Showing posts with label Archie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archie. Show all posts

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Future Biker // Kiddimoto Balance Bike Review

Archie has pretty much got his future sorted - he is going to ride a motorbike, never wear clothes and of course he is going to be hulk smash - that is a given.  He is a free spirit, a wild one, the most affectionate, the biggest daredevil and a little sweetie as well as being a future super-hero apparently.  The boys have spent many an hour planning their futures and one thing that doesn't change, is that Dylan will drive a car and Archie will ride a motorbike.

It seems crazy that Archie has spent 4 years as a future biker without owning an actual bike but Kiddimoto fixed that with their rather cool skulls balance bike and matching helmet.  Archie is a speed machine on his scooter so I was interested to see how he would take to the bike.  It took a while to persuade him to wear a helmet but with some encouragement from his best friend he finally put it and then insisted on wearing it all through dinner too.

wooden balance bike, Kiddimoto, learning to ride a bike

There was pride in his face as he whizzed off and he has only improved since, getting quicker and more confident.  The wooden bike is aimed at children between 3 and 5 years and the seat has different heights which we have since adjusted to make it a little higher for our four year old.  Archie just loves the cool pirate design.  We are lucky to live right on the coast which means there are wonderful long expanses of flat biking ground and a few slopes too - perfect for future motorbikers to practice.



I think that balance bikes are such a great introduction for children to help them gain balance and confidence and once Archie moves on to a pedal bike we will be lowering the seat on this and getting it ready for Finn - it feels so solidly made that I am hoping it lasts for Cora as well.

Kiddimoto make a few different styles of balance bikes, some more metallic and like a traditional pedal bike and these wonderful wooden 'Kurve' ones which include a police design, butterflies and an awesome Union Jack design.  I love the Heroes range too which really do look like little motorbikes.

kiddimoto wooden balance bike, skulls balance bike

wooden balance bike, kiddimoto

I love these photos below because of the look of pride and excitement on his face.  Check out the Kiddimoto website to see the full range of bikes and accessories.

kiddimoto, balance bike, wooden balance bike




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Monday, 3 April 2017

Dear Zoo Trail at London Zoo

On Saturday we were invited to the launch of the new Dear Zoo trail at London Zoo.  To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the childhood classic book by Rod Campbell, ZSL and Macmillan books have created a trail around the zoo where children can collect stamps for all the classic Dear Zoo characters.  

Dear Zoo was one of the first books we bought when Dylan was little and I think we all know all the words now.  I took Archie and Cora with me for our trip to the zoo as Dylan and Finn were both ill and we loved following the trail and finding the stamps for the animals that were too fierce, too jumpy and too grumpy to become pets.

We were really excited to meet Rod Campbell and listen to him read Dear Zoo to the children.  We loved the special birthday cakes and Cora got to wear her Dear Zoo dress (M&S did a lovely range last year).  

dear zoo trail, London Zoo, dear zoo at ZSL London zoo,

The elephants are currently at ZSL Whipsnade rather than ZSL London so our card came pre stamped with the 'too big' box, but the rest of the stations were located by their animal and the children could do the stamps themselves.  The Dear Zoo theme extends around the park and the restaraunts sell themed kids meals as well as having decorations baring the famous giraffe.  It made our visit to the zoo even more special and Archie was so proud to complete his card.  

dear zoo cakes, dear zoo at London zoo



giraffes, London zoo

dear zoo trail at London zoo, London zoo, dear zoo trail


As well as enjoying the trail, we loved the new Land of the Lion area which transported us into the heart of India with a colourful hands-on exhibit surrounding the mighty (and far too fierce) animals. Archie and his friend T loved playing in the vehicles, trying to pedal the bikes and exploring the different areas. 

The zoo is brilliantly designed to keep children occupied and we could break up discovering animals with areas like Land of the Lion to discover, parks to play in and plenty of space to run around. 

land of the lions, London zoo

land of the lions, zsl London zoo

dear zoo trail, london zoo

dear zoo trail, London zoo, ZSL London

The Dear Zoo trail is on from April 1st to April 17th at ZSL London and is included free with your ticket price.  We had the most wonderful (and exhausting) day.
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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The End of Winter

Somehow Winter always seems like the longest season.  I know that just like Spring, Summer and Autumn it lasts for three months, but when those months are cold, wet and usually full of snot, it can seem to drag.  Spring is on the horizon and the temperature seems to be picking up already so we have been busy enjoying it.

The beach is my favourite place to go, I love the space, the smell, the freedom, how it soothes my soul.  At this time of year it is pretty much deserted, but it still holds so much beauty, it still captures my children's attention for hours and we still come home with that sand in our socks, glow on our cheeks feeling that makes me think of the summer.  


There are things I love about each season and as Spring begins, I am looking forward to being outdoors more, rediscovering our favourite places, not coming home until dinner time because it is still light, shedding our coats and some of those layers and moving more freely, the beautiful yellows and greens that are suddenly appearing in the parks, bringing my Saltwater sandals back out and painting my toenails pretty colours.  

Winter is ending and I will miss the warmth of walking into a heated house after an outdoor stroll, the excuse to drink hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows every night, snuggling under blankets on the sofa and watching the frost settling on the windows. 


This was the Winter that Cora learned to sit, that she tried her first taste of food.  It was the winter Finn started sleeping better and putting more words together.  It was the Winter that Archie turned 4 and grew tall enough to press the buzzer at preschool.  It was the Winter that Dylan got his confidence in the water and wrote all his own Christmas cards.  I am excited to see what Spring will bring.









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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Before you turn Four



At three you can still be considered a toddler, but Archie, when you wake up you will be four and I will have to admit that that phase of your life has passed.  The countdown to school has began and you are ready for it in so many ways.  Really, you stopped being a toddler quite a while ago but behind the excitement of each new stage, I am reluctant to let go of the last one.


Three was the year we cut off your beautiful hair and I cried real tears in the middle of the hairdressers.  I have found peace with your new style and it suits you.  You are never mistaken for a girl anymore, it doesn't get in your face as you run and hair washes are so much easier.  It was the right choice (I will begrudgingly admit) but I did love your long blonde locks.

Every year you change so much and I can see quite how much you have grown since I wrote to you one year ago.  You are still exactly the same though, unapologetically you, determined, loyal, loving and wild.  I wrote as you turned two about how you were happier with your brother around and that is still true - you fit in perfectly in our big family, a playful little brother and a loving big one.  You and Dylan are the best of friends (although you fight like only brothers can), you and Finn are becoming real playmates now and you are so caring with Cora.  I look at the photos from the day before you turned one and I still recognise those expressions, that you.


You are happiest naked and have refused to wear any form of pyjamas or clothes around the house for a while now.  You have no problem snuggling under a blanket with me though, warming your icy feet on my skin and cuddling in close.  You still love to cuddle and I have to admit you give the best cuddles.  You can cheer me up in seconds with you arms around my neck and I dread the day you stop wanting to be so close. 

Your imagination has really developed this year, you talk absolute nonsense sometimes and you and Dylan are often in your own world together.  I love listening at your door after I put you to bed as you stay up and chat and watching you playing with your Lego, singing made up songs as you do.  This imagination did lead to the 'Mystery bandit' in our house who was responsible for all kinds of mischief and was never seen at the same time as you.  He has thankfully gone now although things are still blamed on him (by all members of the family).


As a three year old you became a big brother (again) and took it all in your stride as you always do.  You are wonderful with Cora and she is a lucky little girl to have you as a big brother.

At three you were bright, sociable, loving, energetic and bold.  You have learned to concentrate on things a little better, sit still a little longer, climb a little higher and communicate a little clearer.  I can't wait to see what adventures four has in stock for you.

Before you turn four, as I kiss you goodnight for the last time as my three year old, I just want you to know how truly loved you are


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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My Boys


With only ten weeks to go (ish) until we add a sixth member to our team, that feeling of the end that is so familiar now has arrived.  I remember during my first pregnancy trying to get my head around the fact that things would change beyond anything I could possibly imagine and I spent those final weeks with my friends, going out in the evenings (and treating myself to an orange juice), going for long walks, going out for dinner and enjoying my social life.

When I was pregnant with baby number two, I couldn't possibly comprehend how I could fit a second little baby in my life and those 10 weeks were spent enjoying everything about my first born, living life at his pace, letting my newly mobile toddler walk, as we had nowhere to be, there was no rush and nobody but us.

During my third pregnancy, I wanted to make the most of me-time, and I went to the cinema at least once a week as I remembered all to well how little personal space you get with a baby around.  I went for walks on my own along the sea front in the evenings, sat in the hairdressers and just enjoyed peace whenever I could find it, as three was set to be loud, chaotic and always busy.

This time I have realised that the weeks with 'my boys' are soon to be over, there will be a little girl on our team, and everything will change all over again.  These boys have been a three for 14 months, they have such beautiful bonds, they are learning and growing together and they are just wonderful to watch.  My focus will shift, I will be more outnumbered than ever, and I will have to stop saying 'my boys' and start saying 'my children' or 'my family' when I refer to them all.

It seemed to hit as I turned 30 weeks, it is a milestone week and these photos make me a bit emotional.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have three amazing little boys in my life.  To be the one that gets to wake up to their smiles each morning, and tuck them up in bed with a story and a song each night.  I get to watch them grow into the men they will become, nurture friendships with each other, learn alongside one another and be a little team.

These next ten weeks are about them, about making memories, about getting out together, exploring and observing, because I love to just watch them.  I want to have adventures that are easier without a new baby in tow,  I want to capture them as they are now, whilst it is just the three of them, I want to prepare them for a sister without making them wish away the present, because the present is pretty awesome right now.  











These photos are from the weekend and they may be my favourite ever, they capture so much of who they all are, they capture them together, they were in their element, outdoors, exploring, having adventures and you can see that in their smiles, in the way they are so relaxed.  I took my camera out only a couple of times, I wanted some special photos of  'my boys' as they are now, but the rest of the time I got stuck in with them all, I searched for the Gruffalo and got excited when we found the snake's log pile house.  I squelched in the mud, marveled at sticks, and came home with muddy feet.






It feels so strange that my time with just these boys is numbered, that things are going to change all over again, the dynamic, the pace of life, the size of my heart, and whilst I am confident we will adapt and find space and it will soon become our new normal, I am excited for the final 10 weeks, our final adventures just as we are and that I get to watch them just as a three for a little longer.





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Monday, 25 April 2016

What the Boys Wore - Dapperbaby

I love dressing my boys, picking clothes that suit their personalities, their colourings and their lifestyle.  Finn needs comfort, the right fit for crawling and the right shape for his growing pot belly.  Archie needs freedom to run and jump, he doesn't want to be restricted, his clothes need stretch.  Dylan needs to look 'cool', or whatever a 4 year old considers cool, because he is starting to want an input in what he wears, but he also like soft and bright.

We have found brands that fill every criteria and the places we buy them from and whilst I love discovering new brands, there are some old favourites that I go back to every season.  Dapperbaby is one of my go-to online retailers as the lovely Emma stocks a mix of our favourites alongside new brands that I can't resist trying (and always love).  Her service is amazing, my orders tend to arrive the next day and a little bag of Haribo always makes me smile!

albababy, dapperbaby, alba playsuit, 13 month old

Emma sent us a few pieces and this playsuit from Albababy was the thing I was desperate to open.  The colours look so perfect together, it is practical for Finn to crawl and move in, the shape and cuffs mean it will last for a long time and I love how he still looks like a baby in it.

I bought my first Albababy item quite recently and have been slowly stocking up ever since, the quality is outstanding and I love the cuts of the classic pieces.  These are definitely clothes that you can keep for future children and Britney bump will have plenty to grow into. 


Albababy isn't just for Finn and Archie was sent this classic brown and white striped top.  His wardrobe contains a lot of patterned trousers and I know that stripes are guaranteed to go!  The cuffs on this are currently folded over and I think this will last him a very long time too.


These dog leggings are from Maxomorra, a company I have written about several times and who make up quite a chunk of all three boys' wardrobes.  Archie loves leggings and with potty training they are ideal for him.  He loved the design and they are perfect for this in between weather where it isn't always warm enough for shorts but he doesn't need anything heavy.


Archie really likes to put clothes to the test, and these definitely passed!

albababy stripes, maxomorra leggings, maxomorra dogs, dapperbaby, scandinavian kids clothes

Archie is wearing the leggings in 98/104 and the top in size 104, he is a pretty average sized just turned 3 year old.


One of my favourite things about Maxomorra is how they make a print work for all children.  Many of their designs come in baby vests, leggings, dresses, hoodies and t-shirts alongside other items making it great for matching siblings of different ages.  Emma stocks a great selection at Dapperbaby and she sent Dylan the hoody to match Archie's trousers.  Made from organic cotton like every Maxomorra item, the hoody is soft, lined, stretchy and considered 'cool' by my boy - everything we want!  I love the contrasting yellow that keeps it bright and fun.


And finally, Maxomorra make the most amazing summer suits, I just love how light, practical and bright they are.  Finn was sent the racing cars, and I fell immediately in love.  During the spring months he can wear it with a vest underneath and the dungaree look and by summer it will be a romper on its own.  The sizing is so generous that this will definitely last him until Autumn and it is super soft and stretchy making it perfect for a baby that sits, crawls and cruises.


These playsuits go up to a size 92 which would probably fit your average 3 year old still and they look so incredibly comfortable for days at the beach, exploring the garden and enjoying the sun. 

maxomorra racing cars, summer soft dungarees, dapperbaby, kids fashion blogger

And I may have taken quite a few photos of this one, because it is just too cute!  I think it is definitely going to be one of those items that Finn lives in this summer.  Maxomorra do several prints each season which include some 'girlier' colours and more neutral ones so there is something for every baby.


I really recommend Dapperbaby for fantastic kids clothes.  Many of the brands she stocks are organic, all are beautifully made and they are a great alternative to the highstreet.  It helps that first class delivery is free and Emma is happy to measure items and chat about sizing if you aren't sure what to order as well - Find her over on the Dapperbaby facebook page

learning to walk, maxomorra, dapperbaby, racing car dungarees, bib shorts







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