Sunday, 30 June 2013

Our holiday in Tenerife


Hi everyone!

We're home from our weeks holiday in Tenerife, and what a brilliant week it was! Although it was a totally different experience than last year's holiday! Holidaying with a toddler is a whole different ball game to holidaying with a 6 month old.

I'm so glad my mum, step-dad and brother were there too but in hindsight we should have driven down to my mums and caught the plane with them. I shall be sharing some tips of my holiday experience in a post later in the week but I can tell you now that if your child is anything like mine, no matter how many Peppa Pig toys you buy them in the airport if they want to roam up and down the aisle and not sleep-they will!




We stayed in the Golf del Sur at the Cordial Golf Plaza, which for what we paid was fantastic. Due to a deal at the time of booking we were bumped up to half-board and our room was a lot bigger than I expected, complete with a kitchenette and living area. The food was great and Ava loved the separate baby pool.


It's within walking distance to small shops and restaurants and only a 15-20 minute bus ride to the bright lights of Los Cristianos & Playas de las Americas.

Most of our days were spent lounging by the pool.


But we did venture out to the beach in Playas de las Americas, Ava's first beach experience. She loved it!



Nathan and I also returned to Playas de las Americas alone one evening and enjoyed cocktails and a lovely meal at Tai-Pan, a Chinese restaurant.








We also enjoyed some family nights out.




We also spent the day at Siam Park. An amazing water park which I highly recommend.


It's fantastic but I'd advise to go towards the end of your holiday as you're in the sun all day.

I can't believe how quickly the week has gone by. They do say time flies when you're having fun. My mum, step-dad and brother have stayed on for an extra week but I'm glad that we left when we did as yesterday they released a weather warning of very high temperatures coming up.

I only have two things left to do now, try and maintain my tan and shift the holiday weight. Oh and the mountain of washing!

Are you planning a holiday this year?

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Panic mode

 

 
 
Tomorrow we are going on holiday, only for a week and to Tenerife, which last time I checked was fully integrated into the 21st century. But I'm a mother and I worry, that's what we do I'm afraid. Do we have enough nappies, milk, wipes (etc...)?! Nath has stated the fact that "I'm sure we'll be able to buy all this when we're there" but you never know! He's also stated the fact that I do not need 5 pairs of shoes for one week. I beg to differ.

You see last year when we went to Cyprus I was still on maternity leave so I had endless days to prepare and list make. It's like a military operation I kid you not!

Ava stayed over night at Nath's parents last night so we could get our pack-on! This was halted by the fact that my bottles of essential skincare products are far too big to take away with us, I now need to buy smaller bottles to put them into. These are obviously necessities. Why is it so dang hard to pack? And why do we feel we must pack for every eventuality?! Crazy!

I am now in the process of writing a hand luggage  list and a check list of last minute things to do/buy before we leave. And I know I'll still forget something.

The week will fly by and before we know it we'll be packing our bags to fly home again. Sigh.

Anyway, I shall not be blogging whilst I'm away and I haven't scheduled any guest posts either. Sorry, I'm a bad blogger I know!

But I shall no doubt be fully present on Twitter or Instagram.

Until next week!
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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Alphabet Blogging

I saw this post on Alex's blog and thought that it looked fun so I decided to do it myself.

A. Attached or single? Attached

B. Best friend? Trudy. I've mentioned her before, she will also be my Maid of Honor next year.


C. Cake or pie? Cake! But I do like cherry pie. Oh and apple.

D. Day of choice? Wednesdays I get the day off and get to spend the whole day with Ava but on Sunday's Nathan doesn't work so we get to spend the whole day together as a family.

E. Essential item: My phone & baby wipes. If you're a mum ALWAYS CARRY WIPES! I've learnt from experience.

F. Favourite colour: I like mint green and duck egg blue. Pretty.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Gummy bears. I bite their heads off first.

H. Hometown: I don't want to give my exact town as it's only small but it's in Shropshire.

I. Indulgence: Chocolate or a bath. Or a night out with the girls, cocktail in hand!

J. January or July? July! It's my birth month and (sometimes) warm!

K. Kids: One at the moment. Ava is 15 months old.



L. Life isn't complete without... Family & friends

M. Marriage date: Friday 22nd August 2014! Very excited.

N. Number of brothers/sisters? My 21 year old brother Lloyd tragically passed away in November 2011. It was very sudden and unexpected. I miss him everyday. I also have a 17 year old brother Huw and Jack & Jade my stepbrother & sister.

O. Oranges or apples? Neither really, I'm more of a raspberry kinda gal. At a push I'd say orange.

P. Phobias: SPIDERS! Arghh! Hate them so much! And I get a bit iffy about swimming in open waters if I can't touch/see the bottom. Urgh!

Q. Quotes: "Dream as if you have forever, live as if you only have today". It's the quote that we have engraved on my brothers memorial bench.


R. Reasons to smile. Ava, she's amazing. She's my everything. I can't even explain how much I love her.

S. Season of choice. I like Spring, after the hideous winters that we usually have I love seeing everything come to life again!

T. Tag 5 people. If you want to do it comment below with a link to your blog and I'll check it out.

U. Unknown facts about me? In October last year I had eye laser surgery. One of the best things I've ever done. I also have 3 tattoos.

V. Vegetable? I like most vegetables. Not too keen on courgettes though.

W. Worst habit? I can be quite pessimistic and "glass half empty". Need to stop doing it. I annoy myself!

X. X ray or ultrasound? Like Alex, I don't even know what this question means :/

Y. Your favourite food. I have a huge sweet tooth! I love chocolate and donuts. My savoury favourite is probably pizza. To be honest I'll pretty much eat anything. I love FOOD.

Z. Zodiac sign. Cancer, the crab. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside! Ha!


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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Weekly Round-Up #18

Next Saturday we are off to Tenerife (eek) so I apologise in advance if my posts are sparse. If you miss me (ha!) you can follow me on Twitter here and instagram here both of which I use a lot!

Wearing 
Well we're back to our winter woollies! Typical British Summer! This is a good thing in some ways, I've put our Summer clothes to one side and they are all clean and ironed. At least we won't be messing them up before we go! One less job (which is always welcome). On another note if you already follow me on Twitter or Instagram you would have already seen this but I just had to share it on my blog. Ava went to her first fancy dress party on Saturday and wore this uber-cute fairy costume (from Asda). Her little friend Poppy whose 1st birthday it was wore a Winnie the Pooh costume! It was beyond adorable!


Eating

I've been trying to eat well because of our upcoming holiday but I've fallen off the waggon a few times (KFC, cake...whoops.) And this week is going to be a bit boring as we haven't done much shopping before going away! Salad leaves and dairylea it is. Yum! I also had my first hog roast bap at a Summer fete on Saturday. It was lovely although Ava pinched half of it! She loved it!

Ava loving the attention from Nath & my dad

Listening to

I love this.


Thinking about

The holiday, obviously! And the million and one things that I have to do until then!!

Highlight of the week

Ava's started teething again. Poor girl has 2 molars coming through and a horrific nappy rash so highlights have been few and far between. We had a lovely day on Sunday for Father's day. Nath loved his canvas and personalised phonecase from Casetagram

Last week I started a new feature where I will be sharing the 5 things that made me smile every week.

Here are this weeks five:
1) Ava in her fairy costume (eeks)
2) The thought of being on holiday
 3) My new hair colour (I've gone a smidge darker)
4) Nath's face when he unwrapped his Father's day presents
5) Ava on the bouncy castle at the Summer fete

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Friday, 14 June 2013

From GFC to Bloglovin'

Hi all,

I'm sure that you are all well aware by now that very soon that little gadget on the right hand side of my blog with allows you to follow my posts will be disappearing. Along with Google reader. How tragic!!
 
However there is a solution! If you enjoy my blog (which I hope you do!), I would love you to follow my ramblings over on Bloglovin'.

This is where I follow all of my favourite blogs, it's so easy to use and super handy.

You can follow me here. I am also always on Twitter which you can follow here.

Thank you. x
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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Baby or Toddler?

After my amazing day with Ava on Saturday which you can read about here a few things sunk in:

1). She is growing up so fast
2). She is definitely no longer a baby
3).This is fun!

As a first time mum when Ava was first born I was petrified. I've always been around children and had always thought that I was the maternal type but the weight of responsibility once Ava was finally here was quite frankly terrifying. I would give myself a pat on the back if we managed to get dressed or even go to the shops! I think we muddled along quite nicely but I seemed to be living my life looking for the next milestone, the first smile, laugh, roll, crawl, steps...



But now she's almost 15 months and she's doing it all. I look at her sometimes and wonder where my baby has gone and I wish I could have held on to those moments for a little longer. They really do grow up so fast. But now I am really enjoying myself. I think I have finally relaxed and am finding motherhood a lot easier with a toddler in tow.



I love watching her discover new things and babble away to herself, we can have proper adventures together and lots of laughs. We can start building memories and she has started to show us that she loves us (taking the photo of Nath and I off the fridge this morning and kissing it was one of them).

I have finally found my feet as a mother and it feels so nice. Having a baby is wonderful but having a toddler is even better.



I'm so excited for our next adventure together.

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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Weekly Round-up #17 + a new feature!

The weather this week has just been amazing! Hot & sunny, just how I like it. I'm so glad it held out for the weekend. It's been a very busy but fun week in our house.

Wearing

After searching high and low for the white Zara sandals I was coveting in this post I finally gave in and bought them online. I'm so glad I did. I am completely in love with them.
Ava and I have also been rocking our hats this week. Ava's is from the Disney Store and mine is from Primark.



Watching

There has been no time for TV this week, we've been too busy enjoying the sunshine!

Eating

Picnics, barbecues and lots of salads. Perfect Summer food!


Listening to

This album has been on repeat in our car. Perfect Summer soundtrack.

Thinking about

Our holiday which is now only too weeks away! I should probably start my checklist soon!

Highlight of the week

Most definitely yesterday. You can read more about it in this post.


I've decided to set up a new feature. With Ava growing up so quickly and life passing by at 100 miles an hour I don't want to forget the things that have made me smile on a weekly basis. Also us Brits have a tendency to moan about various things, the weather, queues and well, pretty much anything.


Every week I will give you my 5 reasons to be cheerful and I invite you guys to let me know what has made you smile during the week.

Here are my 5 reasons to be cheerful this week:

1. The sunny weather. It always puts a spring in my step
2. The special mother/ daughter time I've had this weekend
3. The amount of strawberries Ava will eat! She just loves them.
4.Spending some quality family time eating out for my nan's birthday.
5. The way Ava now comes over and kisses and cuddles you. I could squish her!!

What are your reasons to be cheerful this week?

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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Days like this...

Although my parents divorced when I was 6 I have some amazing childhood memories. I was very lucky to be surrounded by wonderful people who loved me and who wanted to give me & my brothers days to remember. That's what I want for Ava, I want her to look back on her childhood with a smile.

I know that she's too young to remember yet but today was amazing. It was a day that I will definitely remember forever.

As Nathan had planned to be out for the whole day I wanted to have a mummy/daughter day with Ava. It needed to be outside and some sort of picnic had to be involved (a must when it's sunny). I have lovely memories of strawberry picking with my grandparents and brother as a youngen but unfortunately the place where we used to go has now closed. After some research it turned out that no pick your own farms nearby had any strawberries ripe enough to pick, due to the crumby weather lately. That was a bummer!  Anyhoo I put my thinking cap on and the idea was literally on my doorstep.

We are lucky enough to live 5 minutes away from Park Hall Farm Countryside Experience. The last time we went was in March, it was pretty cold and Ava wasn't yet walking. As it has been such a beautiful day we headed there, obligatory picnic in tow.

I was a brave mummy today. I went buggy-less! I took Ava's reins and nothing else. Luckily she was extremely well behaved and only tried to run away from me once (hoorah)! We followed the nature trail and parked ourselves on the grass in the woods for our picnic. It was perfect.



She loves strawberries! I hardly got a look in!

"I'm trying to eat here woman!"

There is SO much to see and do at Park Hall Farm! It costs £7.45 for an adult and under 2's go free. (£7.45 for children over 2). We were there for just over 2 hours and although I only paid for me I totally got my money's worth. Once we'd finished we made our way over to the pig racing and then to one of the soft play areas.


And the sandpit.


We saw some ponies.


Pet a gorgeous fluffy bunny (I want one!)


Found a field full of space hoppers



And played with some wiggly mirrors amongst other things.


We then made our way up to my dad's for a barbecue.

Safe to say I'm exhausted tonight. I also have a little visitor in bed with me, so looks like Nath is on the sofa when he comes in! Oops.

I'm off to bed one happy lady!
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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Mummy's Favorites Part 2


Hi all,

A few days ago I wrote this post about some of my favourite baby brands and I thought that I would follow it up today with the second part.

This isn't a sponsored post, these are all my own honest opinions. 

Dr Browns

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I struggled to breastfeed. I tried for 3 weeks but ended up with mastitis twice (!) and was in complete agony. We'd initially bought Ava some Avent bottles as I hadn't heard of Dr Browns. Unfortunately the Avent bottles didn't agree with her, they were giving her terrible wind. It was then that a friend recommended the Dr Browns Natural Flow bottles. I was curious and bought a 4ml bottle to begin with. The bottles feature an internal vent system which is designed to reduce air bubbles. We noticed the difference in Ava straight away and I bought another 4ml bottle and 4 8ml bottles. They are quite pricey at £6.99 a bottle but they are worth every penny.

Jellycat

When Ava was born one of my best friends bought her the Jellycat Bashful Bunny Blankie in cream. We call him Snuggy. It's the head of a bunny with the body of a soft fleecy blankie. I instantly fell in love with it and would put it in Ava's moses basket every night hoping that it would become her favourite. Well it is and she has been bought more Jellycat toys since. They make a gorgeous range of soft cuddly toys, teddies and books. I think they make perfect gifts for newborns and small children. Snuggy isn't so cuddly anymore as he's been through the wash a fair few times but Ava still adores him!



Annabel Karmel

I have written before about my admiration for Annabel. She is one of the most successful cookery writers in the UK and has earned a well deserved MBE. As a new mum the thought of weaning absolutely terrified me and I bought Annabel's weaning book to see if it could help. It did, so much! I was now making quick, easy and most of all healthy meals from scratched that Ava really enjoyed. Most of all the change was within me. I grew from a terrified first time mum who would dread meal times to a confident, happy mum and I can't thank Annabel enough.

Zara, Primark and H&M

What do these three stores have in common? They all sell baby clothes and they are my favourite places to shop for Ava. Zara has the most to die for children's range. If I could I would buy it all but unfortunately it isn't the cheapest place on earth. Ava does have a lot of gorgeous bit from there but for the days that she is going to nursery or just roaming about the house I but her in her cheaper bits from H&M or Primark.

I have my eye on this gorgeous jumper from Zara

Zara £14.99

And this sweet little dress from H&M

H&M £2.99

Clarks

You may recall that we recently bought Ava her first pair of proper shoes. We went to Clarks as I think more parents in the UK do and the service was second to none. Yes the shoes are pricey but I am a great believer in you get what you pay for and the quality of Clarks shoes are brilliant. They make "cruisers" too which are for babies who aren't quite walking yet. These are fab as Ava was starting to scuff so many shoes crawling about. They really make a big deal of baby's first shoes too which is lovely. You can read more about our experience in this post.


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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Ava's May

Remember in last month's post when I said that I will stop saying "next month will be the month Ava starts to walk" and just let her do it in her own time? Well, May was the month that Ava walked! 

She absolutely loves it and we had to buy her some reins to keep hold of her!




Her personality is really starting to shine through. It amazes me how much she can understand. She shakes her head for no, says Peppa (Pig), bubbles and her new favourite "all gone!" complete with hand action. She understand to put things back or when you ask her to get something and give it to you. She's a very bright button.



We do like to watch cartoons together and she has developed some favourites. Peppa Pig being one and Sophia The First. She dances to the music and claps her hands, it's so sweet!



She still loves the water and I'm starting to think that bath time is her favourite time of day. I can't wait to get her in the swimming pool on holiday!

We've been very lucky this past month and illnesses have stayed at bay! She has just started to teeth again though and I'm pretty sure my poor girl is cutting a molar or two! I do feel sorry for her.



Ava is moving up to the toddler group at nursery on Tuesday. It's hard realising that she isn't a baby anymore, she is becoming very independent and now that she's walking it's hard to keep up with her! I love watching her grow and I'm sure that she will change even more over the coming month!

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