Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Ordinary Moments- The Reunion



Apologies if you follow me on Instagram, you will have already seen this photo.

I'm linking up with Katie again this week for The Ordinary Moments.

If you follow my blog you'll know that last week Nath & I returned from our honeymoon in Crete & Santorini.

When booking our honeymoon we toyed with the idea of taking Ava with us but realised that with a toddler in tow it would be far from the romantic honeymoon we'd hoped for. It was decided that Ava would spend the first few nights with my mum and the rest of the week with Nathan's parents.

I have to admit, in the lead up to the honeymoon I was terribly anxious, I felt awful for leaving her and was worried she would get horribly upset with us being away.

I needn't have worried, she had a wonderful holiday of her own and I caught up with our parents daily to find out what she'd been up to.

Last Sunday we were both so excited to see her again, the look on her face and the excitement was so lovely. She was so happy to see us and we were spoilt with lots of cuddles and kisses.

It was amazing to spend some much needed quality time with Nathan as we both know we won't have another holiday on our own until Ava has left home, but I'm so excited for next year's family holiday which we've started planning already!

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

An Autumn Walk

Although I'm a Summer baby through and through I do love it when we experience an Indian Summer, like we are at the moment.

All of the gorgeous Autumnal colours and none of the cold weather that knocks your socks off.





Ava and I are having a girly weekend. Nathan is currently in Ibiza on his friend's stag do so Ava and I took the opportunity to meet up with my dad & his dog, Murphy.



We went to a lovely little tea shop for a lunch of huge homemade sausage rolls with Bramley apple sauce, white chocolate rocky road & gallons of tea.




We then went to burn it all off at the local country park.








Although this one is a little blurry I still love it!

What a lovely afternoon we've had. I hope this Indian Summer stays a while!

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Our honeymoon in Crete and Santorini

I first fell in love with Crete when I was 14. My dad took my brother and I on holiday and I still remember breakfasts in the Marina, of sticky Baklavas and milkshakes. My love for Greece has stayed ever since and when it came to looking for honeymoon destinations that weren't too far from home, Greece was at the top of my list,














With full relaxation in mind we booked a week at the Sensatori resort in Crete which holds 5 stars, all of which are thoroughly deserved. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left the service we received was second to none. The resort was spotless, the food was delicious and the staff were amazing. Crete is Sensatori's flagship hotel, it has 7 restaurants in total (4 of which are included in the all inclusive package which we went for), 7 pools (2 of which are adults only), a spa, 3 bars and more sports and activities than you can shake a stick at.








Although we didn't take Ava with us the children's facilities looked brilliant, they have a nursery, designated children's play area, children's evening entertainment once a week and they even have their own area in the buffet restaurant.

Nath and I stayed in one of their plunge pool rooms which also had a sea view (the beach is across the road). The room was bigger and better than I expected and it was so nice to top off our tans on our own balcony and private pool.



I felt like a fat little hippo for the entire week, if I was not gorging myself on the buffet I was snoozing in the sun,

 We were lucky enough to be gifted a night in Santorini by my lovely auntie & uncle who booked us the honeymoon suite at Aroma Suites. Santorini has been at the top of my "must visit" list for so long and it truly lived up to my expectations.




We were greeted by white washed houses with blue domed roofs and little shutters at every turn, It was picture perfect.







The winding cobbled streets held everything from jewellery boutiques to Irish bars and gelato shops.






We were recommended a lovely restaurant looking out over the water and got to watch the beautiful sunset.







It was a perfect week although we missed Ava like crazy and couldn't wait to get back to her. I'd love to go back one day with Ava in tow. It's a holiday that I highly recommend and one that I'll never forget.

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Thomas the Tank Engine- Tale of the Brave. Review

We were recently invited along to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, for the main purpose of a VIP screening of the new Thomas the Tank Engine film, Tale of the Brave, and secondly to give our opinion on Drayton Manor park and Thomas Land. Which you can read about here.

Unfortunately due to an epic meltdown from Ava, we weren't able to sit through more than 5 minutes of the film. Luckily she was given a very generous gift bag which included a dvd copy of the film. We cuddled up  on a dull afternoon to watch it together and give you our verdict.


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Storyline

Tale of the Brave is a story about friendship and bravery. When Thomas believes that he has seen the footprint of  a Jurassic monster in the clay pits he can't help but tell his friends and begins to spook poor Percy who starts to see monsters and ghouls everywhere.  The gang meet new characters along the way, one of which is Gator, who Percy quickly becomes friends with. After a cruel trick played on Percy by James, Percy sets out to prove that he is a brave engine, just like Gator and ends up
saving the day!

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Verdict

Ava and I have now watched this film together a couple of times. Although she did find a couple of the scenes quite scary, she did enjoy it overall, though I felt that it was possibly aimed at children slightly older than Ava.
Having said that she was chattering away throughout, telling me what was going on. It's a captivating film for children with great animations. I love how Thomas the Tank Engine has been brought into the 21st century. He's such an old favourite, the stories are so simple yet heart warming and entertaining. A lovely film for the whole family.

Tale of the Brave can be bought from Amazon for £6.99


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Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Ordinary Moments #1- The first swimming lesson


This week I've decided to take part in The Ordinary Moments linky. Put in place by one of my favourite bloggers, Katie. As Ava grows I want to remember these little moments that I'd otherwise forget.


This week a little milestone happened for Ava, on Friday she had her first swimming lesson. It's something I've wanted her to do for a while but a few weeks ago Nath's auntie said she was going to start lessons for toddlers so it was the perfect opportunity.

She's been for a splash about with us from a young age but I think that learning to swim is SUCH an important skill to have. There was only Ava and another little boy in her class so they had a one to one lesson which was great. Ava was so happy in the water. She grinned from ear to ear and giggled the whole time. It was lovely to see.
She's already quite confident in the water, having been used to the pool from a young age. I'm pretty sure she'll pick it up quickly.

I can't wait to watch her grow with confidence and progress in the water.

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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Our trip to Drayton Manor Park & Thomas Land

A few weeks ago an exciting invitation popped into my inbox. We were asked if we would like to go to a blogger event at Drayton Manor park, have a VIP screening of the new Thomas the Tank Engine film, "Tale of the Brave" and spend the rest of the day exploring the park.



I've had to sadly decline invitations that I've had in the past as they've all been in London but with this event being just over an hour from our hometown, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately Nath couldn't come so my excitement was also tinged with a little apprehension as I'd never had a big day out with Ava by myself.

We were asked to arrive at the park for 10.00am although we arrived slightly earlier. The park was open but none of the rides opened until 10.30am which I have to admit was pretty frustrating, especially with an excited toddler in tow who was desperate to get onto the rides. Luckily I managed to distract her until it was time to head over to the 4d cinema for the VIP screening. I was impressed with what they'd put together, a little waiting room for the bloggers complete with popcorn and Thomas the Tank juice cartons for the little ones which I thought was a lovely touch. I also loved the fact that the room had been filled with Thomas the Tank toys to entertain the children while us mummies chatted away. Before the start of the film we had a special visit from the Fat Controller who then led us into the cinema.






The cinema was big and spacious but not ideal for a small wriggly toddler who did wriggle out of the big chairs a couple of times. Much to my embarrassment Ava lasted a whole 5 minutes into the film before she started shouting the place down (sorry to any fellow mummies!) I think a combination of no nap and having seen the rest of the park meant that there was no way she was going to sit still! However we were kindly given a very generous goody bag which contained a DVD copy of the film so a full review of that shall be coming soon.



We headed to the nearby zoo which Ava really enjoyed. She loved spotting the monkeys and the meerkats (however wasn't so keen on the reptile house). She loved that we sat opposite the monkey enclosure to eat our picnic. From there we walked to part of Thomas Land, it's split into two parts, the main park which is situated near the main entrance and contains all of the rides or the dino trail and large outdoor play area that's accessible via a short train ride from the main park or on foot.






The outdoor play area was huge and I'm pretty sure Ava would have stayed there all day if i'd have let her. I had to drag her away with the promise of returning later on. Much to Ava's excitment the little train that picked us up from the station was Thomas. It's such a great idea and leads you right into the heart of the park. Ava was able to go on practically all of the rides with me and I felt comfortable leaving my buggy in the buggy park. I thought it would be difficult managing Ava, the buggy and our bags by myself but it was surprisingly not stressful at all. There were plenty of places to park the buggy. They also have a café, sweet shop and the biggest Thomas the Tank Engine shop in the world in the little park.






We only ventured out of Thomas Land to go to the Zoo and onto the carousel (Ava loves them), I thought that we'd run out of things to do but we were at Drayton Manor for a total of 6 hours! Impressive. Once Ava had been on all of the rides she could go on we hopped back onto the little train and spent the last hour in the outdoor play area.





For me the day couldn't have gone any better, with most children being back in school and it being a a weekday there were minimal queues. Also with us being in the middle of potty training there were plenty of facilities around the park. We did use our Dry Like Me pads but I'm happy to report that apart from one little leak Ava stayed dry throughout the day!






I was thrilled with how well the day went, we had an amazing time. The park exceeded my expectations and we'll definitely be returning.

I put together a little video of our day out, enjoy!



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