely love the Nimble Nook it ticks all the boxes.

  • You can use it from newborn.
  • It is easy to use and light weight.
  • The dimensions make it easy to move through doorways.
  • Converts into a bassinet for newborn and smaller babies.
  • The quality like all Graco products is fantastic.
  • The price is great too!

It gets 10 out of 10 from us!

The Nimble Nook travel cot has an RRP of £109.99 but I have found it online at Mothercare for £89.99 and £83.59 on Amazon.

Technical Specifications:

Weight Length Width Height Folded Length Folded Height
7.5 kg 69 cm 68 cm 98 cm 20 cm 69 cm
From To
Age 0 years 3 years
Weight 0 kg 6.5 kg

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the Graco Nimble Nook Travel Cot for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own and I really love the Nimble Nook.

Generation Graco Badge FINAL

Bluestone National Park Resort, Wales Review

Last month the most exciting email landed in my inbox, inviting us to come to the 5*Bluestone National Park Resort for a Monday to Friday mid week break. As Oscar broke up for half term last Friday it was perfect timing. The boys were so excited and it is their first ‘outdoors’ holiday that involved being outdoors, activities and getting muddy! Normally we go abroad and I am ashamed to see that I have only even been to Wales once before which was only last month for the opening of our trampoline park in Newport. So needless to say I was really looking forward to a different type of holiday for us in a totally new place!

Day 1

So on Monday we arrived at the Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales. We left at about 11am from home as Greg had some work to do first and it took us around 5 hours to get here which included a stop off for lunch and a quick coffee break further on. We arrived at about 3.30pm and we drove up to the check in kiosk and the whole process only took a few minutes. With our key cards and welcome pack in hand we headed to the car park as we couldn’t go to our lodge until 4.30pm. We walked over to the adventure centre and Oscar and Archie played on the soft play and bouncy castle. At half 4 we went back to the car and drove around to our lodge to unload and unpack. When we arrived at our ‘Ramsey’ lodge Oscar was so excited and as soon as we opened the door he was running around to explore his new home for the week. Our lodge consisted of two bedrooms, one with a doubled bed and one with two singles and a travel cot, two en suite bathrooms and upstairs an open planned kitchen, living room and diner. I actually brought my own travel cot but a travel cot is included. All bedding and towels are included too (not bedding for the travel cot) but I would use my own anyway. On first impressions the lodge was lovely and clean and we had everything we needed.

I unpacked quickly and then we had to return the car to the car park as it is a car free zone. We walked to the buggy and bike hire station where I had pre booked buggy hire for the week and two bikes and a trailer. We picked up the buggy first which Greg and Oscar were very excited about and drove around the park to get our bearings. We drove to the village and grabbed some bits for breakfast from Newton’s Store and as we were shattered from the long drive went straight into the Farmhouse Grill for an early dinner. The food came really quickly and was very nice. I had liver and bacon, one of my childhood favourites. The only grumble was for Archie’s age (1, or 21 months to be precise) there wasn’t a great deal for him to choose from. Afterwards we headed back to the lodge and bathed and we were all in bed by 9pm.


Day 2 – Tuesday

Today was our first full day at Bluestone. Archie and Oscar were awake at 6.30am so we watched Cbebbies upstairs in the lounge and waited for Daddy to get up. Archie slept in with Oscar last night and woke up 9 times, he has a bit of a cold but it was a huge milestone as up until now Archie had never not slept in a room with us. I then cooked us all breakfast and Oscar had been begging since we arrived to go to the blue lagoon swimming pool so we got ready and drove the buggy up to the pool.

We got ready in one of the family changing cubicles which was really clean and as we walked in a member of staff was cleaning the floors. The lockers are £1 but when you open them you get your money back which was great as you know with children your always going back again to grab goggles or nappies/wipes. Inside the blue lagoon is a main pool with a wave machine, baby pool, pirate pool, jacuzzi, lazy river and water slides. I took Archie into the baby pool whilst Greg and Oscar went on the water slides, we then switched so I could go on the slides too. The lazy river is amazing, it takes you outside which was a bit cold to start with but is so refreshing. I got out with Archie after an hour as he was a bit cold and with the £1 from the locker we went in the drying machine. You get 3 minutes for a £1 and its amazing, my hair was dried and Archie was lovely and warm. Greg and Oscar stayed in the pool for another half hour and then we met in the cafe for lunch upstairs whilst Archie had a nap. They serve jacket potatoes, sandwiches and chips.

We then drove the buggy back to our lodge and then went back to the buggy and bike hire to pick up the bikes. The boys thought being in the trailer was very funny and we headed on to one of the bike paths and ended up deep in the woods by the high ropes and the Camp Smokey restaurant. The scenery is absolutely stunning, trickling streams and some of the tallest trees I have ever seen. It is simply breathtaking.

We rode back to the village and had a cup of tea whilst Oscar and Archie played in the play area then headed back to the lodge for showers before going out for dinner. We booked the Oak Tree restaurant and the food was absolutely amazing. I had the lamb, Oscar and Greg had the cod pasta and Archie had pizza. All the food was freshly cooked to order and tasted fantastic. Topped off with a chocolate brownie we headed home full and tired from an action packed day. Again we were in bed by 9.30pm!

Day 3 – Wednesday

I was up at 6am with Archie who coughed pretty much all night. We had a cooked breakfast at the lodge again and Oscar really wanted to go swimming so Greg and Oscar went off to the blue lagoon pool for a couple of hours on their own as Archie wasn’t 100% we stayed at the lodge so he could have a two hour nap instead. When the boys got back we put on our coats and wellies and drove to the village for a quick coffee then to Camp Smokey’s as we had a lunch reservation at 2pm. As we were a bit early we walked through the woods and the boys walked in the stream and jumped in puddles.


At 2pm we walked back to Camp Smokey’s for lunch. Camp Smokey’s is outside in the woods and served barbecued food. The setting is fantastic. I had chicken fajitas and the boys had pulled pork baps. The food was great. Pudding was what Oscar was super excited for, we had smores and marshmallows and roasted them on the fire. Afterwards we walked back to the buggy and drove to the village where one of the nature trails started and walked the 2.5km trail. Oscar took his creepy crawly I spy book that he brought in the village shop and ticked them off as we walked round. After the walk we were shattered, Archie with his little legs impressively walked most of the way. We wanted to go and Pan for Gold but it was fully booked from now until we go home so we have put ourselves on a waiting list at the booking office.

We went to the Knights Tafern at 6.45pm for dinner, you can’t book this restaurant but we turned up and got a table straight away. The menu is pub food. Oscar had sausage and chips which he loved, Archie had fish fingers and Greg had BBQ chicken and I had fish and chips. To be honest the food wasn’t great and I left most of it, compared to the other three restaurants we went to where the food has been of such a high standard I wouldn’t eat here again. I tried to book the Oak Tree for the Thursday night but it was fully booked so booked the Farmhouse Grill instead. Looking back now I would recommend booking all your restaurants on the first day as they all get booked up really quickly! We drove the buggy back to the lodge and watched some TV then went to bed.

Day 4 – Thursday

We got up at 7.30am and we had breakfast at home again and then drove our buggy up to the car park and drove the short 5 mile drive to Folly Farm. We had read loads of great reviews about Folly Farm and decided it was a must do day out. Folly Farm has a farm, zoo, fairground and play area and we couldn’t believe how cheap it was to get in. Only £13.95 for adults and £11.95 for children aged 3-15 and senior citizens. So for the four of us to get in as Archie was free it was only £39.85 which is great value for the amount on offer inside. The only optional extras are the the Vintage Fairground, The Pembrokeshire Wheel, Follystone racetrack and The Big Dig which you can buy 50p tokens for. I looked at the daily timetable online the night before so we knew what was on and at what time so we didn’t miss anything we wanted to see.

We arrived at 11am and went around the farm and the zoo and stopped for some lunch. There is so much to do at Folly Farm and it is well worth a trip if you are staying at Bluestone. The boys had a great day and the amount of different animals they have there is amazing! The lions were my favourite and we got so close to them.

We left Folly Farm at 2.45pm and drove pack to Bluestone. We rode our bikes back to the buggy and bike hire so we didn’t have to worry about doing it in the morning. Oscar was desperate to go swimming again so we went back to the Blue Lagoon for an hour for our final swim of the holiday.

We had booked dinner for 7.15pm at the Farmhouse Grill so headed back to the lodge at about 5.30pm to shower before dinner. Dinner at the Farmhouse Grill was great again. I had the steak this time, Oscar and Greg had the beef burger again and Archie shared mine. In the Farmhouse Grill is a small children’s play area where the boys played why we waited for our meals. After dinner Oscar had the build your own ice cream which is great fun for the kids with four different sweet toppings to build his own sundae. I was a piggy and had the biggest ice cream sundae which came in a huge bath dish. It was delicious. We headed back to the lodge on the buggy and I packed our bags before we went to bed. We are sad that we are going home in the morning.

Day 5 – Friday

We are going home today 🙁 You have to check out of your lodge by 10am (but you can use the facilities until 3pm( so we had breakfast and then Greg went and got the car so we could load all of the bags into the boot.

We then went to the village for a coffee then returned our buggy to the buggy and bike hire station. Hiring the buggy has been well worth it, we have used it to go everywhere and it is big enough to fit Archie’s pushchair folded on to it as well so if he fell asleep after dinner it wasn’t a problem. To hire the buggy for the week it is £85 and I would completely recommend hiring one, especially if you have young children. To hire the bikes and the trailer for the week was £65. On reflection I should of just hired them for the day as we only went on one long bike ride and didn’t use them to get around the park as we had the buggy. I used the Bluestone website to add on all our extras and the booking system is so easy to use to book in your activities, restaurant reservations and bikes/buggys.

We left for home at 11.00am as we had a five hour drive home. We have had the most amazing week at Bluestone and as you can see we have had an action packed week of fun. I asked Oscar what his favourite bits where and he said the Blue Lagoon pool, lunch at Camp Smokey, the golf buggy and walking in the outdoors. We will defiantly be coming back again soon and have loved every minute of our holiday.

Here our some top tips for your Bluestone holiday:

  • Hire a buggy, the park is quite hilly and with small children having the buggy has made getting around so much quicker and easier.
  • In the lodge towels and bedding are included. Bring some extra towels to take to the pool with you. I hung ours in the inside of the airing cupboard along with our trunks/bikini so they dried over night.
  • A small paper bag with a few kitchen cleaning essentials are included but bring a few black sacks, dishwasher tablets and surface cleanser. Also bring kitchen roll and toilet rolls.
  • I brought with us tea bags and sugar and a few other snacks.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped for you to cook a breakfast/meal. We had breakfast in the lodge everyday and picked up fresh bread and eggs for the store in the village.
  • Book your activities and restaurants in advance. Some activities like the panning for gold that Oscar really wanted to do was only on one day during the week and when I went to book it on the Tuesday it was already fully booked.
  • Go for lunch at Camp Smokey. The lunch is lovely and roasting marshmallows over the fire in the middle of the forest is great fun!
  • If your not serious bike riders like us then hire your bikes for the day as we hired them for the week and didn’t use them as much as we thought.
  • Have loads of fun!

Disclaimer: We stayed at Bluestone free of charge for the purpose of this review. However we paid for all activities, food, buggy and bikes. All opinions are completely honest and my own! We love Bluestone!

Our Summer Holiday Round Up 2016

With Oscar returning to school on Thursday 🙁 I thought it would be nice to put together a Summer 2016 round up post of all that we have been up to. We have had a very long Summer as Oscar had nine weeks off as he broke up on the 8th of July. I absolutely love him being at home and we have had so much fun.

Week 1

We started off the holidays going straight from school at 12 o’clock to a hotel near us with Oscar’s school friends and went in the walled garden where they swam all day had hot dogs for tea and had a fantastic time! As the weather was nice we spent the rest of the week in the garden and got ready to go on holiday. We also went into London to a Finding Nemo event with Epson which was great fun! Archie had his first hair cut at Sharkey’s and he was so good sitting in the Lightning Mcqueen car.


Week 2 and 3

We flew to sunny Mallorca on the Saturday. We had an amazing time and the flight being only 2 hours was perfect for Archie who was a right fidget. We met up with one of Oscar’s school friends who was also in Mallorca which was lovely and went to see some close friends of ours that moved out there a few years ago. Our hotel was on the east of the island, the Protur Biomar Gran Hotel and Spa and it was really lovely. We went on an excursion to see the Pirates show which if you have kids is a must. The show is absolutely amazing, I have never seen anything like it. It was fantastic!


Oscar made lots of friends around the pool and both the boys loved the kids disco in the evening. We also hired a quad bike for Oscar which was so funny as Greg had to run behind him to make sure he didn’t bang in to anyone and we took a horse and carriage ride where the boys waved to everybody we went past.

Week 4

When we got home Oscar’s friend from outside his school had finished for the Summer so we went swimming with them and for a picnic. We went for our weekly fish and chips on a Tuesday with Great-Nanny which was lovely for Oscar as he is usually at school. It was great to go and check on our house build to see the progress. It was amazing to see what they had done in just 2 weeks! We had some lovely weather so I put the pool up in the garden and we also went to the local park a few times. Oscar also went to the cinema with Daddy.

Week 5

Daddy went on a stag do for a few days so I booked a few days in Norfolk with my best friend and her two children which was so amazing! Norfolk is home from home for me as as a child we went there 3 or 4 times a year staying in Brancaster. This time we stayed a few miles from there at a hotel called Briarfields and the kids loved being on the beach, building sand castles, eating ice cream and running around. We had such a fantastic time and we will try and do it every year now! We missed Daddy loads though!


Week 6

We met up with Oscar’s school friends at the walled garden for the day and the weather was amazing! I looked after my friends son for a couple of days and we went to the opening event of Gravity Force in St Albans that the boys loved. We went to visit Great-Nanny, went to the local aquadrome and went to see Scooby Doo Live at the London Palladium which was great. Even Archie sat in his own seat the whole time as he was transfixed on the singing and dancing.

Week 7

Daddy took a day off and we went bowling and for lunch with my Mum and Dad. The weather was amazing so we spent quite a lot of the time in the pool in the garden with Oscar’s friends over to play. We went to the Crayola Bus Tour event and Oscar got to do lots of art and crafts. On the weekend we went to Oxford for my Auntie’s 60th birthday and I got to see all my cousins and we even retook a photo that was taken 27 years ago!


Week 8

One of Oscar’s best friends had been away the whole Summer so we got to catch up with him and go for lunches and to the park and they played in the river. Oscar was so pleased to see him.

Week 9

This week has been a really special week! On Saturday Oscar and Archie were page boys at Greg’s best friends wedding. Greg was best man and I was asked to do a reading in the church. I won’t bore you to much but Steve has become one of my closest friends, hes more like a brother to me than a friend and we were so happy for him and Cheryl and it was an extremely emotional but amazing day. I almost crumbled in the church when I had to do my reading, I had never been so nervous! So congratulations Steve and Cheryl and thank you for a truly amazing day!


On the Sunday Greg was a little worse for ware and I was totally exhausted. We went to bed at 2am and Archie woke up at 6.30! Oscar stayed awake until 1am and partied all night long so he was a bit of a grump on the Sunday. So we decided to get some fresh air and went to the hills in Northolt, had a picnic and walked to the top of the hills and looked at the view of London.


We also went bowling with friends, went to see Great-Nanny and now we are ready for Oscar’s first day back tomorrow! Year 2 he we come….

Huggies Little Swimmers Video

At the moment we are in the very hot and beautiful Mallorca on our Summer holiday. As you can imagine we have gone through loads of the Huggies Little Swimmers swim pants as Archie loves being in the pool splashing around with Oscar. They are easy to use with velcro sides so changing them couldn’t be easier. He has gained so much confidence just in a few days. Here is a little video I made of Archie enjoying being in the water in his Little Swimmers……

Remember to join in the fun you can pick up a packet of Huggies Little Swimmers from the baby aisle and check out their great website www.littleswimmers.co.uk for more information, top tips and expert advice.

I would love to see your videos and pictures of your little ones having fun in the pool in their Little Swimmers. Please tag me in the photo/video and you can use the hashtag #getsetsplash

This video is in collaboration with Huggies as we are proud to be a Little Swimmers blogger.

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Dreaming Of Dubai………….

Dubai is somewhere that I have always wanted to go to. A few of my friends live there and I always see their amazing photos on my Facebook and Instagram feed and as I sit here writing this post and its pouring with rain outside in May I am extremely jealous! Blazing hot, super glamorous and loads to explore and do, what more could you want?

The internet is full of amazing things to do when holidaying in Dubai and when I saw on Twitter that Tots 100 had an amazing competition for bloggers to win a holiday to Dubai with Dubai Tourism I had to enter! Dubai is the perfect location for a family holiday with amazing hotels and beaches and loads to see and do. I have looked at lots of the fantastic things you can do in Dubai for here are my top 5 if we were lucky enough to ever go!

  1. I would soak up some rays on the gorgeous beaches and swim in the crystal clear sea. Oscar loves playing on the beach and building sand castles and I have always preferred swimming in the sea to a swimming pool. Photos on Instagram of the beaches in Dubai look amazing and hot hot hot!

2. Something I have always wanted to do is swim with Dolphins, wherever we have been on holiday in Europe before we have been to watch Dolphin shows but have never been able to swim with them. Oscar always asks to see if he can swim with them so I know it would be an amazing surprise for him if he could swim with them.  Dolphin Bay In-Water Experiences & Aquaventure Waterpark is based at the back of the Atlantis on the Palm which is a hotel I would love to visit in itself. For £159 each you can visit the waterpark and then have a  personal and truly unforgettable shallow-water dolphin interaction. You get your own little show as the Dolphin’s swim and show off some of their favourite skills, then come truly close to them and touch, hug, kiss or even play ball with your new dolphin friend. You get to have an up-close experience which is appropriate for all ages which is great as Archie is only 17 months old but can still join in too instead of either Greg or myself missing out we get to do it as a family. This would be an unforgettable experience and would tick swimming with Dolphin’s off my bucket list.

four people in large pool with dolphin in Dubai

3. Obviously outside the hustle and bustle of the city you are in the middle of the desert. You can go on a excursion and one that really caught my eye is where you go for the day and not only get to ride a camel but also get to drive a quad bike and try sandboarding which all sound great fun! For around £75 each I think that’s a bargain for the amount of activities you get to try out. It sounds like a great day out, having tons of fun and we would get to try lots of new things and after all that’s what holidays are all about, making memories and trying something new!

two camels on sand dune in Dubai

4. So the Dubai Mall is the World’s largest shopping mall and is probably somewhere Greg will try and keep me away from with its array of gorgeous shops and boutiques! Obviously I would love to have a day of shopping here as I have been told that most things are quite a bit cheaper in the shops in Dubai. I will most probably need an extra suitcase to bring my new purchases home! 🙂 The Mall even has its own aquarium which is just mind blowing!

Dubai Mall (6)Dubai Mall (2)

5. Last but no means least, I would love to take Greg and the boys to Ferrari World. It is £ 49 per adult to get in and £40 for a child. Greg loves cars and Oscar has his own electric ferrari at home that Archie now uses. We recently went to something similar for Mercedes in the UK which is much smaller and we had a great time. It is the World’s largest indoor park (and only Ferrari-branded theme park) offering more than 20 Ferrari-inspired rides and attractions for visitors of all ages. Being indoors is good and in the midday sun would be a cool break for a few hours inside. For kids they can play in the waterless car wash, pilot remote-control cars, peddle their own Ferraris, and play with a Formula 1 car made entirely from kid-friendly foam and for adults you can go behind the scenes at the Grand Prix. Get up close and personal with the ultimate display of Ferrari cars, take a tour the historic Ferrari factory as you experience what was previously a privilege for only Ferrari owners plus so much more! This would be an amazing day out and one my boys would really enjoy!

So there you have it, my top 5 things I would love to do in Dubai. Obviously there are a few more I could add as there is so much to do there! If you are taking a trip to Dubai check out the Dubai Tourism website for more great ideas on how to make your holiday extra special!

This post is an entry in to the Tots100/Dubai Dreams blogger challenge, and be sure to share your own Dubai Dreams for a chance to win a holiday to Dubai yourself!