A couple of weeks ago I decided to vlog on my day off. I never linked it through on to the blog so thought I’d pop up a quick post with the link so that I know where it is for future and when the boys read through the blog.

It’s nothing particular exciting but to me its daily life which I want the boys to be able to see when they are grown up. My vlogs were never designed to be as good as many of the fantastic bloggers that I watch but I just want to document our days.

We are lucky enough to live within an hours drive of lots of beaches. My favourite beach currently is at St Annes. Any visit to the beach isn’t complete without beach day essentials.

We go to St Annes quite a lot when the weather is hot enough to stay on the beach all day. I love St Annes because the beach is always clean, there’s lots of room and shops within walking distance.

I’ve got packing for the beach down to a tee now although theres always room for improvement so please do let me know if theres something I’ve missed.

 

Beach Essential List

  1. Sun Shelter

We have had a few beach shelters in our time. The one we found to be most useful is a pop up one as it offers the most protection from the sun as well as being ready in seconds. My only word of warning though is practice putting it down before you use it on the beach for the first time! Once you know how to put it down its really easy to do in future. You don’t want to look like a complete fool on the beach though when you come to pack up! This one is a fab pop up version as it has mesh panels which are great if its windy!

 

2.Wind shelter

When you think of a beach wind break, you think big stripes and poles. Thats exactly what I’m talking about. I made the mistake first of buying one that you would use at camping and on the beach its no good as the poles you drive into the ground aren’t sturdy enough for sand. You need to get one with big wooden poles. This one is so cheery and I love it!

3.Dry Bag

Use this once your set up to store your valuables in so you know where they are when it’s time to leave. Things such as house keys, car keys, wallet, purse etc. The last thing you want to do is get to the end of a wonderful day to find that you’ve lost your car keys in the sand somewhere when they fell out of your pocket! As the description says the bag will keep things dry (and most importantly safe!)

 

4. Picnic Basket

Apart from the obvious a picnic basket is great for storing all your food in to keep it cool of rite day. IF you get a silver lined one like below the frozen ice packs will keep your food and drink nice and cool all day long. Be sure to store it in the shade of the sun shelter though.

beach day essentials

5. Chairs

Rather than lugging big fold out chairs with us to the beach we prefer these anywhere chairs as they literally fold up when your done and are so easy and light to carry. The weight of your bottom makes a great support for the back part and as a breastfeeding mum you defiantly need that when feeding on a beach. No one wants to come home with a sore back after a day in the sun!

beach

6. Towel

I always take one or two travel towels with us. They are super lightweight but absorb a lot of liquids. Great for drying of wet children (if they venture into the sea) or mopping up spills if there are any in the sun shelter.

7. Bucket and Spades

It’ kind of obvious but I forget nearly everytime and end up having to buy more! Theres so many great sets you can pick up for making sand castles etc. Our boys use the buckets and spades in all sorts of different games using their imagination.

8. Picnic Blankets

Now I’ve purposely written picnic blankets as a plural because we always need more than one. We use one to line the bottom of the sunshade tent to sit on then one out a little bit onto the sand for picnics etc. They are not expensive but save wet bottoms for those not wanting to sit on any wet sand! Again they fold up small and are lightweight.

9. Travel Potty

Ive had this one for years, its fab! You can use swing bin liner bags so nothing to tip away. I line it with cheap sanitary pads (the really cheap value ones)

Potette travel potty 

There are other things we take too like spare clothes just in case I need to change the boys. Of course all the things that you need with a baby nappies etc. As long as I’ve got the above items though I feel like we are set up for a fab day on the beach. Is there anything else you like to take? I’d love to know so please drop me a line in the comments below!

I’ve dropped the link below for the short video I made of our day out!

Items on this list are affiliate links which means if you click through to buy an item I will get a couple of pence at NO EXTRA cost to you at all.

Week 3 of the new year already, how is time once again evading me?

As we are getting a new kitchen soon (from Ikea) there have been a few trips there ad back, in fact this week we went twice! The first time we went with my mum and had some lunch there on my day off during the week. This cheeky face loved his pasta, with peas and a side of chips!

He’s also getting very funny. He is obsessed with glasses and always trying to steal Thomas’ from his face. We are trying to make him stop by giving him his own sunglasses to play with.

He doesn’t sleep in his own bed yet and still sleeps with me so in the evenings I tend to sit down while he falls asleep on me. Sometimes he stays awake longer because he’s not tired. On Tuesday evening this week he was awake for ages while I was watching some Walt Disney World vlogs on youtube. Every time he saw a character on the screen he would smile, wave and get excited. It was such an adorable moment to see. Capturing his innocence and excitement at seeing Mickey mouse again.

By Friday though he was sickening for something and was really many and had a high temperature. Thankfully I made it through most of my work day before I got the call from nursery to go and collect him.

Most of the weekend was spent cuddling him and trying to make him comfortable, he really wasn’t happy. We managed a quick trip to Ikea again on Sunday. This time for breakfast and to pick up some other things we needed. I’m trying desperately to get the garage sorted out as that’s where the kitchen will be delivered to so we need lots of extra room to store it until it starts to get fitted a few days later.

Hubby took some lovely photos at breakfast and even took one of me. I’m going to share them so the boys have them in future.

Thomas managed an adult size breakfast! He’s frowning up far too quickly.

Felix just wanted to make a sandwich with his bacon and sausage which he enjoyed.

By Sunday night to was clear poor Roo really wasn’t well, I tried to let his fever run as long as possible and it peaked at 39.9 in the evening before it broke and started coming down. A fever is the bodies way of fighting and killing off the infection so I knew it was the best thing for him. I cuddled him through it and carried on breastfeeding when he wanted it. Although he’s now suffering the after effects with a snotty nose and a cough he’s certainly much better in himself and doesn’t have a temperature anymore thankfully! Hubby ordered pizza for tea as no one wanted to cook and with Roo being poorly we just thought it was the easiest thing to do. Pizza left over was going to be Mondays tea!

 

 

Dear Boys,

Week two of 2019 started with us going on the Snowman trail at Salford Quays, it had been on since before Christmas and last Sunday was the last day to see them. We had a great time going round to see all 12 of the guys. This past week they were auctioned off for charity and I really wanted to buy this guy no.4 so I put a bid on but it went too high so I didn’t get him. I hope he’s gone to a good home and I hope to see him again one day.snowman from the snowman trail

Tuesday is my day off work so I took Roo out for a bit of shopping, and to get out of the house. Sometimes all day on your own with a baby is hard work so at least if we are out I can walk around.

After all the marketing hype by Greggs we had to try the vegan sausage roll. I’m not vegetarian or vegan, I just don’t really like meat. I have to say I liked this. It was shared with Roo and he was equally as impressed, so it’s a thumbs up from us!

I stopped by Clarks show shop too to buy his first pair of shoes. He’s been walking for a while but I’ve held off buying shoes as long as possible as he didn’t need them. However now he’s wanting to walk outside and he can’t do that without shoes. I have to say we went to Clarks as the other two got their first shoes there and both times they made a fuss, doing a little commemorative photo for them in the store. This time they didn’t seem to do that anymore so I was quite disappointed. I did obviously take my own photo but it would have been nice to have one with a special frame even if it was an emailed one or something?

I also took him to get his first proper coat. With having three boys he obviously gets a lot of hand me downs but because he is a winter baby and the other two were in the summer months at age one I don’t have a suitable size coat for him so I bought him a lovely new one from TKMaxx.

Friday night came around very quickly once again. Friday in our house is movie and treat night. It’s usually bath straight from after school pick up then a treat tea with a movie. I love our little end of week celebration.

Thomas now goes to Beavers .This week they were making bird feeders to hang in the garden for a badge. I asked him which badge but he didn’t know? Hopefully I will get to find out!

And last but not least was my Friday treat! A bottle of plum and cinnamon gin which was a Christmas gift from my lovely mummy. I wasn’t sure what it would taste like. I like the flavour of both plum and cinnamon so surely I’d like this? It was yummy! Sadly there’s not much left after Friday and Saturday night drinks!!

That was our week in a nutshell. A very fast week with lots of memories made.

I need entrance matting! I needed to replace the laminate! When I get bitten by the DIY bug I can’t help myself. I’m always getting crazy new DIY ideas and the house will never be finished! This time it was a new entrance mat. With three boys and a husband and the constant in and out of the pram wheels we needed something more substantial than a tiny mat. The boys always whizz past the small mat on the way to take their shoes off on the stairs. So when I saw on Pinterest that you could fit a full mat I couldn’t help but put it on my list of things to do.

Materials Used:

1 piece of heavy-duty entrance mat carpet – I purchased mine from eBay it was 2m x 1.25m and cost £23.75

1 roll carpet tape – I got mine from B&Q and it was £6.23

1 strip of Floor threshold – again B & Q and it was £20.47

Then I used my own tools to cut the floor

Steps Taken

  1. Measure the area and get the right size of carpet to go in the space, of course you want to order a  little overage to allow for a lovely snug fit.
  2. Draw a line with a pencil on the existing floor
  3. Cut carefully along the floor
  4. Remove the floor pieces
  5. Remove any debris and dust or the tape won’t work
  6. Measure the carpet and cut to a rough size leaving overage
  7. Cut down and stick down the bottom level of the carpet threshold strip
  8. Press down as much tape as you think you’ll need. I did all the edges and zig zagged across the middle
  9. Remove the other side of the double sided tape to leave a sticky surface
  10. Carefully lay down the carpet and cut to size, put under the edges of the floorboard if you can
  11. Clip on the top of the carpet threshold strip
  12. Stand back and admire your work!

I tried to do a time-lapse of the whole project but the camera cut out for some of it so I have had to do a commentary on top of the footage I did get to show you the project.

 

No trip to Walt Disney World for us is complete without a visit to the Disney Outlet Store also known as the Disney Character Warehouse. Theres two official Disney Character Warehouse outlet shops close to Walt Disney World. One is at the Orlando International Outlets, 4969 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819. The other one which I prefer is at Orlando Vineland Outlets,  8200 Vineland Ave #1252, Orlando, FL 32821. 

I’ve never been disappointed with a trip to Disney’s Character Warehouse. I don’r normally go to the outlet just for that shop, we normally visit for a bunch of the shops there. On this trip however time was tight so I just nipped there in an Lyft to visit just that store to see what homeware they had for our house.

I’ve made a video of my Disney Character Warehouse haul, listing the sale price and how much it was origianlly on sale for at the parks.

I’ve made some other vlogs of our Walt Disney World trip including our travel day and our first full day and hotel room tour.

 

In 2018 we were lucky enough to stay at Walt Disney World Beach Club – Stone Harbour Club Level Room for 2 whole amazing weeks. Now when I was doing my research for this vacation although I found lots of info about the Walt Disney World Beach Club hotel. I didn’t find that much about the Stone Harbour Club level rooms or lounge. So whilst we were there I tried to make sure I took lots of film and pictures to share once we were back.

If you want to see our travel day video click here.

I’m still working my way through the footage and trying to find time to edit it all. For the first one I’ve put together a room tour.

Stone Harbour Club – Brief Room Tour in Photographs

We stayed in a standard studio room up on the Stone Harbour Club level. The room number was 5708.


 

There were 5 of us, two adults, two children (7 and 4) and a baby (under 1). The Stone Harbour club level room entitled us access to the club lounge which serves refreshments throughout the day. As well as its own private concierge cast members who you can contact at anytime at their desk up until 10pm. Special shout out to Robin from the desk who made our trip magical, the boys miss her a lot!

 

The room we stayed in had two double bed (I’m not sure what size they were as US sizing is different) so I will refer to them as doubles as they defiantly fit two people. It also had a single sleeper size sofa. It was advertised for a room suitable for 5 people and I’d say that was fair. Before we went I thought we’d be cramped in the room but actually it was ok size wise.

The bathroom area had a twin sink vanity area. A large mirror and a small illuminated vanity mirror. The toilet area was separated by a lockable door and had a toilet, and small bath with shower over.

 

 

The entrance area contained a fridge and coffee pod machine. There was also a wardrobe with sliding door with two robes, an iron and board. The safe was inside the wardrobe and suitcase stands. Inside the wardrobe there was also spare pillows for the bed.

the plate showing room number 5708

 

The television area had some surface space as well as draws and cupboards.

There was a desk area with a smaller pull out table on wheels. We used the table as a dining table on the days where we ate in the room.

The balcony had a view over the hotel roof, you could see the main entrance area as well as the globe at Epcot.

Video Tour on YouTube

I’ve done a video with a commentary (please forgive my boring voice!) which probably illustrates the size of the room a little better than photographs do.

I can’t believe it’s a month since my last post. There was good reason for the gap and that’s because we’ve been away. We’ve just got back from our favourite place in the world…Walt Disney World!

The whole family with Goofy at Walt Disney world

My love of Walt Disney World started in 2004 on my first trip. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to go back 10 times, including our honeymoon.

We first started taking the boys when Thomas was just 16 months old (obviously he was our only boy back then as he’s the oldest). This was Thomas’ 4th trip to Walt Disney World. I try to make sure he realises how lucky he is to be able to visit such an amazing place.

If you haven’t been to WDW it’s hard to explain the hold it has on you once you’ve been to experience the magic. We are absolutely addicted.

This year we had booked two weeks at the Beach Club resort staying club level. We had never stayed at the Beach club before but knew we were in for a treat with the resort facilities. The Beach club has the best pool on Disney property (if you don’t count the water parks). Staying club level meant we had access to the club level lounge at certain time for snacks and drinks. This is something I will cover in a later vlog.

For now I have managed to edit and go live with our travel day vlog. I’m already onto editing all the other days. I took a lot of footage so it’s taking a while to go through it all! However I am loving the memories I’ve captured.

We travelled from Manchester Airport to Orlando International airport on a Thomas Cook flight in the Premium Cabin. Roo is too young for a seat so he travelled on my knee for the flight.

The flight was roughly 9 hours in duration and we arrived in Orlando late afternoon.

We are already missing the place like crazy! Roll on the next trip!

Having three children keeping on top of skin care needs to be quick and easy. Nobody in our house wants to be spending ages with creams and rubbing, they want to be off to the next toy or game.

So with that in mind I’ve written a list of the top tips around skin care I’ve learnt over my years of being a parent.

5 Top Skin Care Tips

  1. Baths – Unless your child is covered in something sticky or icky then don’t bath them everyday. From the moment they are born the skin produces amazing natural oils to protect itself. Bathing excessively washes these off, leaving the skin prone to drying out. We usually bath the boys once every other day. Unless of course they look like they’ve been in a pile of mud!Three boys in a bath all soapy
  2. Soaps – Be aware of what you are using in the bath, most soaps are harsh on little ones skin and again cause the natural oils to wash away. Did you know that Epaderm junior can be used as a soap substitute? It’ll get little ones clean whilst keeping them moisturised.a child sits with glasses on all soapy
  3. Cloth nappies – Now I know not everyone likes the idea of them. With my eldest I used cloth nappies full time and I never ever had a problem with nappy rash. With the other two I’ve used cloth part time. I notice a massive difference in their nappy area skin when we are using cloth. It much less prone to rash or any redness. So if you do struggle with this then it’s worth considering the use of cloth nappies. Even if it’s just part time. Just one nappy a day would make a difference not only to their skin but to the environment too.baby in a cloth nappy
  4. Moisturise after bathing them – Just as we do it’s nice to have soft skin after washing so little ones are no different. Be aware what you are using though as some creams can be full of extra unwanted chemicals and highly perfumed. Epaderm is fragrance, colour and SLS free. The cream which comes in a pump top bottle is super easily absorbed into little ones skin so you won’t be spending ages rubbing it in. It’s also suitable of eczema, psoriasis and dry skin.two products of epaderm
  5. Stay Hydrated – This is especially important during the summer months. We’ve been lucky to have had an awesome summer in the UK this year. If there’s one thing though that’s going to give you glowing healthy skin from the inside out its water. I like to have reusable bottles all over the house and garden so that it’s easily available for the boys to drink. If your children don’t like plain water, try adding a small amount of sugar-free squash or make some fruit tea and let it cool. Studies have shown that water helps them learn better too, so make sure they take a bottle to school.

Disclosure

Thanks to Epaderm for sending us some samples, I do already use Epaderm products prior to being sent these items. I only ever write about things we would genuinely use and so I felt this fit perfectly. This post has been written as part of the Epaderm competition  #OneTwoFreeYourSkin

Oh dear, we’ve come to the end of day 2 with the childminder and again you’ve been upset.

I so desperately don’t want her to hate you. I don’t want her to think you’re the difficult baby.

I love you so very much and know she never will but I want her to like you. To see your adorable smile.

I want her to like playing with you and to help you to develop.

I just want you to be safe and happy in her care.

I know it’s not her. I see her all the time at school and all the other children are happy.

It’s such early days and I know you need time to adjust but it breaks my heart that you are so sad in the day. She’s told me that today whilst you were out and about you were better but from 3pm you cried. She reassures me theres no tears but still you are obviously distressed.

You’ve barely drunk the breastmilk that I have left for you but she said you’ve eaten so that’s good I suppose.

I wish you could understand why I have to leave you there. I leave you there because I love you and want to be the best person I can be by going to work.

Please don’t change little guy, it’ll be ok. We can work through this.