Our adventure to ‘Peppa Pig World’🐷

Last week Harvey and I were lucky enough to be invited along to the ‘Peppa Pig World’ grand preview event at Pultons Park. Peppa pig World opened in 2011 and has, understandably, been increasingly popular ever since! To meet demand, this year has seen the extension of the park with two new and exciting rides, as well as new characters, sights and scenes that are now popular in the increasing number of Peppa Pig episodes.

Last Friday Harvey and I, accompanied  by my sister and niece, set off on a little road trip to Southhampton with great excitement, so much so, neither Harvey or his cousin Vivienne managed their much needed naps.

When we arrived, we were pleased to find the park was easy to locate and there was plenty of very accessible parking, important when you have two children and a buggy to unload.

We had never visited Pultons Park before so we weren’t really sure what to expect, but much to our delight it was full of beautiful open grass spaces (perfect for picnics and letting toddler run lose for a little), very child/toddler friendly rides and playgrounds.

We immediately set off towards the Peppa Pig area of the park and Harvey’s first words said it all ‘WOW’; the entire area looked amazing. Each ride was built around a different element of Peppa’s world (if you know the cartoon you will recognise the rides immediately).

We started by exploring the new area and the two new exciting rides. The Queens Flying Coach Ride, a monorail that travels around the new area with fantastic views across the whole of Peppa Pig World.

And Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club, where individual boats meander along a lazy river to discover pirate island.

Both the new rides were a hit with Harvey (age 1) and Vivienne (age 3). The rides moved smoothly and were appropriate for children of all ages, obviously no buggies were allowed on the rides but there was tremendous amounts of space to leave them before you enter the queuing areas.  .

After testing out the two new rides we went to meet the characters, which Harvey absolutely adored, sharing lots of cuddles with both Peppa and George.

We then took a wonder around the rest of the new area, past the Queen’s Castle, a fantastic replica castle which stands 10 meters tall, creating a focal point within Peppa pig world and also home to The Queens Kitchen, a new catering outlet for this area of the park.

Next we went character spotting! As you take a wonder around Peppa Pig World you come across a selection of characters creating a great game of character spotting. Harvey loved looking for the new additions to the park including Gerald giraffe, Mr Bull, Peppa’s friends on Pirate Island, Grandpa pig snoozing on his boat and the Queen. One of Harvey’s favourites was spotting Mr Bulls Digger and Bulldozer digging up the road as well as Peppa jumping in muddy puddles!

After our time in the new area of the park we went on to explore the rest of Peppa Pig World. Here we tried out lot of different rides including Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride and Windy Castle. However, Daddy Pigs Car Ride was a clear favourite, as was Mr Potatoes Playground.

We also found a little time to explore a few other areas of Paultons Park. Although I’m sure we could spend a whole weekend there and still feel like there is so much more to do.

We left with two incredibly exhausted little people after a fantastic and very exciting day! We could not recommend it enough for an amazing family day out with your little ones and we can’t wait to go back!

lots of love

Lindsay

x

Mothers Day count down….. gifts ideas!!

If, like me, you have completely lost track of days and times you may not be aware that in just two short weeks ‘Mothers Day’ is going to creep up upon us! Yes that day when we celebrate just how wonderful and amazing our mums are and attempt to give them a card and perhaps a small something that demonstrates how grateful we are for all their help.

Now that I am a mummy myself mothers day, and mummy appreciation has taken on a whole new level of importance. But mothers day isn’t just for us mums it’s also for all those mums to be. So here is a quick look at a few mothers day gift ideas that both new mums, old mums and those mums to be, might like to receive on that special day. I’ve tried to give you a range of ideas as lets face it all mums are differen. But more importantly i have stuck to small bussinsess each ran by mums themselves! Good luck and lets try and shop small this mothers day and support each other!

For the Mama who loves her coffee

The must have ‘Yummy Mummy Mug’ from a small business owner and coffee loving mummy…

(Get a 20% discount on the ‘Yummy Mummy Mug’ with code RUSTIC)

https://beanbaby.co.uk

For the Mama who loves it personalised

The personalised jumper made by an amazing Insta mummy, using the most gorgeous liberty prints and a humongous amount of love, care and attention…

https://www.magnificentstanley.com

For the Mama who wants you to know it

The t-shirts all fabulous mothers should own…

https://www.latotch.com

For the mummy who likes luxury 

A gift from ‘The English Beagle’ a business dedicated to promoting small independent UK businesses…

(get a 15% discount across all products until the 11th March with code RUSTIC)

https://theenglishbeagle.com

For the mummy to be

A selection of tea to help prepare and nourish them for the whats to come and whats to follow…

https://www.hotteamama.com

For the mummy who deserves a little bit for every thing

The Motherly love Box (limited edition) from the beautiful brand that is Gerrard and Grace and the lovely couple that run it with such dedication and kindness…

https://gerrardandgrace.co.uk

Lots of love 

Lindsay x

Baby bag….. Two under Two 🧒🏼👶🏼

I’ve had lots of questions recently asking about which type of baby bag I use and what I pack in it now I have two under two to think about! So here is a little peak at what I have and use, as well as what I keep inside!

I use two different baby bags depending on what we’re doing in the day and where we are going!

Bag one….. the Pacapod Croyde (in pewter)

This bag is plenty big enough for all the baby and toddler needs, comes with handy pods to help you organise bits, has a large zip at the top and around the front for super easy access, plus it has a small portable changing mat!

Bag two…….. Storksak Hero Floral.

This is a backpack style bag and again really very spacious! Exactly what I need with two to cater for. This also comes with a handy changing mat and extra matching feeding bag! I find this incredibly useful when I want to be hands free and chasing a toddler about!

In the past I’ve found using backpacks as baby bags frustrating as unlike the usual style of baby bag it’s not easy to access everything! However the Storksak have really thought carefully about the design and the Hero Floral has lots of useful pockets as well as an access point at the back of the bag down the bottom, meaning you don’t have to empty the bag to get to the items you’ve packed first.

So what do I pack in them….

Whatever bag I decide to use when I’m heading out with the boys, I try and be as organised as possible (and in advance, I like my bag to be pre packed as much as it can be). I arrange the boys nappies and bits separately and make sure I have all the spare things I might need!

The boys each have a letter bag, Harvey has had his since he was born and we recently got a similar one for Jude! I keep the boys nappies, wipes and creams in these. It makes it quick and easy, plus anyone who’s with me (and offering to help out) can easily identify who’s is who’s. Think of it like a dummy’s guide, especially for the boys dad, otherwise I’m sure I’d end up seeing Jude in one of Harvey’s nappies! 😂 I then just move them between bags as and when I need to.

I always pack spare clothing for Jude, extra baby grow, vest, scratch mittens, socks etc as well as a large swaddle muslin (so many uses). Depending on where we are going and how long for depends on how many spare sets I pack, sometimes it’s safer to have two spare sets.

I don’t often pack spares for Harvey, now he’s eighteen months old, he generally doesn’t need any. However if I know we’re going somewhere that might be wet or muddy I take spares, plus wellies and waterproofs! Our favourites are his Joules wellies and Muddypuddle waterproofs.

The next items I pack are extra layers for both boys, essential at this time of year! A hat, booties and thick, warm cardigan for Jude and gloves and an extra jumper or thick top for Harvey! (Harvey isn’t keen on keeping a hat on at the moment but sometime I’ll try and sneak this in as well)

A few bits for me….. my hands get so dry!!

My baby carrier….. Jude loves to be carried and this comes in a handy bag, I don’t leave the house without one. I either pop it in the top of my baby bag or on the bottom of the buggy!

The feeding pod that came in my pacapod bag! It’s fantastic and the prefect size for fitting in all the essentials….. a spare muslin, bib, milk, bottles, nursing shawl and my toddler tracker! Or whatever it is that you need for feeding. Plus I can also squeeze in a snack for the toddler and his water cup! It’s seals up nicely so I don’t have to worry about leaks or mess!

I hope this has been helpful and answers a few of your questions.

links to both ⬇️

Pacapod Croyde (pewter)Storksak Hero Floral Both these bags have been gifted to me but my views are my own and very honest.

Love Lindsay X

My hypnobirthing experience so far! 

With less than six weeks until the bumps due date we are certainly on the count down to ‘D day’. Recently, I have tried to try rewind my mind back to my feelings at this same point in my previous pregnancy and I find it hard to pinpoint how I was feeling. I don’t remember ever feeling afraid, I like to look on the positive (yet realistic) side of things, what was to be was to be and what was to come was the unknown. 

I remember thinking there was little I could do and not knowing what to expect, yet also having few expectations. I had done my trusty NCT course and was the only remaining mummy in my group to give birth. Each of the birth stories in our group had varied so much, from premature births, to natural water births, epidural desperate mums and emergency c-sections. As a result I felt there was no way I could know what was to come so I might as well just go with it. I was asked many times if I had a birth plan; the answer was simply ‘no’, I question how you can plan something so unpredictable, something you know so little about! To that end I much prefer the hypnobirthing way of wording it ‘birth preferences.’ My ‘preferences’ a natural, non induced, water birth! 

Fast forward to today and much is the same, what will be will be and what’s to come is still the unknown! By birth preferences remain the same. I’d prefer it to happen naturally, I’d love a water birth, with minimal intervention if I can. But these, just like before, are just preferences! With Harvey I went two weeks over due and after two failed sweeps I was induced. Unfortunately from this point forward it didn’t go so well and a lot of the birth was taken out of my hands. This time my preference is to keep control! 

Looking back at my birth preparation with baby one it was minimal really. My NCT course was interesting and provided me with a great group of friends (eighteen months on a still talk to on a daily basis.) But in regards to what it taught me about birth preparation I felt it just reinforced a lot of what I already knew (although I’m aware this varies depending on course and instructor.) So this time around I was excited to have the opportunity to learn about birth from a different perspective and embraced the opportunity to try hypnobirthing. 

We did our course with the lovely Jemma from @stilettostostrollers. Jemma set up her bussiness after a positive experience of hypnobirthing herself and is a prefect example of how well it can work. Jemma had a calm and peaceful water birth at home. 

I was slightly apprehensive as to how my husband would feel about the course, and yes he was skeptical to start with. However, after our sessions were finished and we were discussing what we had learnt he admitted that actually he could see the benefit of the sessions and he was also left feeling more prepared. 

Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal course and aims to teach you the techniques needed for a calm and controlled birth. It hopes to leave you feeling empowered, confident about your birthing choices and reduce the associated fear of childbirth. The program aims to teach you the philosophy of hypnobirthing and birth. As well as the important of connecting both mind and body to help you understand how fear can affect birth. It also teaches the important role of your bith companion throughout your labour and delivery. It wants couples to look forward to the day their baby arrives, not to worry or even worse fear the day. 

The course certainly equips you with simple self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques. Including meditation scripts and audio affirmations, plus tonnes of other tips and tricks(always helpful!). Ultimately it gives you the knowledge to understand your options, empowers you and allows you the chance to make confident choices throughout your labour and birth. 

We compleated two sessions with Jemma, one as a small group (three couples) and the second was a 1 2 1 at home. Jemma was great, she was easy to talk to, realistic, honest and happy to answer any questions we had. She made us feel relaxed in our sessions and we finished our final session feeling more prepared for what was to come. 

So what can you expect to find on a hypnobirthing course? A mix of breathing exercises (to be practiced pre and used during labour), relaxation techniques, visualisations and affirmations, confidence building and fear releasing techniques. As well as learning a little bit of the science on how your body is designed to deliver a baby and how to encourage your mind and body to work in harmony with one another.
Your partner will learn the importance and significance of their role during the labour, learning massaging techniques and how to protect and look after you during the process.  
You will also be taught that like learning any new technique it’s all about ‘practice, practice, practice.’ 

This is perhaps my biggest hurdle at the moment, with work and a toddler to look after I often wish I had more time to fully commit to learning and implementing the hypnobirthing techniques. However, I am confident I’m trying my best with the affirmations in my mind, I feel calm and relaxed about the birth to come. I feel focused on the hypnobirthing positive philosophy and have the positive wording in my mind (surge instead of contraction!) My mindset is positive and I’m looking forward to the arrival of my baby no matter how it makes it entrance into the world I believe I can make this both a positive and exciting experience.
Jemma offers both 1 2 1 and group sessions and you can link to her website here. If your quick she is currently offering a 15% discount on group course bookings in October (limited availability).

Love


Lindsay 
X

Where’s the time gone….. going back to work! 

It’s been nearly half a term since I returned to work (yes I teach!), after just over a year of maternity leave! I had very mixed emotions about the whole ordeal and now after some little time to reflect I thought I would update you on how it has been going. 

Firstly let me give you a little context. I’m a teacher working in a small school in Surrey. I absolutely love my job and have been at my current school for a number of years. I have the most fantastic colleagues and the children that I have the pleasure of teaching are on the whole pretty great too!

I really missed my work whilst on maternity leave and it actually took me a very long time to adjust to not being there (perhaps another story, for another time, if I’m ever feeling brave enough.) Whilst on maternity leave, I chose to keep a lot of contact with my work, popped in occasionally to see my friends and keep an overview in preparation for what I would be returning to. I also managed to do a number of my ‘in touch days’ which I really enjoyed and were a good way to keep contact and ease back in. 
Harvey was a summer baby and I worked up until he was born (two weeks late.) In return I was able to take the full year with him, not returning to work until he had passed his first birthday. By this point there were only three weeks remaining until the school summer holidays started and I would be off again (I was very lucky it worked out this way!) 

In regards to childcare for these three weeks we relied solely on our family. Harvey spent the first week in Sussex with my in laws and the subsequent two weeks with my parents who live locally. 
The first week was by far the hardest. We didn’t get to see Harvey at all (except for a few pictures) and I found the return to work exhausting both physically and emotionally. When Harvey finally returned home on the Saturday after my first week I was over the moon to see him, even if he did try hard to give me the cold shoulder for the first ten minutes! Looking back I know that not having him about was very fortunate, I got up early and worked late and I didn’t have to feel any mum guilt about missing dinner, bath or bed because no matter when I returned home he wasn’t going to be there! 


The next two weeks were a little different. Harvey went to stay at my parents who live about thirty minutes from my work so I was always conscious of the fact that if I finished early enough I could make it to theirs for some of the bedtime routine and most importantly a Harvey cuddle. The first week he spent with my parents I had a number of work commitments and only managed to get there three out of five nights. In the final week I was fortunate enough to get to Harvey for dinner, bath and bed every night. This was exhausting, not only was the return to work a shock to the system but my desire to do everything (work to my full potential and be the best mummy I could) wore me out. By the time the holidays started I was shattered! 
Now I have returned to work on a long term basis (at least until baby number two arrives). I work four days a week and have been lucky enough to have family do all my childcare (Harvey spends his time with both sets of grandparents, he loves it!). I have found the first half of term absolutely exhausting and I can not wait until the holidays start again in a few weeks time. The days have been long and I’ve been growing big, currently in my third trimester! I miss Harvey terribly and have found the adjustment very difficult. Harvey on the other hand has taken it all in his stride.
So what have I learnt? I don’t have to do everything; Harvey will still love me. Let family help; they want to and it’s what they are there for! Work and motherhood together is in no doubt exhausting and it’s been hard to find a suitable and practical work/life, mummy/teacher balance. 

For now I’m just trying to make the most of the weekends with Harvey and I’m looking forward to my half term holiday. I’m sure just as I finally get used to it all, I’ll be off on maternity leave again and starting a whole new challenge with two little ones! 

Love 

Lindsay 

X

Tiddlers to track……

Thinking back to when Harvey was born (just short of ten months ago!) I was fanatic about keeping track of all his feeds and sleeps! Trying to see if there was any sort of sleep pattern developing and constantly wanting to be sure he’d consumed sufficient quantities of milk each day. 

Of course like most things for a new Mummy, despite constantly feeling as though I was the only one with these throughts and worries I soon discovered I wasn’t! When I met with my NCT group a few weeks into motherhood and the babies feeding times arrived we all pulled out our scrappy note books and scribbled down our little ones feeding time and number of oz’s whilst the breastfeeding mummy’s were tracking time and side….. left/right! 

I can assure any new mummy’s out there that as your baby gets older you get less obsessive and eventually start to record less. Which is a relief for a while, although often short lived! Because before long your little one is weaning and off you go again! Making sure they are eating/drinking enough to fill all of the minimum requirements you’ve been told by your health visitors and midwifes. It really can be exhausting. 

And then there are those occasions when you leave your little ones and manage to grab a little “baby free” time!! And you get the inevitable questions…. What time does he have his milk? How much should I give him? When should he nap? How much for dinner? What does he like? Suddenly your little scrap book of notes doesn’t seem so silly anymore! 

Here I’d like to the introduce a company called…..’tiddlers and nippers’

I can whole heartedly say I wish I’d know about this company when Harvey was born! The clever people at tiddlers and nippers have designed a series of note books to help you keep track of your little ones daily feeds and needs! They were designed after the trials and tribulations they felt when tracking their own little ones feeding patterns, so as a result they are created by parents for parents and they really are a fantastic products! 

When Harvey was small I tried versions apps for my phone to track his days but they didn’t have the convenience of pen and paper! I wasn’t going to leave my phone with my parents if  he stayed at theirs for a night and it wasn’t easy for my husband to see what he had been doing when he took over for a bit. And then of course there was always the worry that we might lose all the data and then we’d be back to square one. No pen and paper worked best for us (like many others it would appear!) so this is what we stuck too!
 
Tiddlers and nippers have created a set of notebooks each aimed at a different stage of your babies development! The ‘Tiddler Tracker’ is the first in the series and designed for those new parents and the early days. The front pages contain a clear and simple ‘how to’ guide and example and then from there on each page is clearly laid out for easy day by day tracking of your little ones feeding, nappy changing and sleeping as well as a column to record expressing and a notes box for an extra bits and milestones…… prefect!! 

Of course Harvey has now moved on from this and we have just started using the ‘tiddler toddler tracker.’ This note book is different in its layout and the space for milk feeds has been replaced with columns for eat/drink, as well as one for naps and changes as well as activities and again a little space for notes/milestones. 

After a week of getting to grips with the new book, we are really living it. We can now record all of Harvey’s daily activities and feeds etc, I’ve really enjoyed looking back over the week to see how’s he’s forming patterns and achieving new milestones. For us I feel this is really going to prove useful in a few months time when I head back to work and my parents and inlaws will be covering most of the childcare. This will allow us all to know exactly what’s going on as he moves between us all. 

It’s always great when you get to use a product you love. Not only are these notebook unbelievable useful and practical they also come in a range of cute patterns and colour for you to pick from ❤️💛💚💙.

To get one for yourself visit the ‘tiddlers and nippers website (click) 👉🏻 💻 or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and twitter 📲. 

Handmade with love….

I have a particular soft spot for handmade items, espically soft jumpers and warm blankets. Harvey has had an array of cardigans, jumpers and hats over the winter all knitted by his very proud Nana and a Peter rabbit blanket from his Great Nanny. There’s a certain luxury to handmade items and I’m going to enjoy putting Harvey in them while he’s to young to complain otherwise. 

So I was over the moon when Harvey was the recipient of some beautiful hand made items from the lovely Eleanor at Belles and  Bean! 


She sent Harvey a gorgeous pram/play blanket and an adorable bunny bonnet   (especially well timed in the run up to Easter!). 


Well without a doubt the bonnet looked adorable on him and the blanket was an immediate hit with its soft texture and gorgeous combination of colours. 


The Belles and Bean is an small business ran by Eleanor, who hand makes all her own items. You can find her over on her Etsy page as well as on her Instagram feed! Read about Eleanor and find the link below….. 

Happy shopping 
Love 

Lindsay x


Read about Belles and Bean….

Announcement Welcome to Belles and Bean! I started my crochet journey when I began my maternity leave before having my little boy. I have always thought myself quite creative and so thought I would give it a go! It is something that I enjoy doing and find very therapeutic and relaxing. Making something beautiful and practical for children is an absolute pleasure that I get a lot of satisfaction from. The name ‘Belles and Bean’ was formed from my best friends calling me Belles which I love. When I found out I was pregnant with my Harvey I looked up how big he was and he was the size of a bean! I hope that you enjoy browsing my shop and perhaps even making a purchase or two! xx

Belles and Bean Etsy page! 💻