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.

Off to the Childminder

Today is the day. Today I had to do it. I had to hand over my baby to someone else. Someone who doesn’t love him. Someone I pay to keep him safe so I can work.

I kissed his head.

I walked away and didn’t look back.

I heard him cry, which turned into his panicked crying.

I kept walking.

He must think I’ve abandoned him.

What if he thinks I don’t love him?

What if he thinks I’m not coming back?

I walked back into the house as I’m working from home this morning and there was his empty pram.

I’d taken a picture of him just 10 minutes earlier when he was happy. I don’t know why. I just thought I’d forget him if I didn’t.

Image of the baby, sitting in the pram. Smiling and happy in the daylight

I looked at the picture, it made me sad.

I’m trying not to think about him.

I can’t spend the whole day crying.

I desperately want to just go and pick him up but I can’t.

I want to text the childminder every 10 minutes to see how he is, but I can’t.

I want it to be 3pm so that hubby can go and get him early, but it’s not.

Today is going to be hard.

I know he won’t remember this time as the other two don’t but I know that his heart is hurting too not knowing where his mummy has gone.

To the future you…baby boy if I didn’t have to leave you I wouldn’t but I need to work. You’ll be ok baby boy, we can do this. We will do this. It will get better x

Dearest Baby,

Our last week together has begun. I know all too soon time will pass and it will be over. My maternity leave will be coming to an end and I’ll be back to work. You don’t even realise it’s happening.

We’ve been together for 9 months. From the moment I lifted you up from the birth pool we’ve been a team. (If you want to watch the birth or read about my other home birth then click here or here)

You’ve had to fit in with your two older brothers. You were thrown full force into family life and you’ve been amazing.

As our time together comes to a close I’m trying to be happy and not sad. Happy that we are both starting new chapters in life. My new chapter is a new job and a new role. Your new chapter being separated from me and going into someone else care during the day.

You’d think being my third baby that it would get easier. But leaving you with someone else thats not family or friends is always hard. I know you’ll get upset. I know there will be tears, but we can do this. We both have to be strong. Given time you’ll settle into a new routine. You will get used to the new faces and who is who. I just need to trust it’s for the best.

I’m still breastfeeding you so I’ll make milk for you whilst I’m at work and given it to the people looking after you so that you can still benefit from all the good stuff. Hopefully you’ll take it ok from a bottle. If I could not be separated from you I would do it another way, but I can’t.

For now it has to be this way. I need to get back into something that will challenge me, something rewarding. I am looking forward to work but my heart will always ache to be with you as you are still so little. Just like I still miss your brothers whilst they are at school.

Days may seem long for you at first but I promise mummy will return. I’ll return to scoop you up and hold you in my arms at the end of every day. I’ll still be there at bedtime. You will be back with everyone in our home each night.

You can do it little dude.

Mummy will miss you but it’l be ok.

Just remember mummy loves you unconditionally forever and always xx

My last baby was born in November last year. I can’t believe he’s already 9 months.

I had a home birth (my second) and the video has been up on youtube for quite a while now but I don’t think I’ve ever linked it to my blog so thought I’d put out a quick post with a signpost to the video.

If you want to read about my second babies home birth story then I’ll point you to this post.

I’m glad we filmed it. I love reliving the day. It was amazing. I’m sad I’ll never get to do it again so at least I can rematch it whenever I want to.

If it’s your kind of thing then here is the link. I hope it inspires other potential home birthing mums. I’m always happy to talk about home birth so if you have questions get in touch.

How am I going to survive the summer holidays? This is a question I’ve asked myself a lot in the run up to school finishing.

Yet I have to do it. I have to survive each day when theres just me and three people to keep entertained.

Ive have a few days booked out to see friends, which at least is something.

Hubby is off for a few days here and there too which also helps.

I think the thing that  gets to me most is the loneliness. No other adult company during the day. It makes the days long. The hours are ticking by slowly.

I know I should be trying to make the most of the days with the children that I am blessed to have but it doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t make the constant ‘mum, mum,mum, mum…’ any less.

I wish I could do more with each of them. My 7 year old wants to play board games. But we can’t usually because the baby is there needing attention or grabbing the pieces. The 4 year old wants to play outside on the scooter or bike but I can’t do that by myself as I need to entertain the baby.

I keep seeing the phrase on facebook that we only have 18 summers with our children. Strictly thats not true, we have lots of summers with them but maybe not all while they are little.

The other prohibitive factor of course is money. Everything we tend to want to do to entertain ourselves costs money. Even a simple lunch outside the house costs money.

I’m trying to be grateful and thankful but its hard. Trying to cling onto the small things each day but it’s hard.

Theres no real point to the post but to record my feelings. If it makes one less person feel as bad as I do. Or realise that maybe there are others fighting their own summer holiday battles then today I’m winning.

We can do it mum’s (and dads).

I’m not going to pretend its easy. I’m not going to be that instagram perfect family, but I do promise to appreciate the small moments. The small victories where they are having fun and enjoying their summer.

We can and will survive the summer holidays.

But for now I have to go as yet again they are hungry……

 

Today is the NHS’s 70th birthday! Happy birthday to our NHS which was started not far from where I am currently based in Trafford.

For all my working career I have worked for the NHS. Have worked for the NHS now for 18 years. In September I will be going back to work for the NHS in a new role for me at a different trust than I currently am employed at and I cannot wait. As I enter my 19th year I will be starting at the bottom of a very tall learning curve.

Everyday at work I see staff going above and beyond their roles to help people.

It takes a special sort of someone to work in the NHS.

This past weekend unfortunately yet again we had to use the wonderful NHS emergency services, wards and operating theatres when my 4 year old injured himself.

Everyone we encountered was lovely, kind and caring.

I know it’s not always the case, I have come across people in the past who clearly don’t enjoy their jobs or were having bad days but on the whole I have always had nothing but praise for the staff.

For a health service its amazing, we are so lucky to have it. Free at point of access. There when you need it for emergencies or non-emergencies.

To all the wonderful staff who work there, in such difficult situations. To everyone who daily is reminded of the financial pressure we work under. For anyone who’s ever made a patient smile. From consultants to cleaners who daily dedicate their lives to others, thank you. Thank you for everything you do.

NHS

Happy 70th Birthday to our NHS today!