Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Festive Fairground at Dreamland

Situated on the Kent coast, Dreamland is a vintage family theme park full of colour, personality and charm.  Over the coming month they have transformed the Margate park into a festive fairground complete with Santa's Grotto and an ice skating rink and the boys and I (plus my sister) spent last Saturday there for the opening day.



Archie and Dylan are four and six and were a great age to enjoy the park.  I found it was definitely aimed at four years and above (or for children over a metre) and there was plenty that they could both go on but quite a few that Archie at 105cm was too small for as well.  The park has a selection of rides from the iconic Scenic Railway which is the oldest wooden rollercoaster, to the traditional dodgems and carousel.  Entry to the park is free and a wristband gives you unlimited access to all the rides or you can buy seperate tokens if you wish to only ride on a couple.  The children's beehive rollercoaster was a definite favourite for both boys.




We spent about 5 hours at Dreamland and that was the perfect amount of time.  We spent time on the rides as well as enjoying all the open spaces and bright walls.  Dotted around the park are giant letters that spell out Dreamland and we loved spotting them and climbing on them too.


As part of our visit we couldn't resist booking tickets to see Father Christmas.  You have to book ahead on the Dreamland website and you are given a 30 minute slot for your 'Santa experience'.  It is more than your traditional grotto, with two simple craft activities as you prepare to see the big man. The boys loved creating their VIP passes and they are still playing with them days later.  Santa's special Elvis inspired elf stole the show and we were surprised to see a rocking and grooving Santa.  The boys were each given a book as a gift but they are a little old for them at the moment - we would love to see books aimed more at younger readers in the future.




I was nervous about taking the boys ice skating as it doesn't come naturally to me (I like to hold on to a wall the whole time) and they have never been before.  We found the set up was brilliant though and when we turned up for our booked slot there was no queue for boots and the rink was not too crowded.  You can pre-book aids and there were two choices, a standing penguin that the children can hold on to if they want to skate independently, and a seal that the children can sit on to be pushed around.  Archie was happiest sat down and loved it as I raced around with him (I was happiest pushing him as it gave me something to hold on to).  Dylan tried both and really enjoyed giving skating a go with the penguin.  The ice skating was definitely a highlight for all four of us and I would highly recommend booking a slot if you are visiting for the frosted fairground.



The park was quiet in the day, we didn't queue for a single ride and it was so much fun, but the parK really comes alive when it gets dark.  The lit up trees dotted around the park, the dancing lights on the big wheel and the brightness of the fairground were irresistable and I would really recommend staying for at least part of the evening.  



Dreamland is situated less than 5 minutes walk from Margate train station and there are direct links from St Pancras and Victoria station in London.  There is so much to do locally with a brilliant beach opposite the entrance to Dreamland, the Turner art gallery and a row of arcades full of 2p machines. Inside the Dreamland Complex there is a fantastic soft play/imaginative play centre called Octopus Gardens as well as a roller disco. We had a brilliant day out and all left with rosy cheeks and big smiles.

Thank you to Dreamland for our tickets for this fun day out!












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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Potty Training with Huggies Pull-Ups

I have potty trained two children before, but the thought of starting with Finn still makes me nervous. According to Huggies 8 Signs of Readiness, he is showing signs that he is ready to start. He tells us when he has a dirty nappy, asks for a change and seems to be holding his wees. He is also interested in the potty - he watches his brothers using the toilet and wants to copy them.





In all honesty, I think the biggest thing holding us back at the moment is me. Our days seem busy, our schedule is full and unlike when the older two were in this phase, we now have school runs and clubs and things that we have to be on time for. We are working with HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® this time though and they have sent me everything I need to get started.





Finn is now wearing HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® instead of nappies and he is much happier with the independence. Thanks to the ‘I do’ feature, the super stretchy sides means he can pull his pants up and down himself.





To help get Finn ready for this new stage, we have been learning about wet and dry - this has probably been his favourite part of it all as he loves water play! Using sand, water and his little figures, I have been talking with him about the differences between the two sensations to help him understand wet from dry. HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® also feature a wetness indicator. When the Pull-Up is wet, the steering wheel image fades, visually signalling when your LO has had an accident. This forms part of the ‘I see’ feature which further stimulates a feeling of independence. The learning layer briefly mimics the feeling of wetness and enables Finn to ‘I feel’ when he’s had an accident.





I think being consistent day and night might take a little longer. Whilst Archie was dry day and night, there was nearly 2 years for Dylan to master all times of the day. As HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® child psychologist, Dr Heather Wittenberg explains, the nerve pathways between the bladder and the brain must be strong enough to wake your LO from a deep sleep. Therefore, we’ll be taking a more relaxed approach with Finn as accidents during the night are completely normal. HUGGIES® has specifically designed night time Pull-Ups with extra absorbency for overnight protection whilst still maintaining consistency.

So what are the Huggies 6 steps?

1) Check you are both ready by taking a look at the 8 Signs of Potty Training Readiness
2) Say goodbye to nappies and hello to HUGGIES® Pull-Ups®
3) Start practicing and building a routine
4) Learn wet from dry.
5) Be consistent day and night.
6) Keep up the good work!


Do you have any tips to help us on our potty training journey?


To find out more about Huggies Pull-Ups, visit www.pottytraining.co.uk





This post is in collaboration with Huggies Pull-ups

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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

What the Boys Wore // Nununu

Now that Cora is easier to leave, I have started getting more time with just my big two babies.  I know Dylan loves having time just him and I, Archie is very much lost without his brother and if I suggest we do something just us, he asks whether Dylan can come too.  We have been going on a few little adventures and it is so nice not having a pushchair or a toddler to chase after and being able to enjoy their company.  Last weekend we visited a local theme park and the boys wore their new trousers from Nununu.


Archie much prefers leggings when given the choice and I chose these skull print ones for him as I knew he would love them.  They look comfy and they are definitely his new favourites.  The print and style of these is great for slightly older children and I think they look great on him at nearly 5.  Dylan's trousers are more of a harem jogger with slim legs.  They look comfy and stylish and match with so much (including his Nununu top).


Margate is covered in bright graffiti, the perfect place for getting some 'cool' shots if these two didn't decide to poke their tongue out in pretty much every one! I think these clothes really match their personalities well and I love how stylish and fun the Nununu collection is from ninja hoodies (which Archie would LOVE) to statement shapes and classic black, grey and pink shades.  I have found the sizing pretty true and both children are wearing the right size for their age here. 


I am really enjoying these days out with my big boys, doing all the things that they miss out on  normally because of the little ones and exploring new places.  We have more adventures planned in the lead up to Christmas and I am hoping to make it a regular thing having a Mummy day with my big pair.






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Monday, 4 December 2017

Sorted at The Postal Museum


"But that wasn't a real museum, was it? It was too much fun!" Dylan aged 6.  This weekend the big two boys and I went on a little adventure to London.  It has been a long time since I did anything with just them, without having to make sure it was baby or toddler friendly and we all needed this time. We were invited up to check out The Postal Museum and their new imaginative indoor play area 'Sorted!' and I had a tough time convincing the boys that it was a real museum.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

I don't know quite where they got their views from as we haven't really taken them to many museums before.  They clearly had low expectations however which were exceeded before we even discovered the play zone.  After locating The Postal Museum which isn't far from Kings Cross station, we headed straight for the Mail Rail, an underground ride to discover the history of the postal service.  As you book tickets in advance there was no waiting around in queues and the ride was interactive with narration, short videos projected on the wall and lots to look at.  It was the perfect length for their concentration spans at 4 and 6 years old and it gave us plenty to talk about.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

Sorted! was the main reason for our visit though and we were all excited to see what it was like.  20 children are allowed in at a time and the play area was split into two main zones, one for post offices, post vans and post boxes and the other for inside the sorting office.  The 45 minute session could easily have been double as long before the boys were ready to leave and the variety of tasks combined with the limited number of children allowed in and therefore the amount of space they had to play was a great combination.  They loved sorting the parcels and sending them down the chutes before heading down the slide to start again.  There were different dress up accessories dotted around and plenty of soft parcels that could be sorted, weighed, posted and played with.  

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

As well as the imaginative play for children, there was so much to keep toddlers and babies entertained too, from magnetic walls covered in toys to be moved around, post vans to pretend to drive and wooden blocks to make a city.  Everything was designed for children from zero to eight years and I felt a bit sad that Finn and Cora were missing out as they would have loved the experience so much.  There was space for adults to sit and enjoy a drink or you could get involved with the children.  The whole place was spacious, clean and easy to see everything and we all loved it.  

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

I was a bit worried that after all this excitement, the boys wouldn't be that interested in the main museum, but in actual fact it was brilliantly designed for children and adults of all ages.  The whole exhibit was interactive and the boys loved sorting the letters on the simulated moving train in a race against one another.  With accessories to dress up dotted all around they could really get involved and the sorting game was coded with both words and pictures so Archie at 4 could still take part. (There were also little stools so that smaller children didn't miss out).

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

We did have to leave one building and cross the road to get to the second which I am not used to in museums but it gave us a chance to break up our visit as the second building had a cafe which served lunch and refreshments.  The children were given a trail to do around the museum, spotting stamps and post boxes to earn a sticker at the end.  The museum was really interesting from my point of view and the children were really curious as we went round, asking questions and enjoying the conversation.  There were phones to be picked up, hats to try on, letters to open and everything was on their level.  Overall we spent about 3.5 hours in The Postal Museum but we could easily have spent another 45 minutes looking around if it wasn't for the call of some promised milkshakes.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

We left the museum with a better knowledge of how things worked, an insight into life inside a sorting office and a desire to send some letters of our own.  There was a lovely gift shop inside, but they didn't have any postcards! We headed over to Covent Garden when we were done (an easy walk) to buy some postcards to send, talking as we did about the journey they would be going on before they reached our loved ones.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

Until recently I had no idea that a Postal Museum existed but we will definitely be back with the whole family next time. It was brilliantly interactive, well laid out and the indoor play area 'Sorted!' was a great way to get their imaginations going.  Archie declared the visit 'better than a Kinder Egg' (high praise indeed from a four year old) and Dylan is already asking when we can go back.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area






This post is in collaboration with The Postal Museum but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

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Friday, 1 December 2017

Childrens Christmas Gift Guide

I heard a brilliant phrase when talking about buying Christmas presents for children, and it was to give 'Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read'.  When Chtistmas can become too commercial and too expensive, I think this is a great way to look at it.  Whilst we are not sticking strickly to the four presents, I am using it as a base for shopping for them and Father Christmas will be bringing them something they want, need and to wear and read as well as a few other little gifts.

I have put together a gift guide sharing some of the things we are getting the children this year, one present for each category for each child.  Some items we were sent and some I have bought myself but everything included is gifts we have genuinely chosen for the four of them.


For a one year old


Something she wants - Cora loves playing with the wooden toy kitchen we have so we have chosen this Hape dessert tower for her.  It looks so much fun with the pretty cakes and will be perfect for little toy tea parties.  Hape makes wonderful wooden toys for children of all ages and I know that this will get played with by all the children!

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hape Dessert Tower

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hape Dessert Tower

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hape Dessert Tower

Something she needs - As Cora's hair is growing, so is her collection of clips, bows and bands.  I discovered the Hair Helper through blogging and thought it was such a good idea! I have ordered one to put on Cora's wall so that I don't have to spend ages rummaging for the perfect accessory in the morning! I think this will be great as she gets bigger and starts choosing her own too.

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hair Helper

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hair Helper

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hair Helper

Something to wear - I have only recently heard of Hunter and Boo and I fell in love with this design straight away.  The products are made from organic cotton and follow the highest ethical code making sure social responsibility runs through the company from the cotton to the finished garment.  I love the whimsical design and the unisex prints.

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hunter and Boo organic clothing

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hunter and Boo organic clothing

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Hunter and Boo organic clothing

Something to read - Cora has been sent a personalised book from Zebra book for Christmas. They sell a variety of personalised books for all ages and we could even choose the cover picture.  The books are handmade in Belgium using paper sourced from sustainable forests and all their co2 emissions are offset.  The book is beautifully illustrated and her brothers' each have a personalised story already so this is the perfect gift for her.

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Zebra Book

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Zebra Book

Christmas Gift Guide for a One year old - Zebra Book


For a two year old


Something he wants - Finn loves playing with the wooden toys we have and so I have chosen the Plan Toys BeeHive from Babipur to add to his collection.  As well as being great for dexterity with the tweezers, I think this toy will grow with him (as well as being suitable for his little sister) as he practices stacking, colour sorting and making his own challenges.  It already has a place reserved for it on one of the shelves in his rainbow room.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - Plan Toys BeeHive

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - Plan Toys BeeHive

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - Plan Toys BeeHive

Something he needs -  Finn only has one set of bed sheets at the moment which isn't always convenient so I bought him a new set of Duns organic cotton sheets from Eva's World.  I have also bought Cora a cot duvet and a similat set of bedding as she has always preferred sleeping in our bed to her own and I am hoping this might make her cot more appealing.  The duvet is the same as Finn's and is from Lanacare and filled with merino wool.  It is naturally breathable, antibacterial and will help her to regulate her temperature, keeping her cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - lanacare Duvet, Duns Bedding

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - lanacare Duvet, Duns Bedding

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - lanacare Duvet, Duns Bedding

Something to wear - Finn loves all things rainbow at the moment and I love these bright leggings from Florrie and Max.  They are handmade in the UK and an exclusive collaboration between two small businesses, Florrie and Max and the Princess and the Frock.  They are completely unisex and look so comfy!  We already have some of their other designs and are really impressed.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - Florrie and Max handmade leggings

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old - Florrie and Max handmade leggings

Something to read - Finn loves reading to his little sister and this board book 'Eco babies wear green' whilst maybe a bit young for him alone, is perfect for the pair of them.  I love the funny little details and I am sure it will give us lots to talk about too.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old -Eco baby book

Christmas Gift Guide for a Two year old -Eco baby book


For a four year old


Something he wants - Whilst this gift is mostly for Archie, I know it is something that all four children are going to want to play with.  Both a necklace and a toy, this handmade camera pendant from Arlette Gold is laser cut from wood and is absolutely stunning.  You can look through the clear viewfinder and having a mum who is often quite attached to her camera I know that all four children will know exactly what to do with it!

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Arlette Gold Camera Necklace

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Arlette Gold Camera Necklace

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Arlette Gold Camera Necklace

Something he needs - With our ski holiday with Snowbizz looming, Archie is in need of some new thermals. The children live in them for the week, wearing them like an outfit in the creche and under their outerwear  on the slopes.  We always go for Marks and Spencers ones as they are good quality and fun designs, and the boys wear them as winter pyjamas after our week away.  I bought these this year for all three of them.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Thermals

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Thermals

Something to wear - Tootsa Macginty is one of our favourite brands and their well made unisex clothes are designed to last.  I know that these trousers well get worn in turn by Finn and Cora.  The jeans are soft, warm and perfect to go with Archie's bright wardrobe.  This is a brand I love to buy and the children love to wear.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Tootsa Macginty

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Tootsa Macginty

Something to read - I discovered this series of books in a Facebook group and I had to buy one to see what the fuss was about.  When Animalium arrived I went back online to buy two others from the series.  These books are beautifully illustrated, informative and really large (bigger than A4).  They are the kind of thing that will get so much use in our house as my boys love learning and finding out facts and the illustrations are just beautiful!

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Animalium

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Animalium

Christmas Gift Guide for a Four year old - Animalium


For a six year old


Something he wants - Dylan has decided he wants to be a travelling artist when he grows up and he is so curious about the world so we decided a while ago that we would get him a globe for Christmas. This smart globe is interactive and he can learn about countries, continents, people and cultures.  As well as the built in games and challenges, you can download the accompanying app to see more landscapes, animals and landmarks

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Smart Globe

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Smart Globe

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Smart Globe

Something he needs - Dylan seems to be on a permanant growth spurt so new pants and socks are always needed and our favourite brand for these is Maxomorra.  Ethically made from organic cotton they look comfy and wash well.  I bought these from Dapperbaby and Juicytots.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Organic Maxomorra pants

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Organic Maxomorra pants

Something to wear - Dylan is a huge Star Wars fan (despite never having actually seen a film) and I know he is going to love these BB8 hi-tops.  Po-Zu have partnered with Star Wars to create a range of organic cotton vegan shoes perfect for children and adults.  These have a quilted rear panel, cushioned tongue and removable memory foam foot mattress.  They also have a zip down the inside to make them easy to get on and off.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Po Zu star wars shoes

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Po Zu star wars shoes

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Po Zu star wars shoes

Something to read - From the same collection as the Animalium book we have bought for Archie, I chose the Maps book for Dylan to go with his globe.  I can't stop flicking through as this book is absolutely beautiful! I am hoping it will satisfy his curiosity and I think it will be one that we sit down to look at together.

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Maps book

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Maps book

Christmas Gift Guide for a Six year old - Maps book




As I mentioned above, this is a mix of gifts we have bought an items we have been sent to include but every recommendation is genuine.  The items that were sent to us for inclusion are : The smart globe, The Star Wars high tops, the personalised story book, the Hape dessert tower, the Camera pendant, the Hunter and Boo clothing and the Lanacare duvet.












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