Staycation. 

Sorry I have neglected my little blog, we’ve had a busy couple of weeks, but who hasn’t it’s the summer holidays! 

We had a pretty epic family holiday to Disney earlier on in the year, so we’ve not been able to get away again, it’s been very hard watching everyone jetting offto exotic   places. 

We did however manage a few days away this week in Margate. MARGATE I hear you scream why on earth would you want to go to Margate? 

Well actually as we pulled up on a less than desirable  street, for our 2 night stay, we asked ourselves the same thing. 

The flat we stayed in was absolutely beautiful and woderfully decorated, had it not been we might have hot footted it out of there. Click here to see/book 

We soon discovered just one street over was the charming Old Town of Margate, Full of boutique shops, seriously cool people and some lovely places to eat and drink. All of this just moments from the beach, so close you can smell it. 

One of our favourite attractions was this beautiful statue.

It doesn’t look like much but when the tide is high, and the water is to his shoulders, he looks like a lost soul looking out to sea.

A very powerful image. 

Don’t get me wrong we did enjoy the sparkling lights and noise of dreamland. 

With Disney still ringing in our ears, dreamland didn’t really feel up to scratch, but actually it really is a great place, Charlie really enjoyed the rides and the buzzy atmosphere, and unlike so many attractions like this the food on offer was fantastic, a great mix of different street food. 

 If you’re local I can imagine it’s something you would forever be taking advantage of, although I believe it has only just reopened because the town was in decline and people stopped going, this is something that is very evident throughout Margate, it’s a very strange mix of the good and the bad, it’s so interesting to see the small sprouts forming, not just in the Old Town but throughout Margate people are investing, taking risks, there are some really great independent business all over, serving really great food and selling some very cool things. 

Our favourite was Roost, such a great find and if you are ever in Margate please go, the food is wonderfully simple and done so well, the staff are friendly, even when you rock up with a kid and a dog, if you can, fight for the window seat and spend your visit gazing across the sea.

One last thing, something that will never change no matter how too cool for school this place may get. The sky, day and night is absolutely beautiful, and some of the sunsets we witnessed were breathtaking. 

This really was an incredibly pleasant trip, we are already planning on going back. 


L xx

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Summer Slime

I’ve not put pen to paper (so to speak) in a while. The last time i blogged it was about periods and the environment and how one effects the other, but this caused a few raised eyebrows, periods are still too controversial to post about apparently.

 

So for something slightly lighter but defiantly more disgusting. SLIME!! We made it, it was such a great thing to do with a small person and actually something i might start doing without a small person.

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I followed a few different recipes, it would have been the perfect comparison, what Pinterest said, verses how it actually came out.

The first one had WAY too much glue and ended up stuck all over everything. I think  this was partly because it told me to add a cup of glue and i don’t know how much that is so i guessed.

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The next batch i didn’t bother looking up a different recipe, just thought i would alter what i had done slightly, i.e. less glue, more bicarb and more water. This was the worst batch, it was disgusting, it was like squeezing a load of sparkly oysters between your fingers. Its actually making me gag now thinking about the texture.

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Determined to get it right, i looked up a UK recipe, but it still called for a “cup” of glue. HOW MUCH IS A CUP?? A tea cup? A mug? what? so i googled it, a cup is 16 table spoons, so in went 16 table spoons of glue. The main difference in this  recipe was no water!! It worked a charm.

For this one we did black food colouring and loads of glitter, we named it galaxy slime.

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We probably didn’t add enough black, so it actually went a bit grey, but we were happy to have made a “working” batch of slime. 🙂 However it was still slightly on the sticky side, so we decided to do one more batch to try and get the perfect consistency.

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I wouldn’t say it was perfect but it was a great colour and a pretty good slime.

The recipe that worked in the end was:

Tip one cup (16 table spoons) into a clean bowl

Add 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

mix

Now add the Gel food colouring (not liquid) and the Glitter or anything else you like to make it fancy.

mix

Add one table spoon of contact lens solution

Mix until it becomes stringy and comes away from the side of the bowl.

At this stage you can take it out and knead with your hands, it will be sticky at first but then after about 30 seconds it will start sticking to itself, if it remains too sticky just add more contact lens solution until you have the consistency you need.

 

Boom!! you have slime, We have stored ours in some tupperware boxes and are still playing with it today, (keep away from the carpet)

 

xx

 

 

Here Comes The Summer

The summer holidays are here!! For us the summer is a double edged sword. 

No more of the dreaded school run, no more of the mad dash in the mornings to get Charlie fed, cleaned and clothed, no more temper tantrums that I’m not very good at putting socks on, (although I am sure there will be plenty of temper tantrums) 

My god is charlie ready for a break he is absolutely knakered and has been suitably grumpy for the last few weeks. 

But as working parents we don’t get enough time together, we are now on day 5 of the summer holidays and I’ve not seen Charlie once, he is staying with his Nanna and Grandad this week and I know he is having the best time, I think they are at pig racing today (who knew that was a thing). 

The first few days are nice, Ralph and I get to go out for dinner and to the cinema and pretend we don’t have as many responsibilities as we actually do. But as I climb the stairs every night I automatically pop my head round his door and every night that little empty bed makes me sad. 

I know in a few days he will be home. 

But then the week of holiday day camps start, so it’s much like the school run, but with added packed lunches. Then it’s another week away at Granni and Grandads house, where he will of course have a great time and quite rightly nobody will say no to him and he will eat ice cream for breakfast if he wants. 

But hey that’s what grandparents are for. 

Then finally we will have a week off. 

Because of our epic Disney holiday earlier this year we aren’t going away, however we have just booked an Airbnb by the sea for 2 days so fingers crossed for some sun. 

The last week of the summer holidays will be another week of holiday day camps. (Must remember to stock the fridge with pack lunch supplies) 

I know we’re not alone, I know there are plenty of working parents out there, trying to juggle kids, work and the summer holidays, and I know we are lucky to be working and supporting ourselves. As Charlie gets older and I can see him growing up, I can’t help but wish we could keep them home longer and I wish he would cuddle me more but I guess I have to accept that’s probably not going to happen. 

So here is to a lovely summer and to spending as much time together as we can and to really making the most of it. 

Happy summer everyone xx

Simply Disney

Those of you that follow me will know that I was less than excited with my husbands idea of our family holiday being a trip to Disney, but as he kept saying Charlie would love it and we should go before he turns 5, so we don’t have to go during the school holidays.
So with the promise of a week in Naples after to recover, I agreed that if we had to, now was the time to go.

In the weeks and months  leading up to it, all Ralph could talk about was this bloody holiday, but I truly couldn’t even think about it until we landed safe and sound, due to my crippling fear of flying.

But (thankfully) we did land safe and sound, and after negotiating the airport and the roads of Orlando (in the dark) we arrived at our hotel.

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, one of the Disney hotels.
From the second you arrive you realise how geared up they are. Everything is convenient and easy. Everybody is so bloody happy, of course they are its Disney, the happiest place on earth right!

Well yes actually it is! (The happiest place on earth) don’t tell Ralph but from pretty much the second we walked in and the security guard greeted me with the happiest “hello princess” I was hooked. I even sat in the scorching heat for half an hour before the parade to make sure we got a good spot (with minimal moaning).

This isn’t a Disney blog and I don’t want to get into the best or worst places to eat, or how to optimise your Disney trip, but over the week we were there I did learn a few things.

1) Take it easy, don’t rush to get it all done, save something for next time, these are the very wise words from my Mother in Law. We actually did a few half days and spent the afternoon by the pool, then went back for dinner/fireworks.

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2) Do your research, some of the good places to eat get booked 6 months in advance and some of them are well worth booking.

3) If you can, stay in a Disney hotel, the transport links between parks and accommodation is amazing, and some of the deals you can get are incredible, I got very used to bottomless drinks and our deal even included £200 to spend at the parks,  not to meantion a load of snaks and meals. Plus parking every day will set you back £20 a day.

4) The best was to meet characters is probably  to do it over a meal, we did dinner with Micky and chums at chef Micky, we did breakfast with Whinnie the pooh and we did a princess dinner, you get to meet loads at one , have pictures and autographs without waiting in a queu.

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So that’s it, we are officially talking about going back in 2019 and I genuinely can’t wait.

As a side note I was so worried that I would struggle to eat anything as I don’t eat gluten, but I needn’t have worried they were actually brilliant, I even had a tour of the buffet with the head chef at one dinner, they were so ready to help and almost everywhere had a separate menu, but if they didn’t all the servers knew exactly what I could and couldn’t eat.

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Only A Little Bit Of A Rant

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Now i remember  one of my most favourite activities on the school bus on my way to school every morning was to while away the journey conjuring up elaborate excuses as to why i hadn’t done my homework, because i hadn’t done it, EVER!!
Maybe this is why Charlie’s school is sending more and more work home every week, maybe its the universe punishing me for not trying harder when i was a kid. I spent all those years avoiding homework at all costs to now as an adult having it thrust at me every Friday night to be completed by Monday.
Charlie is only 4 (not even school age yet) so when he gets sent home with wonderfully cute activities to do every weekend, do you think he gives a shit, no, of course he doesn’t, i have to take the pictures, print them off, cut them out, stick them in and then spend an hour battling with him to write half a sentence, through screaming, crying and snot bubbles, all to make it look like he might have had something to do with it, when in reality he has been sat watching Thomas The Tank Engine with his finger up his nose.
Now i understand the reading books every week, because lets face it we just can’t get through life as a fully functioning human without being able to read, however it doesn’t end there, we now have a spelling TEST, yes you heard it, they are now testing 4 year olds, WTF?? So that is a project every weekend, a reading book, a spelling test (of 12 words) he also has a list of 5 words that he has to learn on sight (high frequency words)
Charlie has absolutely zero interest in doing any of these things, as i said he is far more interested in Thomas and his nose.
In all seriousness i can’t believe this is the amount of work we are getting every week for a kid that is in reception, when i recently questioned his teacher she said that they are preparing them for year one because they will be tested regularly on maths and spelling, and without “practising” in reception its too much of a shock for them. Well i bet it bloody is! Do 5 year olds really need tests? I can’t help but find this incredibly young to put such pressure on our kids to be achieving goals in this way.
I wish we lived in a society that let kids be kids, even with all the evidence of how beneficial it is to start school older we are still pushing our babies to grow up so quickly,

Old And New

For those of you that don’t know, I had to put a few feelers out before I put this blog together, as I was worried about people possibly taking offence to it. But the general consensus was to go ahead and put pen to paper so to speak and that if it was honest and from a place of love and acceptance, rather than annoyance and anger, then how can I upset anyone, right?
This is just an honest account of my own experience, so I’ll stop apologising now and get down to it.
A few weeks ago a seed was planted in my mind by someone on “parenting for idiots”. I don’t know if anyone saw it or not, but this seed wasn’t planted by a fellow parent, as you’d expect, sharing horror stories of how awful their little monsters can be. Instead it came from someone that doesn’t have kids, sharing her experience of her friends going off and having babies and essentially “leaving her behind”.
I think she said that they effectively “backed off into the mist waving”.
Now I appreciate that is her experience with her friends, but I want to talk about my own experience of this, as I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt the way I did.
Announcing I was pregnant was fabulous (once I had told my mum and got the “hard bit” out the way). It came with 100’s of Facebook likes and supportive messages, and everyone was genuinely happy for me. However, at just 24 years old I was still a baby myself (by London standards) and none of my friends were thinking about having kids; in fact at the time I don’t think many of my girlfriends were even in relationships.
I had a really tight knit group of friends that Ralph and I shared. He is a bit older than me, so most of his friends had done the baby and marriage thing already, so the invites out didn’t stop with them. In fact we both socialised as much as we ever had through my pregnancy.  However with some of my friends, the invites out did dry up a bit. It was more about a Sunday afternoon with me while I watched them nurse their hangovers, rather than a Friday night out.
While I was carrying around this tiny alien and hating every minute of it by the way, my closest friend on the planet lost someone very dear to her and she didn’t confide in me. I think that was the first big sign that change may be ahead.
Baby arrives and BOOM my life is turned upside down. Keeping a newborn alive is hands down the hardest thing I have ever done!
But after a while I started searching for myself again.
After the initial visits to coo over the new bundle of joy, I realised that the phone wasn’t ringing anymore and hardly anyone was interested in socialising with me. Maybe I was a horrible bore who was only able to talk about my kid now, I don’t know, but whatever the reason I felt alone.
I reached out to old friends, people that had spent years telling me that no matter what happened in life they would always be there.
Meeting up with them became strained and i felt like i couldn’t connect with them anymore, i couldn’t place the feeling, was it me? was it them? why didn’t this work anymore.
I found that any plans i would make with these friends would be changed or cancelled at the last minute, or i would be slotted in to a night out with their other friends.
Ill never forget being at a party and a friends boyfriend let slip something she had said about me. It sounded like she could hardly stand to be in the same room as me anymore and i had to pretend that hearing this wasn’t like having my heart ripped out.
So I turned to social media to try and find people in the same position as me.  Some of the women I met have gone on to be some of my closest friends. Even now, when we live miles apart, we can still make the effort to chat and get together as often as possible.
I believe that I did everything I could to stay in touch with the people I was friends with before Charlie was born, and there are friends that have always been in the picture and I consider all these people to be truly some of the best people in the world. I am so grateful for the effort they all make to stay in touch.
It is so important to keep these relationships alive.
I have friends on the other side of the world and even though we may not talk every day, I know that if I were to get on a plane and turn up at their door they would be happy to see me.
So, as much as I still mourn friendships lost,  it makes me thankful for friends, both old and new.
I am now the person i know i want to be, surrounded by the people who accept me for who i am and for the mistakes i make.

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Not everyone i love is in this picture, but this is a select few, both old and new.

 

We Have A Professor On Our Side (little luxury)

This weeks little luxury is an absolute must have, especially if your kids have sensitive skin.

We have spent the last 4.5 years desperately trying to find cleaning products (for Charlie) that won’t irritate his skin. We have tried all the big brand names, plus a brand where a bottle of  shampoo alone will set you back £17!

Nothing has worked and the £17 bottle of shampoo was actually one of the worst. Charlie just has to be in the same room as it and his skin dries out.

But now we have a Professor on our side…

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Professor Scrubbington’s!

This stuff is a thing of dreams. The Hair & Body wash comes in a small bottle perfect for small hands, but it’s still good for as many as 50 washes!!!

All the Professor Scrubbington’s products have a great foaming formula, so even after the dreaded swimming lessons when you are desperately trying to wash the chlorine off, none of this body wash will slip through little fingers and down the drain, ensuring maximum chlorine removal.

It’s not only great after swimming lessons, it has also proven to be our best friend when it comes to owning a mucky little boy. Along with the Body & Hair wash, we also have the Hand & Face wash (that Professor Scrubbington’s very kindly sent for free along with our order).

To be honest, I had sampled the Hand & Face wash before, which is what prompted me to look into more of their products. The smell is absolutely amazing and makes for some lovely scented snuggles after bath/shower time.
I have a pot of the Hand & Face wash in my bathroom and sometimes I find myself washing my own hands with it just to indulge in that glorious smell!

All the Professor Scrubbington’s products contain 98% natural ingredients, meaning they are super kind to skin.
So if you want to randomly wash your hands (like me) or if you have a kid with sensitive skin, they are perfect.

But the real bonus is the price, as with all my little luxuries it’s important not to break the bank.
Any Professor Scrubbington’s products will only set you back £5 and even better, they have an amazing 50% off over half term (see below).

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So head over to their website www.scrubbingtons.com and have a look at all that’s on offer.
Enter the code HT50 for the half term discount (but wait until it’s half term) and enjoy some foamy fun!