Category Archives: Travel

Our Amazing Day With Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Today we drove into London to a really special event hosted by Yellow Zebra Safari’s. If you haven’t heard of Yellow Zebra Safari’s before they are an award-winning luxury and adventure travel company specialising in African Safari’s. Taking Oscar and Archie on Safari has always been on our bucket list and as I have never been on one myself I just can’t wait to go! Taking your family on Safari is a trip of a life time with memories that are made that will last forever. Both our boys absolutely love animals and wherever we go a bag of Schleich animals comes along too. Oscar has said for a couple of years now that he would love to be a Zoo Keeper. So when we were invited to a fun-filled Safari day out I knew the boys would be so excited!

‘The opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat, to watch a herd of elephant walk past their vehicle, to spot a cheetah with its cubs, or listen to a pride of lions roaring at night. It is a magical experience that they will never forget.’

When we arrived the Safari themed room looked amazing. We had been told before hand that we would have a chance to meet some animals today. We met Safari Pete who Oscar and Greg couldn’t stop asking him questions. He knows everything you need to know about animals and safari’s and is a fountain of knowledge. Safari Pete is a wildlife adventurer and conservationist and works closely with the Yellow Zebra Safari team. His stories of his adventures are amazing and his knowledge of animals is amazing.

We were fortunate enough to meet several of Pete’s animals; Gumbo the Toad, Pinchy the Scorpion, Juliet the Barn Owl, two lizards, Boo-Boo the Monitor Lizard, Jay-Z the Crocodile, a snake, Lady Gaga the Tarantula and Steve and Baby Bear the Meerkat’s. Oscar was so lucky and got called up to hold the crocodile. We also got to see the lizards, snake and crocodile catch and eat their prey, which was really amazing. I had never seen this up close before. It’s incredible how quick the crocodile reacts to his prey and how the snake is able to swallow his meal whole.

We then sat down to our Safari themed lunch which was very yummy!

When booking a Family Safari with Yellow Zebra Safari’s you know you are getting the very best of everything. They will recommend to you based on the ages of your children where is best to travel too. Their team is made up entirely of professional safari guides, camp managers and people who were born and raised in Africa so you are getting the best knowledge and advice when designing your perfect trip. For example if you go on to thier website, we are a family of four with Oscar who is 8 and Archie who is 3. Archie being Under 6 they advise to stay somewhere that is malaria free. For us at this time a Safari in South Africa would be perfect for us. The Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands offer epic ‘Big Five’ viewing, while the malaria-free safari reserves of ‘SA’ cater well for families. The accommodation choices all look out of this World, from lodges to hotels there is the perfect stay to choose from for everyone.

When Archie is 6 we can then all go to Kenya which is home to Maasai Mara National Reserve which is the place to visit if you are looking for a safari, super size. In Kenya is a hotel in particular that has been on my bucket list for a few years now and I know the boys will love it. It is called Giraffe Manor,  most of the hotel grounds incorporates the Giraffe Centre of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and a group of giraffes lives in the Manor’s grounds, they even put their heads through the windows to say hello.

Image result for giraffe manor

 ‘EUROPE’S LEADING SAFARI TOUR OPERATOR’ IN 2015, 2016 & 2017′

After lunch we got to meet the Meerkat’s again and Oscar and I had one of them on our shoulder. They are Grandad’s favourite animal so he will be very jealous!

Oscar and Archie then got to choose a ceramic animal to paint which was great fun and now has pride of place in the playroom.

We had such a lovely day with Yellow Zebra Safari’s and can’t thank them enough for the wonderful experience the boys had meeting all of the animals and a big thank you to Safari Pete too. I am definitely booking one of his animal parties for Oscar’s next birthday! It was also lovely to catch up with Ruth and her family from Rock ‘N’ Roller Baby Blog.

*This post is in collaboration with Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Our Trip To Alton Towers & Stay At The Enchanted Village

Last Sunday after Oscar’s football match we got in the car and drove the two and a half hour drive to Alton Towers. The boys had no idea where we were going, we just told them we were going somewhere and staying away for the night. They were so constantly asking where we were going the whole way there and when we finally drove into the park and noticed the ‘Alton Towers’ sign they were so excited! We followed the signs to the Enchanted Village parking and headed to the reception to check in. Check in was really quick and then we walked to our Woodland Lodge.

The Woodland Lodges are really cute and the Enchanted Village really does look magical. Our Lodge had two bedrooms and a bathroom and everything you needed for a comfortable nights stay. We chucked our bags in to the lodge and headed to the Extraordinary mini golf course and played 9 holes. Oscar managed to get a hole in one on the first hole! It was great fun. We then walked to the monorail station and took the short ride to the theme park.

As it was already around 3pm we decided to head straight to CBeebies Land. Archie’s face was a picture when he saw the rides with all his favourite TV programmes on. We went on the Postman Pat ride, the In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride and on the Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure. It started to rain so we walked back to the Monorail to head back to our lodge. As it was 5pm and the monorail is also used to get back to the car parks as well as the hotels the queue was massive. We had to wait around 45 minutes to catch the monorail. By the time we got to the other end it was tipping down, we ran the usual 5 minute walk back to the lodge and got absolutely soaked.

Back at the lodge we showered and got ready to go to dinner. I booked the Secret Garden restaurant a few days before our stay as the restaurants get booked up really quickly. We walked to the Alton Towers Main Hotel where the restaurant was. The food was really nice and the staff were really friendly. Oscar and Archie loved the ice cream factory where they got to make their own ice creams covered in sauce and sweets. Dinner for the four of us with drinks was around £50.

If you are staying on the resort there is entertainment in the evenings (check the entertainment board and your hotel reception for details). After dinner we caught ten minutes of the entertainment before getting an early night ready for a full day in the park the next day.

Day 2

We headed to the Crooked Spoon for breakfast at 8.45am, again I booked our breakfast before we arrived. The breakfast was really good and then we checked out and out the bags in the car and then walked to the monorail station as with our stay we have early access into the park. We got the monorail at 9.30am and again the queue was absolutely huge so we decided to walk to the park instead of wait. The walk took about 15 minutes. When we got to the park we headed to CBeebies land to finish off the rides. We went on the Go Jetters ride and the Octonauts rollercoaster. We found that as Archie is 0.9m he could go on a lot of rides in the park throughout the day.

We then walked to the Katanga Canyon and went on the Runaway Mine Train and the Congo River Rapids. Both of these Archie could go on too. He loved the the Runaway Mine Train it was really fast, I was so surprised as I thought he wouldn’t like it. Oscar loved the fast rides and was even tall enough to go on the Wicker Man but when he saw how big it was decided to save it until next time (phew!) We headed into the Haunted House instead which was an interactive game where you have to shoot the Zombies.

We headed to the Rollercoaster Restaurant for lunch as I left it too late to book it for dinner for the night before. It is an absolute must, the experience is great fun. You order your meal and drinks and they get delivered to your table on the rollercoaster. The boys loved it, it really is a great restaurant. For the four of us to eat it was about £60 but worth it just for the experience.

We took the Cable Car ride back to Mutiny Bay and went on the rides there and got soaked on the Battle Galleons. Then we went to Cloud Cuckoo Land. After grabbing a drink at one of the many Costa’s at about 3pm we got the monorail back to the car park and started our journey home.

We had a great stay at Alton Towers and would really recommend it. The Woodland Lodges are lovely and the restaurants were great too.

A stay at one of the Woodland Lodges which includes breakfast, 2 days in the Theme park, early access into the park on Day 2, free car parking, evening entertainment and 9 holes of the Extraordinary Golf costs around £277. You can also add a waterpark ticket at the Splash Landings hotel for a day who around £50 for four people.

Below our two videos I made of our days at Alton Towers…..

My Top Toys & Games To Take On Your Travels

With the holidays in full swing and only a couple of months until the Summer holidays I thought I wad write about the top toys and games that the boys love to take on our travels. From a long car journey in the UK for a few nights away or a flight abroad, when you have children keeping them entertained is crucial to a peaceful journey.

Archie is three so keeping him entertained is obviously a little harder at the moment then Oscar who is eight. So here are my top 10 toys and games to take on your travels……

Both the boys love arts and crafts and the Crayola Colour Wonder colouring books are great. They are completely mess free so great for in the car or on an aeroplane so they don’t accidentally get any pen anywhere. I also take them into restaurants on holiday for entertaining them at the table whilst waiting for our meals. Smyths Toys stock the books that come complete with the ‘magic’ pens and have an RRP of £6.49. I always keep a few of the books in the cupboard so I always have one when needed.

An obvious one is Lego. I always buy a couple of little boxes of Lego and Duplo before we go away. They are great for getting the boys to sit quietly in the shade for half an hour and build something.

Great-Nanny brought Archie a Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet which is fantastic. The tablet is £129.99 and comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee, 1 year of Fire For Kids Unlimited app download and a Kid-Proof Case, available in Blue, Pink and Yellow. For the money its a great deal and we have downloaded so many different apps. On my profile on it I have also downloaded Netfilx and some movies for Archie on Amazon Video. He loves it and plays little educational games on it, watches episodes of his favourite programmes and he likes having something like that of his own when Oscar is playing on his Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch is a great gaming console. We got it for Oscar for Christmas. It can be used at home in the playroom TV using the docking/charging station or as a handheld when out and about. The controls also detach from the device and using the inbuilt stand you can play against a friend using the device as a screen. He absolutely loves it and as he has never been into using an Ipad or a tablet likes to use his ‘screen’ time playing games like Mario Kart and Super Mario. The Switch is £279.99 and the games are around £40 each.

For an Easter gift Archie got the Masha and the Bear playhouse playset. He loves the programme and watches it on Netflix and we saw a TV advert for the playhouse and Archie really wanted it. He never asks for anything so we got it for him. Why it is on this list is because its nice and small and all fits inside it self and closes so you can take it on your travels. I didn’t know this when I ordered it but its brilliant and fits in my handbag!

Last year I brought some fantastic car road tape from We Are Kidly and stuck some on the aeroplane tray so Archie could play with his cars. I also used it on the sun lounger and on our hotel room floor. It comes off easily leaving no marks behind and the air hostess on the plane couldn’t believe how long it kept Archie entertained and what a genius idea it was. It is £11 for a roll and as well as road they also do a train track tape.

We love Orchard Toys and have tons of their games but they also sell different mini travel games for toddlers which are great. Archie loves playing games and doing puzzles so have mini versions to take away with you is a great idea. Oscar will join in too even if it is a bit easy/young for him.

Orchard Toys Animal Match Mini/Travel Game Orchard Toys Llamas in Pyjamas Mini / Travel GameOrchard Toys Little Bug Bingo Mini / Travel Game

When it comes to games Oscar loves Cluedo and Monopoly and games like that. But recently he has fallen in love with Top Trumps. We have a few sets of cards now, sports cars, predators and dinosaurs. They are the perfect size to fit in your bag and we take them to Nanny and Grandad’s on the weekend so they can play too. It is the perfect family travel game.

I hope you have found this useful and it’s given you a few ideas of how to keep your children entertained whilst traveling! Happy holidays!

My Separation Anxiety

Last week Archie turned 3! I can’t quite believe it and just don’t know where the time has gone. Being the second and last child I have definitely noticed more anxiety this time around watching him growing up and I just don’t want to let him go. He is so ready to start nursery and was meant to start next week but I have delayed it a term, as the time got nearer my anxiety went through the roof. He is around children a lot during the week as we go to two toddler groups, a Playball class and his swimming lesson so I know he’s not particularly missing out on anything by staying at home with me. He also needs to be potty trained to start at the nursery as we haven’t quite mastered that yet. I’m not going to lie there is a part of me that just wants him to start next September and just do one full year in nursery before reception.

Looking back Oscar didn’t go to nursery until he was three either, he started nursery on the September after his third birthday going a few mornings a week and did a year in nursery before going into reception. Again we went to lots of classes so he had lots of child interaction. Even now as Oscar’s school holidays draw to a close and he goes back to school next week I start to dread it, as I love having him at home with us and really enjoy the school holidays. During the week he has such a long school day (8.20-4.15) and then after school clubs, reading, piano practice and homework so we don’t have a lot of time during the week to do anything fun. So we make the most of the weekends and holidays.

I think in my crazy mind I think that once Archie starts nursery and he does a couple of mornings which will then lead into days and then suddenly he will be at full time school that I just want to keep him at home for as long as possible as once he starts that’s it. He’s my sidekick and goes everywhere with me so suddenly having free time to myself will be lovely but very strange. My Mother In Law said to me years ago that your children are only lent to you and then they grow up and fly the nest, I get that but it scares my how quick the time goes, Oscar is almost 8 and I wish life would just slow down.

I 100% have an issue with leaving the boys, Oscar was only left once overnight when he was 2 weeks old as it was our best friend’s wedding (he was 3 weeks early) and since then I’ve never had a night apart from either of them. This year my brother is getting married and I was invited on the hen do to Marbella. Now instantly I wanted to go, sit in the sun and have fun with the girls and then my anxiety kicked in. Leaving the boys behind even though I know they would have a fun weekend with Greg and be totally fine, the thought of being in a different country to them made me say no. Even now there is a part of my brain that says don’t be so stupid, go and enjoy yourself! Greg’s been away with his friends loads since we had children and its great to have time just being you!

I know a lot of the problems go back to when Oscar was born and he was poorly and then when he was a few weeks old he couldn’t breathe and I had to clear his airways. It scared me how quickly things can go wrong and since then have always felt safer when they are with us. Which is crazy I know.

Even me reading this post back now and I think ‘crazy lady’ and can see how I am missing out on doing certain things/trips which would be fun. But for now I just want to enjoy our boys whilst they are still young. After all when they are all grown up I will have plenty of time to do other things.

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.

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